This site is dedicated to capital planning topics and resources, including links to various presentations, reports, request documentation, and information relative to each biennial planning cycle. Instructional guides, reference materials, campus master plans, campus physical development planning, capital planning principles and goals, and space planning resources are located and organized here.

Capital planning is based on the resolution of physical planning issues. The process begins at the individual UW institutions, with advice and guidance from UW System Administration staff, to document need and formulate capital project requests, evaluate and prioritize those requests, and obtain Board of Regents approval for the biennial capital budget request. The request, along with the required and associated documentation, is then forwarded to the Department of Administration, which initiates the legislative process for budget approval. This process is used for the whole range of capital projects and is intended to be rigorous and flexible enough to respond to the unique and diverse facility needs at the institutions, by fully engaging the stakeholders at the institutions in identifying and resolving those needs. It is also intended to provide the Board of Regents, the Department of Administration, and the legislature with defensible capital plans that are based on robust investigation of issues and solutions. This iterative process has multiple steps, outlined as follows:

  • Issues Identification and Evaluation
  • Issues Development and Organization
  • Project Solution Identification and Development
  • Project Evaluation and Prioritization
  • Board of Regents Approval
  • Department of Administration Approval

The quality of education depends on careful integration of academic, financial, and facilities planning. Long-range physical planning for the University of Wisconsin System is an ongoing process that is designed to provide appropriate facilities in response to the dynamic environment of higher education. Each university has a campus master plan that defines overall land use patterns, identifies potential phased construction needs, and serves as an illustration to ensure cohesive, aesthetic development that is compatible with the community and the environment.

Campus master plans reflect the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the local communities as identified through extensive stakeholder engagement. Each university has established campus planning committees that involve the various affected entities within the institution to clarify the university’s requirements and priorities. Additionally, separate committees are established for the implementation of individual major projects, which include representatives of the proposed facility’s user groups.


Planning Principles

Upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents adopts the following principles to guide the physical development of the University of Wisconsin System campuses:

Planning, prioritization, and funding of physical development should occur using best practices of inclusion, integration, and transparency that include…

  1. Physical development that is planned using an integrated planning model that incorporates programmatic concerns, physical concerns, and financial realities.
  2. Involvement of stakeholders that provides a meaningful role for students where student funding and fees are involved.
  3. Physical development that is planned within the context of UW System, institutional, and State of Wisconsin planning guidelines, policies, and funding parameters.
  4. Cooperative planning with the city and county in which the institution is located.
  5. Campus physical environments that promote optimal accessibility for people with disabilities.
  6. Comprehensive campus master plans that are regularly updated and address: space needs; image, identity, and aesthetics; multi-modal transportation access and circulation; parking; open space; building sites; infrastructure and utilities; sustainability; and implementation and physical development that is planned in accordance with those master plans.
  7. Planning that includes student enrollment, faculty, and staff projections; applicable space allocation and utilization benchmarks; evidence-based decision making; and best planning practices.
  8. Responsiveness to the needs of a diverse student body and the delivery of programs and services that meet those needs.
  9. Sustainable design through: optimal use and reuse of existing facilities; minimum construction of new facilities; optimal adaptability for future changes; high-performance and energy efficient design; ease of long-term maintenance and operation; and appropriate use of renewable energy
  10. Accurate and defensible project programs, budgets, and schedules developed prior to enumeration.

Planning Goals

Upon recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board of Regents adopts the following goals to guide the care of physical assets of the University of Wisconsin System institutions: Appropriate stewardship of physical assets should occur using best practices that include…

  1. An institutional commitment to assure that there are adequate resources, optimal use of resources, and adequate expertise to care for physical assets.
  2. An accurate and current geographic information system (GIS) for all Board of Regents-owned land using a common UW systemwide format and minimum level of detail.
  3. A comprehensive building space management function, accurate and current space inventory, and a comprehensive space use plan specific to each institution.
  4. An accurate and current record of the physical condition and maintenance needs of all facilities.
  5. Proper maintenance of all existing facilities so as to protect and extend the life of existing investments and ensure that facilities are usable for their intended purposes.
  6. A commitment to Wisconsin’s heritage through historic preservation of historic buildings and other historic cultural resources.
Integrated Planning Venn Diagram

Integrated Planning Venn Diagram

Adopted by Resolution 7868, 3/5/1999; amended by Resolution 8431, 9-7-2001; amended by Resolution 10127, 10/5/2012

Adopted by Resolution 10127, 10/5/2012