Scroll To Top
World

University of
Wisconsin backpedals on ROTC ban

University of
Wisconsin backpedals on ROTC ban

The chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Stout said Tuesday he now would welcome an Army ROTC chapter on campus, saying his earlier decision to reject the program may have violated federal law. Chancellor Charles Sorensen's announcement reverses his decision in early May that he could not welcome the training program to campus because of the military's exclusion of gays. That decision drew criticism from Republican lawmakers who asked him to change his position, which they called an overly politically correct antiwar statement. Sorensen said Tuesday he still was concerned about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay soldiers but that he didn't know when he announced the decision May 6 about a law allowing the federal government to yank funding from campuses that bar the ROTC. In UW-Stout's case, that could have jeopardized more than $16 million in federal money every year. The decision also went against policy of the University of Wisconsin System board of regents, which in the 1980s decided to tolerate ROTC programs despite concerns over discrimination, UW-Stout spokesman John Enger said. "After contact from UW System's general counsel, it became clear to me that campus attempts to prohibit an ROTC chapter may be a violation of regent policy and federal law," Sorensen wrote in a campuswide e-mail message. "In reading the law it appears that barring ROTC could place significant amounts of federal funding for us at risk. Based on this, I have concluded that we must revisit this issue." Republican senator Ron Brown of Eau Claire, one of the lawmakers who asked Sorensen to reverse the decision, said he was pleased by Tuesday's announcement. "I look forward to the day that an ROTC program is in fact established at UW-Stout," Brown said, adding, however, "I'm very disappointed that he came out publicly and came out and objected to ROTC without doing his homework." (AP)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Advocate.com Editors