MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System today invited public comment on recommended changes to state rules regarding student conduct and conduct on university property. The primary goal of the changes is to provide clearer guidelines for students, student affairs administrators, UW police officers, security personnel, employees and visitors.
The process for reviewing two chapters of the Wisconsin Administrative Code began in February 2007, led by a committee including campus representatives and students. The committee was charged with identifying improvements to Chapters UWS 17 and UWS 18. Chapter UWS 17 addresses conduct of UW System students, while Chapter UWS 18 regulates conduct on university lands by students and non-students alike.
In making its recommendations, the committee sought to balance the rights and responsibilities of all persons on university campuses and in surrounding communities. The committee recommended improvements and clarifications based on broad input, including two public listening sessions and written comments. The UW System will continue to seek feedback and suggestions as the process continues.
“Our goal is to promote safe and productive learning environments,” said Jane Radue, UW System assistant director of operations review and audit, and chair of the review committee. “Clear and up-to-date rules benefit the entire university community because they communicate the university’s expectations. It is important to note that most students and campus visitors do not engage in the kinds of serious misconduct that would warrant disciplinary action or citations under these rules. But the rules provide our professional staff and police officers with tools to address dangerous behavior that threatens campus safety. This should send a reassuring message to students, parents and all Wisconsin taxpayers.”
The committee expects to present its recommendations to the UW System Board of Regents in April 2008. After the initial recommendations are approved by the Regents, state rules call for them to be sent to the state Legislative Council for review, followed by a university-sponsored public hearing. The Board of Regents will then consider final recommendations and submit new rules to the Legislature for final approval. This final step provides an opportunity for state elected leaders to hold additional public hearings on the matter.
The final rules take effect only after the entire state rulemaking process is complete. The last major revision of both chapters occurred in 1996.
The recommended changes to the administrative rules are available for review at http://www.wisconsin.edu/admincode/. Through March 11, this website provides an electronic form for submitting written feedback and suggestions on the recommended changes to Chapters UWS 17 and UWS 18.