Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Future unclear for UW’s Iraqi project

After University of Wisconsin students
approved a referendum last week to fund tuition for five Iraqi
scholars, the UW System Board of Regents president said “some
research” may be needed to get the board to consider the proposal.

The Campus Antiwar Network proposed a
$1 raise in tuition to fund the Iraqi Student Project, which would
grant full-tuition scholarships to several Iraqi students to attend

But Regent President Mark Bradley told
The Badger Herald a proposal like this would normally come from the
university’s chancellor, who recommends differential tuition
proposals designed to meet a wide range of student interests on a


“If there was something that arrived
in the e-mail from a student organization that said, ‘We would like
you to vote on this tuition matter,’ we would have to return it
saying, ‘Thank you, but we get tuition proposals made to us from
the campus chancellor,'” Bradley said.

The Board of Regents has not heard a
formal proposal for the ISP, and Bradley said most of what he knows
about it is what he has “read in The Badger Herald and other

Since the project has not been signed
off by Chancellor John Wiley, ISP supporters would have to research
the logistics and policies of presenting such proposal to the Board
of Regents, Bradley said.

UW currently has a differential tuition
system in place for engineering and business students to increase
faculty retention and obtain equipment for the departments.

UW spokesperson John Lucas said the
Chancellor’s Office has also not received a formal proposal
regarding the ISP and could not say whether Wiley would consider
writing a recommendation to the regents.

“If the Iraqi Student Project came to
the regents from the Madison chancellor, I think this would be the
first time that the chancellor would propose this to help a very
small and very targeted number of students,” Bradley said. “Not
that it couldn’t be done, but it would be unique.”

The ISP was founded in the summer of
2007 and modeled after the Bosnian Student Project, in which from
1993 to 1996, 150 Bosnian students came to U.S. colleges with tuition
waived, according to CAN member and UW freshman Jenny Wustmann.

Middle East-based recruiters would work
with Iraqi natives in Iraq, Syria and Jordan to identify, test and
screen students. The students would be recommended based on academic
records, language abilities, economic need and likelihood of success.

UW students would be able to request
their $1 back within 45 days of the beginning of instruction. Bradley
said he is uncertain how the refund system would work since most
differential tuition requests are permanent and non-refundable.

UW sophomore Sam Finesurrey, one of the
project organizers, said CAN is currently seeking more student
support before presenting the project to the regents. He added the
student support in last week’s referendum is “very encouraging,”
and the group is willing to explore the idea of going through the
chancellor if necessary.

“Just because the project is
unprecedented, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen,” Finesurrey

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