Today, the UW System Board of Regents approved an outcomes-based funding model for allocating new state funds to UW institutions, as well as a faculty workload reporting plan, in accordance with statutory requirements established in the 2017-19 biennial budget.


The 2017-19 biennial budget included $26.25 million in new state funding specifically targeted for outcomes-based funding to be distributed to each institution during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.  The allocations will be based upon achieving metrics established for all of the campuses in alignment with statutory guidelines.  Under the newly created state law (Wis. Stats. §36.112), the Wisconsin Legislature established the following goals for the UW System:

  • Growing and ensuring student access;
  • Improving and excelling at student progress and completion;
  • Expanding contributions to the workforce; and
  • Enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness.

For each goal, the statute requires the Board of Regents to identify at least four metrics to measure an institution’s progress toward meeting the goal.  The statute also requires the Board of Regents to submit an outcomes-based funding formula to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee no later than February 15, 2018.  Today’s approved metrics and funding formula will be sent to JFC for approval.

Approved Outcomes-Based Metrics

Grow and Ensure Student Access

  1. Wisconsin high school graduates enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduates
  2. Pell-eligible students enrolled as undergraduate students
  3. Underrepresented students enrolled as undergraduate students
  4. Transfer students enrolled as undergraduates


Enhance Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness

  1. Core Expense Ratio
  2. Average number of credit hours required for an undergraduate degree
  3. Average student debt on baccalaureate graduation
  4. Degrees awarded per 100 FTE students
Improve and Excel at Student Progress and Completion

  1. Undergraduates who have achieved 30 credit hours
  2. Undergraduates who have achieved 90 credit hours
  3. Undergraduate degrees awarded
  4. Post-baccalaureate degrees awarded
Expand Contributions to the Workforce

  1. Graduates in STEM disciplines
  2. Graduates in health-related disciplines
  3. Pell-eligible graduates
  4. Research and public service expenditures

How Outcomes-Based Funding Will Work

UW institutions will receive a proportionate share of new funding based upon the outcomes they achieve for each of the four statutory goals.  Four metrics have been identified under each statutory goal, for a total of 16 metrics.  Each UW institution will report on every metric and progress toward meeting the goals.

The UW System will use the following process to distribute the new state funding:

  1. A baseline set of outcomes for each UW institution will be established using on a three-year average for each metric based upon data from the three previous years.
  2. Similarly, a current year average will be established using the same factors that established the baseline data.
  3. The current year and baseline data will be totaled and compared to determine whether the institution improved, maintained or declined in performance. Funds will be distributed based on each institution’s increase or decrease in their proportion of the total outcomes for the System.


The 2017-19 biennial budget also included a provision for the UW System and Board of Regents to approve a plan for monitoring and rewarding the teaching workloads of faculty and instructional academic staff by January 1, 2018 (Wis. Stats. §36.115).  The plan approved by the Regents meets all of the statutory requirements:

  • Policies for monitoring teaching workloads of faculty and instructional academic staff, including requirements for individual faculty and instructional academic staff members to report the number of hours spent teaching;
  • Policies for rewarding faculty and instructional academic staff who teach more than a standard academic load as established by each institution;
  • Publishing aggregate data on teaching hours on the UW System’s Accountability Dashboard; and
  • Making teaching hours reported by individual faculty and academic staff members accessible via links on the Accountability Dashboard.

In fulfillment of the UW System’s mission, faculty and instructional academic staff engage in teaching, research, and service activities as critical components of their work on behalf of UW System Institutions.  The UW System currently includes aggregate workload data of 32,000 budgeted faculty and staff positions on the Accountability Dashboard.

Because the new state law requires UW institutions to monitor, reward, and report on individual faculty and instructional academic staff teaching workloads by January 1, 2018, the UW System’s current plan focuses on the classroom teaching aspect. The UW System’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs will establish reporting requirements for reporting teaching workload data in conjunction with the UW institutions.

Future versions of the plan will include time associated with other instructional activities such as mentoring and assisting students and preparing for class, research, scholarship, creative activities, and service to internal stakeholder groups and the community.  Classroom teaching is only one component of faculty and staff’s total workload.

Media Contact

Stephanie Marquis UW System (608) 263-1700