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Concerns over UW's new VP for university relations Jim Villa

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The UW's new vice president for university relations started his new job Monday, as concerns continued to surface about his hiring.  

Jim Villa, a former Milwaukee County aide and campaign adviser to Governor Scott Walker, will make $178,000 a year to lobby lawmakers and improve the UW's public image.  

The Associated Press reports that at least two members of the Board of Regents expressed concerns about Villa in e-mails the university released. He was hired by UW President Ray Cross among five finalists.  

The AP said the e-mails it obtained showed that Regents John Drew and Tony Evers were both concerned about Villa. Evers wrote that he had read "scary" information about the new appointee -- but Regent Chuck Pruitt tried unsuccessfully to assure Evers that Villa was not considered an "ideologue."  

Villa told the AP that he appreciates that candidates' strengths and weaknesses are discussed in a competitive process -- and he looks forward to working on behalf of the university and earning stakeholders' respect. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)