Fitzgerald troubled by UW campus, foundation relationships

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he’s worried about relationships between University of Wisconsin System schools and their private foundations.

UW regents filed a lawsuit in January alleging former UW-Oshkosh’s former chancellor and chief business officer, Richard Wells and Thomas Sonnleitner, illegally transferred $11.3 million from the university to its foundation between 2010 and 2014 for building projects.

Fitzgerald told reporters Friday that he’s concerned about the UW-Oshkosh situation as well as a $7.2 million loan UW-Superior obtained from the UW System for construction work. He says that’s taxpayer money that might be moving without any accountability. He says he’s concerned about whether lawmakers should have faith in the UW System as they craft the state budget this spring. He stopped short of saying lawmakers should cut UW funding, however.