Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin Statues charges the Board of Regents with maintaining a diverse array of quality academic programs within the UW System and assigns the coordination of program development to the UW System President. It also charges the chancellors and faculty at each institution with designing program curricula and setting degree requirements.

Academic Programs and Educational Innovation assists the Board of Regents, the UW System President, and the UW institutions to maintain and improve the quality of education within the UW System by sustaining sufficient access for students to majors and careers, identifying gaps in systemwide program array, and analyzing the workforce development needs of the state – all in the context of efficient management of systemwide resources.

Academic Programs and Educational Innovation also facilitates and supports a number of systemwide programs that involve faculty in institutions in specialized work in academic disciplines, international education, teacher education, and applied research.