As chair of the Senate committee overseeing higher education, Kathleen fought to maintain funding for our UW system. She worked to keep tuition affordable and quality of education high, particularly in connection with UW La Crosse’s enhanced need based financial aid programs; and the Making Opportunities Affordable Initiative. She assured the passage of a new law outlawing the falsification of academic credentials, bogus degrees and diploma mills.
She sponsored legislation encouraging financial literacy and credit card protection for college students.
Kathleen was also instrumental in getting approval for a new student center and the construction of a new academic building at UW-EC.
In 2007, Kathleen co-authored legislation to allow faculty and academic staff the right to collectively bargain. After a state-wide hearing at UW-EC the bill successfully passed the Senate with bipartisan support, only to fail in the Republican controlled Assembly. The bill was reintroduced in 2009, passed and became law the summer of 2009. Faculty at UW-EC were among the first to adopt their right to collectively bargain.