MADISON, Wis. — A Republican state senator says a new diversity outreach program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is “sinister.”

Sen. Steve Nass made the comments Thursday in reaction to UW announcing its plans to improve the experiences of minorities. The plan calls for having new students discuss social differences, a new cultural center for black students and increased opportunities to take ethnic studies courses.

Nass says university leaders “constantly complain about lacking money” but “they never lack money for advancing new and more sinister ways of liberal indoctrination of students.”

A UW-Madison spokeswoman declined to respond to Nass’s statement directly, instead referring to Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s comments from Wednesday.

Blank says a fundamental skill for a college-educated person is to live and work in diverse communities and that is central to the university’s educational mission.