UW System Administrative (UWSA) policies and procedures are applicable systemwide and cover academic, financial, and general administration issues. The policies and procedures provide specific direction to UW System institutions and administrative policies are central to the governance of the UW System.

There are two general administrative policy areas: 1) Academic and Student Affairs policies, which govern areas such as international education, program audits, and program planning and review; and 2) Finance and General Administration policies, which govern areas such as information technology, tuition and fees, and capital planning & budget.

2020 Institutional Distribution Schedule

Below is the 2019 institutional distribution schedule. The schedule dictates when a revised or newly drafted policy will be distributed to UW System institutions for review. The below schedule allows for affected stakeholders to review a draft policy, provide comment and feedback, and prepare for policy implementation.

The December 2019 Institutional Distribution will occur on December 20.

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

Roles in Policy Development

The following roles in the UW System are integral to policy development:

  • UW System Leadership, including the President and members of the President’s cabinet, provide direction on the policy priorities of the UW System.
  • Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee (ASAPC) provides internal review of changes to academic and student affairs policies. The committee is comprised of several members as described in UW System Administrative Policy 2, Development, Revision, and Approval of Academic and Student Affairs Policies.
  • Finance and General Administration Policy Committee (FGAPC) provides internal review of changes to financial and administrative policies. The committee is comprised of several members as described in UW System Administrative Policy 3, Development, Revision, and Approval of Finance and General Administration Policies and Procedures.
  • Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs chairs the Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee. The Special Assistant manages policy development and review for policies in the Academic and Student Affairs (100 series).
  • Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects chairs the Finance and General Administration Policy Committee. The Director manages policy development and review of finance and general administrative policies. The Director serves as the custodian for the entire SYS set, distributing policies to campuses, and supporting general organization and policy management of the SYS set.
  • Responsible UWSA Officer varies depending on the policy, but is typically a vice president or associate vice president in the policy subject, or their designee. The Responsible UWSA Officer owns the content and direction of the policy.

Below demonstrates the policy development and review cycle. It describes the different roles in policy development and the stakeholders that are involved.

The UWSA policy development and review process represented as a circular process

The UWSA policy development and review process represented as a circular process. Each action is represented as a quarter of the circle. The first quarter is Needs Identified, the second is Policy Development, the third is Policy Review, and the fourth is Policy Implementation. The process moves in a circular motion starting with the first quarter on the top left of the circle and moving clockwise towards the fourth quarter on the bottom left of the circle. Boxes describing the role associated within each quarter jet out. Roles in the first quarter include: UW System Leadership identify needs during the policy prioritization cycle and UW System Staff identify needs as they emerge. Roles in the second quarter include: Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs manages policy development and revision and Policy Owners and Stakeholders are part of the policy development and revision. Roles in the third quarter include FGAPC, ASAPC, and Institutions provide comments and reviews the policies, the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and Policy Owners review and address the comments. Lastly, roles in the fourth quarter include: UW System President, Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs assist in the policy approval process and the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects provide approval notification.

Policy prioritization

Policies are prioritized in two ways, formally through the annual policy prioritization process and throughout the year.  Emerging policy priorities tend to appear over the course of the fiscal year and are incorporated as quarterly updates to the policy plan.

  • 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 to determine the Systemwide policy plan for the fiscal year. 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 within the UW System during the fiscal year. These are often technical updates but others are substantive policy updates or amendments. They are distributed to UW System leadership and institutions in quarterly reports.

The policy development process

UW System Administrative policies and procedures are divided into two general categories: Academic and Student Affairs and Finance and General Administration. A policy committee exists for each, the ASAPC for Academic and Student Affairs, and the FGAPC for Finance and General Administration. Each policy committee reviews and revises the policies in their designated category. Afterwards, all of the policies go through the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects to distribute to institutions for review.

  1. Needs Identified
    • Needs are identified through the policy prioritization process described above.
  2. Review Initiated
    • 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. Internal 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 will prepare the policy for internal review by either the ASAPC or the FGAPC.
  4. Addressing Feedback and Comments
    • Working with the committees, the Responsible UWSA Officer addresses any comments, feedback, or revision suggestions before sending to the institutions.
  5. Institution Review
    • Institution review follows internal review, and is an opportunity for stakeholders across the UW System to share their feedback on a proposed policy change or new policy.
  6. Addressing Feedback and Comments
    • Working with either the Special Assistant to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs or the Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects, or designee, the Responsible UWSA Officer addresses institutions’ feedback and comments and makes other suggested revisions.
  7. Finalizing the Policy Update
    • Policies are issued and approved by the UW System President.
    • Procedures are issued and approved by the appropriate UW System Vice President.
    • Guidelines are issued and approved by the Responsible UWSA Officer’s office.
  8. Policy Implementation
    • Training, FAQs, and other guidance may be issued in order to ease policy implementation for institutions.

A basic overview of the process is below.

 

The background is red with the UW System logo on the top right and the “8 Steps in the Administrative Policy Development” on the top left. The eight steps include: 1) Need identified, 2) Responsible UWSA Officer Initiates Review, 3) Committee Review (10 day review period), 4) Responsible UWSA Officer meets with Committee, 5) Institutional Review (10 day review period), 6) Responsible UWSA Officer Revises Policy, 7) Goes to UW System President, and 8) Policy Communication and Implementation. The steps ascend with each action until the eighth action – policy communication and 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 Stefan Fletcher, Director of Administrative Policies and Special Projects, sfletcher@uwsa.edu.