Policies for Distribution

There are eight (8) policy revisions and two (2) policy rescissions included in the September Institution Distribution. The included Operational, Human Resources, and University Personnel System policies have a 30-day comment period. They are listed below:

The included policies from the Academic and Student Affairs policy series have a 60-day comment period. They are listed below:

To view and comment on the policies, please click on the links above. Please submit your comments (which may include attachments such as word documents, PDFs, etc.) through the link above. Doing so ensures your feedback is captured and reviewed during the post-comment period.


Policies with 30-Day Feedback Period

The deadline to review and submit feedback for the policies below via the comment form is Monday, October 26.

SYS 1, Development, Revision, and Approval of UW System Administrative Policies, Procedures, & Guidelines

This policy will be effective upon approval. 

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • The revisions to SYS 1, Development, Revision, and Approval of UW System Administrative Policies, Procedures, & Guidelineswould implement a formal interim policy and procedure framework for the UW System Administrative (SYS) policy series.
  • A definition will be added for “Interim Policy/Procedure Action.”
  • The formal interim policy practice would be as follows:
    • An interim policy/procedure action will either:
      • draft a new interim SYS policy or procedure  to address an emergency, where an interim policy/procedure action addresses a high-level concern that requires clarification sooner than would be allowed by the full SYS policy review process (e.g., furloughs to address financial challenges of COVID-19), with the intention that a normal SYS policy or procedure will be drafted and reviewed to replace the interim policy action; or
      • amend or waive provisions of an existing policy or procedure during the course of an emergency situation, if the action is only temporarily necessary (e.g., one-time extension of the due date of a required report).
    • All interim policy/procedure actions will include an expiration date, which can be no longer than one year after the policy action is approved. An interim policy/procedure action may only be extended beyond a one-year period from the original issuance date under extraordinary circumstances. The policy owner must provide justification in writing, and that justification must be approved by the relevant UW System Vice President(s) and the UW System President prior to any extension taking effect.
    • An interim policy/procedure action that is originally published with an expiration date of less than a year from its original issuance date may be extended up to a year from its issuance date upon approval by the UW System President.
    • All interim policy/procedure actions must be approved by the UW System President.
    • If an interim policy/procedure action addresses a need in the UW System that will exist beyond one year or the original justified effective period, a related draft SYS policy or procedure will be created and sent through the SYS policy review process.
  • Reference will be added to a new accompanying procedure, SYS 1.D, UW System Interim Policy/Procedure Action Template, which will be used for all interim SYS policy/procedure actions

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • All interim UW System Administrative policies and procedures must adhere to this practice. This policy does not apply to Regent Policy Documents (RPDs). It also does not apply to institution-specific policies, procedures, or guidelines.

Campus Implementation

  • This policy does not apply to RPDs or institution-specific policies, procedures, or guidelines.

Additional Communication

  • No further communication is planned at this time.

RESCISSION- SYS 235, Personal Services Payments

Background Summary of Policy

  • The University of Wisconsin System secures the personal services of individuals and business entities through one of two methods: an employer/employee relationship or an agreement with an independent contractor. The purposes of this paper are to provide the criteria which should be used in selecting between the methods of securing the services and to describe the corresponding procedures for compensation of such services. Neither payrolled scholarships and fellowships nor subcontracts of extramurally supported projects are addressed in this paper.

Rationale for Rescission

  • SYS 235contained a mishmash of policy topics covering at least 3 distinct subject areas: the utilization of independent contractors; the utilization of employees borrowed from other institutions and governmental units; and the employment/compensation of foreign nationals.
  • In the interest of clarity and transparency, the three subject areas have been split into three new policiesSYS 236, Utilization of Independent Contractors,SYS 237, Utilization of Borrowed Employees, and SYS 238, Payments to Foreign Nationals.  As part of this reorganization, policies SYS 235 and SYS 1236 are being rescinded due to redundancy.  Some technical elements of SYS 235 are also being relocated into SYS 540 in the procurement series.
  • This reorganization creates no new compliance obligations and does not eliminate any existing compliance obligations.

SYS 236, Utilization of Independent Contractors

This policy will be effective upon approval. 

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • SYS 236 is one of three new policies replacing SYS 235, Personal Services Payments.  This policy identifies the circumstances under which independent contractors may be used, the criteria for their selection and the mechanisms by which they may be compensated.
  • Technical revisions were made to place the policy in the updated template.
  • The elements of SYS 235 and its related attachments which covered independent contractors have been separated and captured in this policy.
  • Existing procurement rules and processes related to independent contractor services have been collected and aggregated into this policy

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy is administered jointly by each institution’s Department of Human Resources and Department of Procurement, or their functional equivalents.
  • This policy applies to all UW System institutions.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • Institutions must adhere to the provisions of this policy.  Contractor selection and approval processes may be tailored to the local campuses, but may not circumvent the substantive requirements of the policy.
  • Where local campus policies have referenced SYS-235, those policies should be updated and the new references made to SYS 236, SYS 237 and SYS 238, as appropriate.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

SYS 237, Utilization of Borrowed Employees/Employee Interchange Agreements

This policy will be effective upon approval. 

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • SYS 237 is one of three new policies replacing SYS 235, Personal Services Payments.  This policy additionally replaces SYS 1236, Temporary Interchange,bringing all HR requirements related to Employee Interchange Agreements into a single policy.  This policy identifies the provisions under which UW System Institutions may lend or borrow employees to or from other UW System Institutions, Wisconsin State agencies, the Federal Government, local governmental entities and foreign governments.
  • Technical revisions were made to place the policy in the updated template.
  • The elements of SYS 235 and its related attachments which covered Employee Interchange Agreements have been separated and captured in this policy.
  • The requirements previously contained in SYS 1236 have been imported to this policy, and upon its adoption, SYS 1236 will be rescinded.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy is applicable to all UW System Institutions, and is administered by each institution’s Department of Human Resources or their functional equivalents.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • Institutions must adhere to the provisions of this policy.  They may not tailor them to their campuses.
  • Where local campus policies have referenced SYS 235, or SYS 1236, those policies should be updated and the new references made to SYS 236, SYS 237 and SYS 238, as appropriate.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

SYS 238, Payments to Foreign Nationals

This policy will be effective upon approval. 

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • SYS 238 is one of three new policies replacing SYS 235, Personal Services Payments.  This policy establishes the circumstances and procedures under which a UW System Institution may compensate a foreign national for personal services; reimburse the individual for travel; award scholarships, fellowships, academic prizes and awards; or compensate the individual for work as a research subject.
  • Technical revisions were made to place the policy in the updated template.
  • The elements of SYS 235 and its related attachments which covered payments to foreign nationals have been separated and captured in this policy.
  • Existing procurement, tax and payroll rules related to payments to foreign nationals have been collected and aggregated into this policy.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy is administered cooperatively by each institution’s Department of Human Resources, Department of Procurement and Office of International Services, or their functional equivalents.

This policy applies to all UW System institutions.

Expectation of Campuses on UWSA Policy Reporting

  • Institutions must adhere to the provisions of this policy.  They may not tailor them to their campuses.

Where local campus policies have referenced SYS 235, those policies should be updated and the new references made to SYS 236, SYS 237 and SYS 238, as appropriate.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

RESCISSION- SYS 1236, Temporary Interchange

Background Summary of Policy

  • Stat. § 230.047 outlined the procedures for temporary interchange of personnel.  Intergovernmental cooperation, including that specified in the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, is an essential factor in resolving problems affecting this state.  The interchange of personnel on a temporary basis between and among governmental agencies at the same or different levels of government and with institutions of higher education is a significant factor in achieving such cooperation.

Rationale for Rescission


Policies with 60-day Feedback period

The deadline to review and submit feedback for the policies below via the comment form is Wednesday, November 25.

SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting

This policy will be effective upon approval

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance on academic degree program array management actions, including approvals of new programs, review of program suspensions and eliminations, changes to programs, program reviews, as well as other required reporting and approval items at the Board of Regents or UW System level. The policy is being revised to remove the Procedures and Guidelines, to update policy language related to accreditation, and to update minor policy changes. As a part of the UW System new policy process, the following changes are reflected in this version of the policy.
    • Procedures removed and placed in a separate procedure document.
    • Guidelines removed and posted in a separate guidelines area.
    • Fast Track process added to pre-approval policy and process.
    • Adding or removing a specific major to an A.A. or A.S. degree added.
    • Adding or removing a concentration to an A.A. or A.S. degree added.
    • Publishing or unpublishing an academic degree program added.
    • Reporting Additional Locations changed to annual, not contemporaneous, reporting.
    • Reporting of Dual Degrees changed to annual, not contemporaneous, reporting.
    • Annual reporting of articulation agreements link to university website added.
    • Reporting of first review of academic degree programs eliminated.
    • Guidance on submajors removed.
    • Submitting a Cost and Revenue Projections Narrative added to required authorization documents.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy impacts the areas on campuses involved in the planning and delivery of academic programs.

Campus Implementation

  • Campuses must adhere to the provisions of this policy.
  • Adherence to this policy is not anticipated to require additional campus resources.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

SYS 145, Development and Operation of Off-Campus International and Study Away Education Programs for University of Wisconsin System Students

This policy will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy has been expanded to include expectations for study away programs.
    • In Section 4, Background, added verbiage about the benefits of study away for the student experience.
    • In Section 5, Definitions, added definitions for International Education Advisory Council and Study Away.
    • Policy is updated to include study away programs as a request from our universities.
    • Inserted “study away” where study abroad is mentioned.
    • Separated where appropriate international and study away.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy will impact faculty, academic staff, and students involved in study abroad and study away programs.

Campus Implementation

  • Campuses must adhere to the provisions of this policy.
  • Adherence to this policy is not anticipated to require additional campus resources.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

 SYS 146, University of Wisconsin System Faculty and Academic Staff for Study Abroad and Study Away

These policy revisions will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy has been expanded to include expectations for study away programs.
    • Policy updated to reflect changes in SYS 145 related to study abroad and study away.
    • Added the study away option to each major policy element including definitions, responsibilities of faculty and staff, responsibilities of institutions and the UW system and host considerations.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy will affect faculty and academic staff involved in study abroad and study away programs.

Campus Implementation

  • Campuses must adhere to the provisions of this policy.
  • The faculty and staff who participate in study away will have the same responsibilities and benefits and recognition as faculty and staff who participate in study abroad programs. The revenue resource would be through tuition and fees. There may be additional opportunities to earn revenue from domestic study away programs. On the other hand, there may be additional costs to put up the programs.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.

SYS 160, Faculty Sabbatical Program

This policy will be effective upon approval.

Summary of Policy and Policy Revisions

  • This policy provides information on eligibility and procedures for the UW System faculty sabbatical program. There are no new eligibility requirements, rather a change in formatting the policy. These revisions placed the policy in the most recent policy template, and aligned policy content with Regent Policy Document 20-5, Sabbatical Leave Program for Instructional Faculty.
    • In Section 5, Definitions, added definitions for Sabbatical and Sabbatical Leave.
    • In Section 6, Policy Statement, added a section forRoles and Responsibilities of the Sabbatical Leave Process.
    • In Section 6, Policy Statement, renamed subheadings to better describe section content.
    • In Section 6, Policy Statement, reordered the substantive content.

Affected Areas on Campuses

  • This policy applies to UW System’s instructional faculty who are eligible to receive sabbatical leave.

Campus Implementation

  • Campuses must adhere to the provisions of this policy.
  • Adherence to this policy is not anticipated to take additional campus resources.

Additional Communication

  • No additional communication is planned at this time.