Policy Style Guide

As referenced in the July 6 Policy Communication Survey Results Memo, attached is the Policy Style Guide. This document is intended as a tool to help in the drafting of policies and in policy interpretation. Please distribute this guide to others as you see fit.

Policy Style Guide pdf

Information Security and University Personnel System Policy Approvals

On August 4, President Thompson approved the new information security policy SYS 1037, Information Security: IT Disaster Recovery and a revision to the university personnel system policy SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions.

On August 5, President Thompson also approved revisions to the university personnel system policies SYS 1217, Non-Medical Leaves of Absence and SYS 1244, Summer Prepay Deductions and Summer Session Benefits Eligibility.

For more detail on all of the above policies, see the summaries below.


SYS 1037, Information Security: IT Disaster Recovery

This policy will be effective on August 1, 2022. 

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • The purpose of SYS 1037, Information Security: IT Disaster Recovery is to establish the minimum requirements for UW institution’s IT Disaster recovery (DR) plan(s).
    • IT DR plan(s) must exist at each UW institution which outline measures needed to restore the institution’s operations and/or business infrastructure.
    • IT DR plan(s) must be included within or provide linkages to the institutional continuity of operations plan (COOP) and leverage the COOP’s internal and external communications plan.
    • Minimum elements are identified that must be included in the IT DR plan(s).
    • Each UW institution must conduct annual training and/or exercises consistent with assigned roles and responsibilities outlined in the IT DR plan(s).

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy is applicable to all UW System institution owned or leased IT assets.

Campus Implementation

  • Campuses are expected to follow the policy within one year from policy issuance.

Additional Communication

  • Further communication will be sent prior to the effective date of the policy.

SYS 1217, Non-Medical Leaves of Absence

The policy revisions will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy outlines the process for granting non-medical leaves of absence. Previously, non-medical leaves of absence were not available for Student Assistants and Graduate Assistants. This update allows these employee categories access to a non-medical leave of absence for up to 6 months, subject to approval.
    • Added the following sections to align the policy with the standard SYS policy template:
      • Section 2. Responsible UW System Officer
      • Section 3. Scope and Institutional Responsibilities
      • Section 9. Scheduled Review
    • In section 6.A, added Students and Graduate Assistants to the list of employees eligible to request non-medical leaves of absence.
    • In section 6.B, clarified the processes for granting non-medical leaves of absence for faculty, academic staff, limited appointees, and university staff as compared to student assistants and graduate assistants.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This update impacts Student and Graduate Assistants and their supervisors.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • Campuses are free to establish their own procedures for considering and granting non-medical leaves of absence.  This policy only authorizes the granting of this type of leave to this type of employee, it does not require it.  The decision to grant the leave remains at the institution level.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned beyond announcing the change to CHROs.

SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions

The revisions will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy provides standard definitions for certain terms used in the 1200 series of policies. The update modified several definitions for consistency with definitions updated in SYS 230 as part of Standardized Biweekly Payroll conversion.
    • Added the following sections to align the policy with the standard SYS policy template:
      • Section 2. Responsible UW System Officer
      • Section 3. Scope and Institutional Responsibilities
      • Section 9. Scheduled Review
    • Formatted the definitions in the policy to be consistent with other system administrative policies.
    • Revised the definition for Academic or C-Basis Appointments to add “and who are FLSA exempt employees.”
    • Revised the definition for Institutions and for The University to from “UW Colleges and UW Extension” to “any branch campuses/additional locations.”
    • Revised the definition of Standard Work Week to add “For a position designated as 1.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE), a standard work week is presumed to be 40 hours.”
    • Revised the definition for Summer Prepay Deductions to add “deductions taken from the pay period in March, April, and May.”

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This update impacts all users of 1200 series policies.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • The definitions provided are to be used in the interpretation of all 1200 series policies.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned beyond announcing the change to CHROs.

SYS 1244, Summer Prepay Deductions and Summer Session Benefits Eligibility

The revisions will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy outlines the process for maintaining employee benefits over the summer for Academic Year Employees.
    • Added the following sections to align the policy with the standard SYS policy template:
      • Section 2. Responsible UW System Officer
      • Section 3. Scope and Institutional Responsibilities
      • Section 9. Scheduled Review
    • Formatted the definitions in the policies to be consistent with other system administrative policies.
    • Revised the definition of Summer Prepay Deductions to state “deductions taken from the first six bi-weekly pay periods in March, April, and May.”
    • In Section 6.B, clarified that summer prepay deductions will be taken from “the first two paychecks of the month for the bi-weekly paycheck dates in March, April, and/or May of each year.”
    • In Section 6.C.2, revised language to reflect that employees will have 18 deductions per year for FSA and HSA plans, and clarified how deductions will be taken for TSA, WDC, WRS, and WRS Additional Contributions.
    • Added Section 6.C.3 to address plans subject to deductions from summer earnings.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This update impacts academic year employees seeking to maintain benefit coverage during the summer, but makes no substantial changes to existing practices.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • With the centralization of payroll services, all campuses should use the deduction timing outlined in the policy.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned beyond announcing the change to CHROs.