The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System consists of 18 members, 16 of whom are appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Of these 16 members, 14 serve staggered, seven-year terms and two are ex officio members. The two ex officio members are the state superintendent of public instruction and the president or a designee of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board. Two UW System students are appointed to the Board for two-year terms; one of the two is a non-traditional student.

The Board is responsible for establishing policies and rules for governing the System, planning to meet future state needs for university education, setting admission standards and policies, reviewing and approving university budgets, and establishing the regulatory framework within which the individual units are allowed to operate with as great a degree of autonomy as possible.  The Board appoints the president of the university system and the chancellors of the 13 universities.  The Board grants tenure appointments to faculty members.

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