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 universities, 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 universities and are central to the governance of the UW System.

2023 University Distribution Schedule

The 2023 university distribution schedule dictates when a revised or newly drafted policy will be distributed to UW System universities for review. It allows affected stakeholders to review a draft policy, provide comments and feedback, and prepare for policy implementation. For UWSA policy owners, see the detailed committee schedule here.

Date of Distribution
January 20, 2023 July 21, 2023
February 24, 2023 August 18, 2023
March 24, 2023 September 22, 2023
April 21, 2023 October 20, 2023
May 19, 2023 November 17, 2023
June 23, 2023 December 15, 2023

About the Policy Development Process

You can learn about the Policy Development Process by watching this short video.


General Policy Framework

UW System Administrative Policies, also referred to as SYS Policies and Procedures, are one part of a larger framework of regulation and policies that govern UW System practices.

This diagram below shows the relationship of policies for UW System from the broadest national level to the university level. It represents how the outer levels inform the inner levels, and how the inner levels comply with the outer levels.

This also illustrates how UW System policies and procedures encapsulate other Board of Regents, state, and national requirements.

UW System General Policy Framework

general uw system policy framework to demonstrate the different levels of policy that impact the system

Policy Areas

There are two general SYS administrative policy areas: Academic and Student Affairs, and Finance and General Administration.

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 Associate Vice President, Research and Academic Innovation and Senior Advisor, Governance and Strategic Initiatives 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 human resources, information security, 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, Projects, and Academic Fellowships chairs the FGAPC and manages the policy development and review of finance and general administrative policies.

Policy Development Steps

UW System has an eight-step policy development framework that is described more in detail on the UW System Policy Development website. The length of each step varies based on the complexity and input of each policy.

the 8 steps of the uw system administrative policy development process

1. Identify and Prioritize Needs.

Policies are prioritized in two ways: formally through the annual policy prioritization process with university input and as priorities emerge throughout the year.

2. Responsible UWSA Offices Initiates Review and Drafting.

The Policy Owner initiates a policy review. Policies are drafted largely in collaboration between experts and the relevant committee chair.

3. UWSA Committee Review.

After the Policy Owner has confirmed that changes to the policy are reasonably complete, the relevant committee chair will prepare the policy for an internal review.

4. Review Comments and Prepare for Distribution.

Working with the committees, the Policy Owner addresses any comments, feedback, or revision suggestions before sending the policy to the universities.

5. University Review.

This step presents an opportunity for stakeholders across the UW System to share feedback on a proposed policy revision or new policy.

6. Responsible UWSA Officer Revisions.

The Policy Owner addresses the universities’ feedback and makes revisions in collaboration with the relevant committee chair.

7. Approval by UW System President.

Policies are issued and approved by the UW System President, and procedures are issued and approved by the appropriate UW System Vice President.

8. Communication and Implementation.

The SYS custodian sends notification of the approval to the affected stakeholders. Training, FAQs, and other guidance may be issued to ease policy implementation.

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 Sarah Ebben: sebben@uwsa.edu.