I'm all for paying UW professors well. I think it is important to remain competitive with other universities so that we can continue to be one of the premier public universities in the nation.
That said, voting to give a pay raise - even a mere 2% - is astonishingly tone deaf. The state faces more than a $3 billion shortfall and union workers across the state are accepting major concessions and pay freezes to keep their jobs, but the Board of Regents acts like they are immune to fiscal and economic reality. It is no wonder that many people have a dim view of the academic elite.
In a broader view, this only serves to start things off on very poor terms with Rep. Nass, who isn't a friend of the Regents to begin with. It is a very bad idea to tick off the guy who is going to control your budget before he even gets the gavel.