This policy applies to the development and review of Regent Policy Documents.


The purpose of this policy is to set standards for the type of policy statements appropriate for inclusion in the body of Regent Policy Documents.  This policy also sets forth the protocol and format to be used when Regent Policy Documents are developed or revised.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents that Regent Policy Documents (RPDs) provide broad and strategic statements that memorialize and communicate the Board’s expectations for the UW System.


The Board of Regents sets forth the following standards for Regent Policy Documents.  A Regent Policy Document:

  1. addresses the University of Wisconsin System as a whole, establishing fundamental principles as a basis and guide for later action;
  2. serves as an enduring statement, rather than responding to a short-term issue;
  3. is intended to address institutional risks, promote operational efficiency, or enhance the missions of the UW System or UW System institutions; and
  4. promotes compliance with applicable laws and regulations while avoiding dictating policies and procedures that could be better determined by systemwide administrative policies or procedures or by individual UW institutions.

Existing Regent Policy Documents shall be reviewed on a regular basis to determine their continued applicability, in accordance with the standards outlined in this policy.  As a result of such a review, the Board may vote to:

  1. approve updates to the content or format of an existing policy;
  2. rescind a policy that is contrary to or superseded by new policies; or
  3. remove a policy that is no longer needed or does not meet the standards, as when a Board resolution was published as a policy but was of short-term effect or did not have the characteristics of a policy (e.g., a report does not constitute a policy).

New Regent Policy Documents may be developed as needed to address institutional risks, promote operational efficiency, enhance the missions of the UW System or UW System institutions, or respond to changes in applicable laws. Any new policy must conform with the RPD standards.


The typical protocol for reviewing or developing a Regent Policy Document includes:

  1. research to determine the background of and reasons for an existing policy;
  2. consideration of the recent experience with an existing policy, including current applicability, concerns, and stakeholders’ feedback;
  3. consultation with Board leadership and other Board members, the System President’s cabinet, Chancellors, and other campus administrators and/or governance groups, depending on the content of the policy;
  4. research on other university related systems’ policies, as appropriate;
  5. an analysis of the existing or proposed policy that addresses:
  6. the history and original purpose of the policy and whether the purpose still exists,
  7. whether the policy meets the RPD standards described above,
  8. the relationship of the policy to federal laws or regulations, state statutes, administrative rules, or UW System policies, and
  9. the ramifications of any proposed revisions, removal or rescission; and
  10. preparation of a report for the Board describing the analysis and recommending action on the policy.


Regent Policy Documents shall conform to a prescribed format, as outlined below:


The “Scope” section describes who or what is affected by the policy.


The “Purpose” section includes a reason or rationale for the policy and/or a description of the problem or conflict that the policy will resolve.

Policy Statement

The “Policy Statement” includes the substance of the policy, including what is required, allowed or prohibited. This statement generally begins, “It is the policy of the UW System Board of Regents that…” (Example: “…public records shall be properly managed in the UW System.”)

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The “Oversight, Roles and Responsibilities” section includes a brief description of which UW System offices or functional areas have responsibility for implementing or overseeing implementation of the policy.

Related Regent Policy Documents and Applicable Laws

Related policies and laws include any other Regent Policy Documents or state statutes, administrative code chapters or federal laws or regulations or other federal requirements that affect or are affected by the Regent Policy Document.


The “History” section includes Board of Regents resolutions that created or changed the policy and the date(s) they were adopted.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The Office of the Board of Regents and the relevant subject-matter experts in UW System Administration share responsibility for the review or development of a Regent Policy Document.  Parties affected by a policy document are generally consulted during this process.  Subject matter experts within UW System Administration are responsible for notifying the Board of Regents Office when initiating a new policy or the review of an existing policy, and for consulting with the Board Office during the review process. The Office of the Board of Regents has responsibility for confirming that new or revised policy proposals meet the stated standards before the proposals are submitted to the Board for consideration.

Related Regent Policy Documents and Applicable Laws

• Section 36.09, Wis. Stats.
• All Regent Policy Documents.


History:  Res. 10722, adopted 06/10/2016, created Regent Policy Document 2-3, Standards and Protocol for Regent Policy Documents.