Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Regents vote on marketing rights

[media-credit name=’NICK PENZENSTADLER/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Regents_Penz[/media-credit]The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents voted Friday at UW-Oshkosh to give Learfield Communications, Inc., exclusive marketing rights to all Badger sports until 2019.

The contract between UW-Madison Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and Learfield allows the company to manage radio shows for UW coaches and play-by-play radio broadcasts for football, men's basketball, women's basketball and hockey, in exchange for a guaranteed payment of $76 million.

In addition, the marketing sector of Learfield will operate game-day programs, special events, sales to corporate sponsors and Internet advertising.


Barry Alvarez, UW director of athletics, said in a statement that the university has been "very pleased" with the relationship with Learfield in the past.

Regent Elizabeth Burnmaster referred to the contact as the most lucrative in the nation and added the minimum guarantee is significantly higher than the current contract, which started at $4.9 million and climbed to $7.48 million.

"The contract also protects the university if gross revenue significantly declines over the life of the contract," Burnmaster said.

UW said the additional funding will also stabilize the athletic program's budget and pay part of football coach Bret Bielema's $7.5 million salary.

Reilly pledges to review financial aid practices

UW System President Kevin Reilly also informed the board at Friday's meeting of the system's plan to review its lending practices for financial aid.

Following the national attention the student loan industry has received after New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began his investigation, Reilly said he is calling upon financial aid directors, auditors and legal council to conduct an internal review of the UW System's relationships with student loan companies.

"If we find that there is a need for a systemwide governance policy in this field, we will move quickly to develop one," Reilly said.

Despite the review of the loan practices, Reilly said the system is still working to ensure the efforts are in the best interest of the students and said UW recognizes the struggles of students and families to pay for college.

Reilly's office is expected to hear reports from financial aid officers in May regarding their policies and practices toward student loan companies. After that, Reilly said he will present the report to the Board of Regents at their June meeting.

The board approves tuition differential program and new degree programs

The Board of Regents approved the tuition differential for both UW-Oshkosh and UW-River Falls after being assured by representatives from the institutions that students supported the programs.

At Oshkosh, the regents renewed a $55 per semester differential tuition for all undergraduates, and they also approved a $36 per semester tuition hike for all students at UW-River Falls.

Regent Chuck Pruitt, chairman of the business, audit and finance committee, said the tuition differential programs fulfill a demonstrated need for additional programs on all campuses, including advising, travel, internships, libraries and undergraduate research.

Pruitt said to the board that students were actively involved in the differential tuition process and held various forums on their respective campuses to hear student opinions.

Both campuses' student council organizations, Pruitt said, approved the tuition differential because they decided additional student offerings where indeed worth the money.

However, Pruitt said some are still critical that tuition differential programs are a substitute for the lack of funding by the state.

"Some of these funds are replacing the GPR (general purpose revenue) from the state," Pruitt said. "[Tuition differential] certainly reflects the needs and desires for the campuses."

Pruitt added the finance committee supports the review that is currently taking place of the UW System tuition policy overall, which includes tuition differential.

In addition, the regents unanimously approved three new degrees for the UW System. The degrees include a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at UW-Stevens Point, a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations studies at UW-Green Bay and a bachelor's degree in applied studies in leadership and organizational studies at UW-Oshkosh.

Regent Danae Davis, chair of the education committee, presented a report on the degrees to the board and explained the need for the programs. Davis said each of the degrees supports the educational needs of the different regions in Wisconsin.

The degrees will be implemented on their respective campuses starting this fall.

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