MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson today announced the expansion of UW System’s compliance efforts to further protect precollege youth, faculty, staff, and college students.
Changes to existing protocols include establishing direct compliance reporting to the UW System President and the Board of Regents, hiring an administrator of youth protection and compliance, and moving an investigations team into the Office of Compliance and Integrity.
“These changes help cultivate an environment that fosters ethics and integrity, and an atmosphere that allows us to function at our highest and best capacity as we serve our students, employees, and the public,” Thompson said.
“This investment in compliance is an investment in our people,” said Regent Karen Walsh, chair of the Board of Regents Audit Committee. “It’s a promise not only to the public that entrusts us with their resources but also to the families who entrust us with their students and to our communities who look to us to lead by example.”
The compliance changes include the following:
- Katie Ignatowski, currently UW System’s Director of Compliance, will become UW System’s Chief Compliance Officer and will report directly to the System President, and eventually also to the Chair of the Board of Regents Audit Committee. She will develop a system to monitor compliance with laws, regulations, and reporting requirements; inform the President and the Board of Regents on key compliance risks facing the UW System; and recommend measures to mitigate compliance risks facing the system.
- Prenicia Clifton has been hired as UW System’s Youth Protection and Compliance Administrator to expand UW System’s focus on youth protection and compliance. She will work with UW System precollege liaisons, program directors, and youth program coordinators to support the implementation of training, policies, and standards to ensure the safe oversight of minors. Clifton previously served as UW-Madison’s Director of the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance.
- UW System’s investigations team will transition from UW-Shared Services into the Office of Compliance and Integrity. The team will handle high-risk investigations on behalf of UW campuses and provide support in the areas of civil rights compliance, such as Title IX.
The UW System is also moving forward on several projects to improve compliance, protection, and reporting:
- A systemwide database is being developed to maintain and track youth program compliance. The database will be built off of an existing UW-Madison youth protection database to include the other UW System institutions.
- A compliance matrix database was launched on October 1 to include nearly 500 university compliance obligations from federal and state law, as well as Board of Regents and UW System policy. It will also identify reporting requirements and responsible parties across the UW System.
- UW System universities will be supported in their efforts to create, implement, and enforce Title IX policies and procedures. The UW System will also provide necessary support services to those who experience sexual harassment and discrimination, and work to prevent this type of behavior from occurring in the first place.
A public records tracking tool, being developed by UW-Parkside’s App Factory, will house a database to support public records compliance at all UW System campuses.
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.