This policy applies to all UW institutions and their employees subject to university personnel systems under Wis. Stat. § 36.115.
Wis. Stat. § 36.115(2) directs the Board of Regents to develop a personnel system for all system employees except system employees assigned to the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW- Madison), and Wis. Stat. § 36.115(3) directs the Chancellor of UW-Madison to develop a personnel system for all system employees assigned to UW-Madison. The purpose of this policy is to implement the Board of Regents’ statutory authority [§ 36.09(1)] to create and administer both university personnel systems.
Both personnel systems must include a civil service system, a grievance procedure that addresses employee terminations, and provisions that address employee discipline and workplace safety. These and other elements of the personnel systems will be administered through operational polices for each personnel system.
Under Wis. Stat. § 36.09(1), the Board of Regents is vested with the primary responsibility for the governance of the University of Wisconsin System. In discharging this responsibility, it is the Board’s policy to promote the development of university personnel systems that allow UW institutions to attract, develop, and retain a diverse and highly qualified workforce that will effectively and efficiently pursue the missions of the UW System and each UW institution. The university personnel systems shall include:
1. merit-based recruitment and assessment policies, practices, and performance goals that promote the development of a productive, accountable, and trusted workforce;
2. equal employment opportunity by ensuring that all personnel actions, including hiring decisions, length of tenure or term, and condition or privilege of employment, are based on an individual’s ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the particular position without regard to race, sex, gender identity or expression, color, creed or religion, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, or any other prohibited basis of consideration; and
3. compensation structures and tools that reflect the following factors: performance, equity, internal parity, cost of living, and other market factors.
The Board’s authority over the personnel systems of the UW System includes but is not limited to the following:
1. designation of positions to appointment types, to include faculty appointments, academic staff appointments, limited appointments, university staff appointments, and other appointments such as employees-in-training and students;
2. position titling systems;
3. recruitment and appointment of employees;
4. pay plans;
5. workplace safety programs;
6. a leave system (i.e., sick leave, vacation, personal holiday, and other leaves of absence);
7. employer and employee paid benefits;
8. a standard work week and legal holidays;
9. support for ongoing education of supervisors and for employee education and career development;
10. a program for employee performance evaluation;
11. just cause and due process protection as applicable;
12. workplace expectations;
13. employee discipline and grievance procedures;
14. layoff procedures; and
15. furlough procedures.
Oversight, Roles & Responsibilities
The Board of Regents delegates to the President of the UW System, or his or her designees, the authority to implement and maintain a personnel system for all UW System employees except employees assigned to UW-Madison. The Board of Regents authorizes the President or his or her designees to formulate operating policies to administer this personnel system. The delegated administration includes authority to approve all personnel actions including approval of vice chancellor and vice president salaries for new hires that fall within the range approved by the Board policy (RPD 20-28) and as limited by Board policy (RPD 20-27). Finally, the President, or his or her designee(s), is delegated the authority to approve named professorships.
The Board of Regents delegates to the Chancellor of UW-Madison, or his or her designee(s), the authority to implement and maintain a personnel system for all System employees assigned to UW-Madison. The Board of Regents authorizes the UW-Madison Chancellor or his or her designees to formulate operating policies to administer the personnel system for all System employees assigned to UW-Madison. The delegated administration includes authority to approve all personnel actions below that of Chancellor including approval of vice chancellor salaries for new hires that fall within the range approved by Board policy (RPD 20-28) and as limited by Board policy (RPD 20-27). This delegation includes authority to appoint the State Geologist, the Director of the State Laboratory of Hygiene, the Director of the Psychiatric Institute, and the State Cartographer.
Prior to initial implementation, the policies related to the 15 areas enumerated above are subject to review by the Board of Regents. The Board further authorizes the President to delegate to individual Chancellors of institutions other than UW-Madison the administration and oversight of the personnel system for all system employees except system employees assigned to UW-Madison.
Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws
Chapter 36, Wisconsin Statutes
Wis. Stat. § 227.01(13)(Lm)
Chapters UWS 1-13, Wis. Admin. Code
RPD 20-27, Search and Screen Procedures for Chancellors, Senior Vice Presidents or Vice Presidents
RPD 20-28, Executive Salary Structure
History: Res. 10153, adopted 12/07/2012, created Regent Policy Document 20-21 and replaced the following:
• RPD 6-1 (formerly 72-1) created by Res. 58, adopted 01/07/1972.
• RPD 6-2 (formerly 78-5) created by Res. 1678, adopted 06/09/1978.
• RPD 20-1 (formerly 73-10) created by Res. 506, adopted 06/08/1973; amended by Res 1092, adopted 10/24/1975.
• RPD 20-3 (formerly 75-3) created by Res. 984, adopted 04/11/1975.
• RPD 20-4 (formerly 77-2) created by Res. 1386, adopted 02/11/1977.
• RPD 20-6 (formerly 89-8) created by Res. 5364, adopted 11/10/1989, and replaced Regent Policy Documents 74-9 and 78-3; amended by Res. 8457, adopted 10/05/2001; repealed and recreated by Res. 9704, adopted 12/11/2009; amended by Res. 9938, adopted 06/10/2011.
• RPD 20-8 (formerly 91-14) created by Res. 5980, adopted 12/06/1991; portions delegated by Res. 9910, adopted 04/08/2011.
• RPD 20-10 (formerly 94-6) created by Res. 6698, adopted 06/19/1994; amended by Res. 7802, adopted 11/06/1998; amended by Res. 8745, adopted 10/10/2003.
• RPD 20-11 (formerly 96-2) created by Res. 7178, adopted 04/12/1996); amended by Res. 7803, adopted 11/06/1998; amended by Res. 8817, adopted 04/02/2004.
• RPD 20-12 (formerly 98-1) created by Res. 7651, adopted 03/06/1998.
• RPD 20-13 (formerly 98-6) created by Res. 7802, adopted 11/06/1998; amended by Res. 8745, adopted 10/10/2003.
• RPD 20-15 (formerly 00-6) created by Res. 8227, adopted 10/06/2000.
• RPD 20-17 (formerly 91-13) created by Res. 5977, adopted 12/06/1991.
• RPD 20-18 (formerly 05-1) created by Res. 9091, adopted 11/11/2005; amended by Res. 9908, adopted 04/08/2011.
Res. 11423, adopted 04/16/2020, amended Regent Policy Document 20-21.
Res. 11934, adopted 11/10/2022, rescinded Regent Policy Documents 6-3 and 6-6 and amended Regent Policy Document 20-21 to include still relevant provisions from those policies.
[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]