This policy applies to all University of Wisconsin (UW) System institutions as they manage their relationship and transactions with affiliated organizations that are not their primary fundraising foundation or real estate foundation, referred to as associated affiliated organizations.

Associated affiliated organizations are legally distinct from the University but organized and operated for the benefit and in support of the University and/or conduct activities that advance the mission of the University. Unless otherwise expressly authorized by the Board of Regents, associated affiliated organizations must hold a valid tax-exempt organization and corporate status under federal and applicable state law. Associated affiliated organizations exclude the following:

  • University-recognized student, faculty, or staff groups or organizations;
  • Advisory councils established under the auspices and direction of an academic or administrative official for the benefit of the unit;
  • Other state agencies or statutorily-created entities, such as the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority;
  • Research sponsors;
  • Donors;
  • Licensees that do not otherwise have affiliate status;
  • University auxiliary enterprises;
  • Commercial contractors and vendors;
  • Consultants;
  • Lessors and lessees;
  • Labor unions;
  • Individuals, such as University retirees and alumni;
  • Institutions with which the University has programmatic affiliation agreements designed principally for student clinical program placements or scholar exchanges; and
  • Subsidiaries of primary University foundations (covered under the 501(c)3 status of that primary foundation).


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that UW institutions and their associated affiliated organizations operate effectively and responsibly, consistent with the reasonable expectations of both public and private interests, on behalf of UW System and its institutions.

Policy Statement

The Board of Regents recognizes the tangible and intangible value, such as financial support and external relationships, that associated affiliated organizations bring to the UW System and UW institutions. They often promote the UW System and UW institutions to varied audiences including alumni, community members, prospective students, current students, faculty and staff, and sponsor activities that enhance the reputation and standing of the institutions.

If an associated affiliated organization has a board of directors, university employees may serve as voting members of the organization’s board of directors but may not comprise the majority of the board.

If associated affiliated organizations receive administrative support, as defined in Regent Policy 21-11, “Cost Benefit Reporting for Foundations and Associated Affiliated Organizations”, the UW System or UW institution must have a written agreement with that entity. If applicable, components of the agreement must clearly address but are not limited to:

  1. establishment of the working relationship between the University and the associated affiliated organization;
  2. the organization’s policies, resolutions, and/or controls that define the circumstances, if any, in which University employees can approve transactions and enter into obligations on its behalf;
  3. the services and support to be provided by the associated affiliated organization and the services and support to be provided by the University;
  4. guidelines and conditions under which the written agreement may be revised or terminated; and
  5. terms for the associated affiliated organization’s use of the University’s name, branding, and other University intellectual property.

Resources provided from an associated affiliated organization may fund, in whole or in part, a University positions (e.g. administrative positions that support development and development related activities such as accounting). In these cases, the University is the employer and therefore has sole hiring, supervision, and evaluation responsibilities.

For accounting and tax reasons, payments to University employees for services, including any awards or honoraria, must be made through the University’s payroll system. If the associated affiliated organization, in a separate transaction, has provided funds to the University to cover such payments, the affiliated organization should be acknowledged as the source of funds.

University employee business expenses that are allowable under University rules and guidelines should be reimbursed through the University’s business expense systems rather than through direct reimbursement from the associated affiliated organization. The affiliated organization, in a separate transaction, may provide funds to the University that cover such expenses.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The UW System President is responsible for developing any policies or procedures necessary to implement this Regent Policy Document. UW chancellors are responsible for complying with the provisions of this Regent Policy Document and all subsequent policies and procedures developed by System Administration. Chancellors shall annually attest in writing to compliance with this policy.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws

  • Regent Policy Document 21-9, Institutional Relationships with Foundations



Res. 11508, adopted 10/08/2020, created Regent Policy Document 21-10.