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UW Board of Regents Head Defends Morgan Hire

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MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The head of the UW Board of Regents defends the university’s hiring of a former Doyle aide as one of its top officials.

Chuck Pruitt responded Wednesday, after Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said it was likely that the UW violated its own hiring rules in naming Michael Morgan as its top vice president.

Van Hollen was asked to investigate the move, but he said he didn’t have the authority. But he did say the Board of Regents should take a fresh look at the matter.

In a letter to other Regents, Pruitt said the UW’s hiring policy dates back to 1988 – and it did not specifically describe how to handle interim appointments. UW officials have categorized Morgan’s 3-year term as an interim job.

But Assembly Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater accused the university of working around its standard requirement to have a search committee look for top replacements. Nass had said UW President Kevin Reilly did not consider anyone else before hiring Morgan to his new $245,000 a year job, which he started last week.

Pruitt said he would like the board to amend its policy to make hiring guidelines clearer for interim jobs – but UW officials made it clear that Morgan would stay in his new post.

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