UW System Administrative Policies and Procedures (SYS) are applicable systemwide and cover academic, financial, and general administration issues. The University Personnel System (UPS) Operational Policies, integrated as the SYS 1200 series, provide the framework for UW institutions, other than UW-Madison, to extend the UW Board of Regents’ authority to the university workforce.  The SYS policies and procedures provide specific direction to UW System institutions and are central to the governance of the UW System.

2020 Institutional Distribution Schedule

The 2020 institutional distribution schedule dictates when a revised or newly drafted policy will be distributed to UW System institutions for review. It allows affected stakeholders to review a draft policy, provide comments and feedback, and prepare for policy implementation.

Date of Distribution
January 24
February 21
March 20
April 24
May 22
June 19
July 24
August 21
September 25
October 23
November 20
December 23

About the Policy Process

Policy Prioritization

Policies are prioritized in two ways, formally through the annual policy prioritization process and as needed throughout the year.

Policy Prioritization Cycle

In collaboration with UW System stakeholders, the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects coordinates a Policy Priority Plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Specifically, along with Responsible UWSA Officers for each policy series, UW System institutions submit their top policy priorities for the upcoming year to the Director who works with UW System leadership (President and members of the President’s Cabinet) to determine the Systemwide policy plan. The final plan is then disseminated to UW System institutions.

Emerging Policy Priorities

In coordination with Responsible UWSA Officers, new policy priorities may be identified through events occurring during the year, such as changes in external regulations or audit findings. These can be technical updates or substantive policy amendments. They are distributed to UW System leadership and institutions in quarterly reports.

Policy Areas

There are two general SYS administrative policy areas:

  • Academic and Student Affairs

Academic and Student Affairs policies (SYS 100 series) govern areas such as international education, program audits, program planning and review, etc.

The Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee (ASAPC) provides an internal review of changes to these policies. The committee is comprised of several members as described in SYS 2, Development, Revision, and Approval of Academic and Student Affairs Policies.

The Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs chairs the ASAPC and manages the policy development and review for policies in the SYS 100 series.

  • Finance and General Administration

Finance and General Administration policies (all SYS policies except for the 100 series) govern areas such as information technology, tuition and fees, capital planning and budget, risk management, etc.

The Finance and General Administration Policy Committee (FGAPC) provides an internal review of changes to financial and administrative policies. The committee is comprised of several members as described in SYS 3, Development, Revision, and Approval of Finance and General Administration Policies and Procedures.

The Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects chairs the FGAPC and manages the policy development and review of finance and general administrative policies.

The Policy Development Process

The administrative policy development process is described below.  Specific policies and procedures outlining the process can be found in the SYS 000 Series: Operational. The Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects serves as the custodian for the entire SYS set, distributing policies to campuses and supporting general organization and policy management of the SYS set.

The Responsible UWSA Officer varies depending on the policy but is typically a Vice President or Associate Vice President in the policy subject (or designee). The Responsible UWSA Officer owns the content and direction of the policy.

  1. Needs Identified
    Needs are identified through the policy prioritization process described above.
  2. Responsible UWSA Office Initiates Review
    The Responsible UWSA Officer initiates a policy review. Policies are drafted largely in collaboration between experts and the Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects (or designee).
  3. UWSA Committee Review
    After the Responsible UWSA Officer has confirmed that changes to the policy are reasonably complete, the Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects (or designee) will prepare the policy for an internal review by either the ASAPC or the FGAPC.
  4. Reviews Comments and Prepares for Institutional Distribution
    Working with the committees, the Responsible UWSA Officer addresses any comments, feedback, or revision suggestions before sending the policy to the institutions.
  5. Institutional Review
    Institutional review presents an opportunity for stakeholders across the UW System to share their feedback on a proposed policy revision or new policy.
  6. Responsible UWSA Officer Revises Policy
    The Responsible UWSA Officer addresses the institutions’ feedback and makes suggested revisions as deemed necessary in collaboration with the Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects (or designee).
  7. Sent to UW System President for Approval
    Policies are issued and approved by the UW System President, and procedures are generally issued and approved by the appropriate UW System Vice President.
  8. Policy Communication and Implementation
    The Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects sends notification of the approval to the affected stakeholders. Training, FAQs, and other guidance may be issued to ease policy implementation for institutions.

Contact Information

For questions specific to policies, please contact the Responsible UWSA Officer associated with each policy. This information can be found on the bottom right of the specific policy page. For general questions regarding our policy process, please contact Stefan Fletcher, Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects: sfletcher@uwsa.edu.