Making UW System a place to work, learn, and thrive

The mission of the University of Wisconsin System is to “develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses, and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose.” Each UW System employee plays an essential part of this larger purpose to develop our students and better our communities, our state, and our nation. Carrying out this mission requires us to examine the values that underlie our work and define what it means to strive for a culture of excellence and integrity in all things. 

The right culture starts with the right policies, but it doesn’t end there. The UW System sets forth the following expectations of conduct for all employees. These apply both inside and outside of the workplace. If you have questions, need guidance, or wish to report a concern, please contact the Office of Compliance & Integrity.  

Thank you for doing your part in making the UW System a better place to work, learn, and thrive. 

Workplace Conduct Expectations

In accordance with SYS 1292, there are general expectations for conduct of UW System employees in the workplace.  These general expectations do not preclude a UW System institution, a department, or a work unit from establishing additional rules that are necessary for the effective operation of that institution, department, or work unit.

These workplace expectations listed apply to:

  • All UW System employees
  • Volunteers and other representatives when speaking or acting on behalf of a UW System institution.

The following are general expectations for UW System employee conduct in the workplace. These guidelines shall not interfere with academic freedom.

  • Be Fair and Respectful to Others
  • Protect and Preserve UW System Resources
  • Act Ethically and with Integrity
  • Contribute to a Healthy and Safe Workplace
  • Promote a Culture of Compliance

Outside Activities

The UW System encourages faculty and staff to engage in all types of activities that further their personal and professional goals and that make the System a better place to work, learn, and thrive. When you engage in activities outside of your typical job duties as an employee of the UW System, it is important to avoid pursuits that could conflict with your public responsibilities to the UW System.  All University of Wisconsin System employees are required to comply with the code of ethics applicable to their employment type. These codes are designed to prevent conflicts between an employee’s private interests and public responsibilities.

Institutional Ethics Committee

Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 8.035 requires that each institution shall have an institutional ethics committee, “whose function shall be to provide to any member of the unclassified staff consultation and advice on the application” of Chapter UWS 8 Unclassified Staff Code of Ethics.  The institutional ethics committee can either be established or designated as part of an existing committee.