This System policy applies to ranked faculty1 and replaces all former Chapter 36 and Chapter 37 Board of Regents’ policies relating to the topics covered.

The policy recognizes special requirements in establishing the appointment period for University faculty members.

The activities of a faculty member are not organized in terms of a specified number of hours and days in specified locations.  Rather, as with professionals practicing law or medicine, recent surveys indicate that university faculty members on the average devote from 50 to 60 hours per week to university activity.  The time devoted to such activity may vary from week to week or month to month during the course of an academic year.  Frequently, the faculty member engages in activity related to his/her university responsibilities outside the academic year.  The university activity of any faculty member is subject to institutional policy on teaching loads, advising hours  or schedules; the primary responsibility for monitoring and assuring equity is placed at the departmental level where peer group judgment on promotion, tenure, and salary levels is initiated.

This pattern of individual activity best sustains the special character and vitality of an academic community.  The policies enunciated herein have been designed to preserve the essential character of the academic community while setting minimum service expectations of faculty members for the academic year, establishing reasonable methods of calculating pay periods and entitlements to various fringe benefits, and regulating reasonably the use of overload payments to faculty members holding full-time appointments.

I. The academic year calendar;

The regular academic year covers a full nine-month period which is the basis for academic year appointments.  The following guidelines permit the institutions to vary the academic calendar within the nine-month period which is the basis for academic year appointments.  The following guidelines permit the institutions to vary the academic calendar within the nine-month period of the academic year.

The Chancellor of each institution, in consulting with the faculty, should determine the primary divisions of the academic year calendar.  The calendar may be organized in two semesters, three quarters, or modules of semesters or quarters and shorter terms (mini-sessions, inter-sessions, etc.) within the academic year period.  The contractual academic year shall consist of a full nine months (39 weeks) and shall include not fewer than 34 weeks of organized services for students including classroom instruction, registration, advising, and examining.

After the institution has determined its calendar and designated periods for instruction, registration, advising, examination, and official state holidays, the time remaining which is not on the organized calendar shall be used by faculty members for scholarly pursuits and instructional development as individual, self-directed professionals.

II. The awarding of credit;

The institutions shall award credit to students successfully completing approved instructional programs, or demonstrating competence or learning equivalent to that provided by such programs as either semester credits, or quarter credits.  It is assumed that study leading to one semester credit represents an investment of time by the average student of not fewer than 48 hours for class contact in lectures, for laboratories, examinations, tutorials and recitations, and for preparation and study; or a demonstration by the student of learning equivalent to that established as the expected product of such a period of study.  Study leading to one quarter of credit represents two-thirds of that set as the standard for one semester credit.

III. The period of appointment for faculty;

a. An annual appointment extends for a period of twelve months and normally begins on July 1.  Faculty members on annual appointment shall accrue vacation at the rate of 22 working days per year.

b. An academic year appointment extends for the nine-month academic year specified in the calendar of the institution as approved by the Board of Regents and should ordinarily begin no earlier than one week before the first day of scheduled campus registration for the fall term and should end no later than one week after the date of spring commencement when commencement follows the last day of scheduled instruction, or when there is no commencement (as for the UW Colleges), or when commencement precedes the final day of instruction, no later than one week after the last day of scheduled classes.  The institution may contract with the faculty member for distribution of the equivalent of his/her academic year of service over the twelve-month calendar year; but, in any event, the contractual academic year shall consist of not fewer than thirty-nine (39) contiguous weeks.

IV. Compensation adjustments for interrupted service or unanticipated termination of appointments;

In the event of unanticipated termination of service during the term of an appointment, as for example by death or resignation, or interrupted service due to termination or suspension without pay, payment for services shall be terminated or suspended following cessation of services.  The final check shall be calculated so that the faculty member receives full compensation for that portion of the academic year or annual appointment completed.  For annual appointments, accrued vacation time will be paid in addition.

a. For faculty on academic year appointments, the final check shall be calculated as the product of the salary for the payroll period (1/9 of the academic year salary) times the fraction of the payroll period completed.  That fraction is the ratio of the number of calendar days in the payroll period completed as a proportion of the total calendar days in the payroll period in which service was interrupted.

For faculty members on academic year appointments, but on a ten- or twelve-pay period assignment schedule, the final check, in case of interrupted service or unanticipated termination, shall also include that portion of the earned salary that was due in the tenth, or tenth through twelfth, payments(s).  The earned additional amount to be paid in the final check is to be determined by multiplying the following factors:  (1) the salary fraction escrowed per pay period; (2) the pay period salary; and (3) the number of pay period completed (or fractions thereof computed as above) up to a total of nine.  For the ten-pay plan, the salary fraction escrowed per pay period is 1/9 of each pay period salary; for the twelve-pay plan, the salary fraction escrowed per period is 1/3 of each pay period salary.

b. For faculty on annual appointment, the final check shall be calculated as the product of the salary for the payroll period (1/12 of the annual salary) times the fraction of the payroll period completed.  That fraction is the ratio of the number of calendar days in the payroll period competed as a proportion of the total calendar days in the payroll period in which service was interrupted.

V. Eligibility for;

a. Sick leave: Faculty members who are absent and eligible for paid sick leave shall be charged at the rate of five days per week excluding weekends and legal state holidays and in conformity with the University of Wisconsin faculty sick leave Policy.2

b. Retirement: Retirement credits are reported in days per month. Days reported will be for the academic year as defined by each institution excluding weekends.

c. Unemployment compensation and social security: The end of a semester or academic year as defined by the institution unless there is interrupted service or unanticipated termination will be reported as the last day worked.

VI. Unanticipated assignments for faculty members3 from University sources during the period of appointment;

a. General policy.

The salary received by full time faculty members is considered to be full compensation for university activity during their appointment period.  Thus, such faculty members may not receive compensation for an overload activity from any funds administered within the University System, regardless of source, except through procedures and within standards provided in this policy.

Recurring needs for a faculty member to assume special institutional responsibilities should be handled through some method other than overload payments. The following alternatives are suggested:

  1. An adjustment in the faculty member’s existing responsibilities to release time for a new assignment.
  2. Reevaluate the individual’s existing and added duties to determine whether a temporary revision of base salary is appropriate.
  3. Compensate, if possible, for the added load by converting an academic year appointment to an annual appointment.

Exceptions are subject to specific advance approval of the Chancellor(s) or designee whose unit(s) is (are) involved and must be of an unusual, short-term, or nonrecurring nature.  When exceptions are granted, two methods for dealing with an ad hoc or temporary need for special institutional services are suggested:

  1. Overload payment made directly to the faculty member;
  2. Purchase of load wherein there is a transfer of money into the faculty member’s department or employing unit as a purchase of institutional time from that unit.  This may permit the release of the unit’s resources to support other scholarly activities of the individual or unit.

Compensation for such exceptions cannot exceed the statutory limitations as defined in the Wisconsin Statutes (Section 16.417 (2)4.  This limitation (i.e., $12,000/year) is to be applied to all full-time employees (academic or annual).

Calculation of overload payments shall be made in conformance to methodology developed in UW System Administrative Policy 230 (SYS 230), Salary & Fringe Benefit Calculations for Unclassified Staff.

b. Mini-sessions during the academic year.

Faculty may receive additional payment for mini-sessions scheduled during the academic year when the addition of a mini-session or inter-session results in a teaching load that exceeds the institution’s regular expected teaching load for fall and spring semesters.

c. Summer session and post-commencement (-term) mini-sessions.

Budgets for mini-sessions conducted outside of the period of the nine-month academic year shall be included in this part of the annualized budget allocated to summer session activities of the institution.  Compensation received from the University in the summer period should not in aggregate exceed two-ninths of the academic year salary of the person appointed unless an explicit exception is granted by the Chancellor (or designee).

d. Interinstitutional instructional consulting, or technical service on an overload basis.

One of the assumptions of merger is that the University of Wisconsin System should be able to arrange for the sharing of expertise among the various Units.  Where the need for this interinstitutional service is short-term in nature, it is often necessary to arrange for appropriate compensation on an overload basis.

Overload payment for such services may be authorized only by the concerned Chancellors (or their designees) when the service falls outside the regularly assigned responsibilities of the person sought and is provided without affecting adversely performance of such regularly assigned responsibilities.  The activity should meet the standard of being unusual, short-term, or nonrecurring.

e. Off-campus credit instruction.

Off-campus credit courses should, when taught by full-time faculty members  during their appointment period, be taught insofar as possible as part of their assigned full- time responsibilities.  It should be recognized that past practice of the institutions has varied on the use of overload payment for such purposes, as well as on the use of ad hoc instruction.  Moreover, institutions may find it desirable to maintain flexibility in the use of instructional funds and in adapting off-campus offerings to rapidly changing needs by continuing to staff some part of their off-campus credit offerings through use of overload payment and ad hoc employment.  The UW System sets as a standard that no more than one-third of the staffing of off-campus credit instruction by any System institution be provided through overload or ad hoc arrangements and that such staffing be recommended by the relevant academic department or its functional equivalent and approved by the Chancellor (or designee).

The level of use of overload payment and ad hoc arrangements for off-campus credit instruction shall be monitored by each Chancellor (or designee).

With reference to statewide outreach planning, UW-Extension has responsibility for the coordination of off-campus credit offerings as set forth in UW System Administrative Policy 130 (SYS 130), Programming for the Non-Traditional Market in the UW System.  When institutions are unable to budget for off-campus credit courses as a part-of-load, such courses will continue to be budgeted through UW-Extension.  Where that is the case, the provisions of SYS 130, Programming for the Non-Traditional Market in the UW System, Section IV. C. apply.

For purposes of this section, ad hoc appointments are temporary appointments of persons employed to meet a particular teaching assignment, the need for which has not been anticipated in the planning of the teaching responsibilities and budget of a particular academic unit.  Such appointments are made to persons who are not members of the institutional faculty, its academic staff (such as clinical professors), or its graduate assistants.  Also for purposes of this section, any campus credit offerings scheduled and taught on campus through a campus extension division shall be considered within the same policy applying to off-campus offerings.

f. Non-credit continuing education and public service programs.

The University of Wisconsin System commits itself to respond to the continuing education and public service needs of Wisconsin residents.  To the extent that these needs can be anticipated for any regular budget period, budget arrangements should be developed to structure such assignments as part of the regular load of full-time faculty members.

If these assignments have not been anticipated, or cannot be accommodated in the regular load, overload payments may be authorized according to the policy and limits established in accord with this policy document.

With reference to statewide outreach planning, UW-Extension has responsibility for the coordination and budgeting of non-credit offerings as outlined in the April 1982 Regent’s Policy and as set forth in the UW System Administrative Procedure 125.A (SYS 125.A), Administrative Guidelines For UW System Implementation Of Regent Policy On Integration Between UW-Extension And The UW Institutions .

g. Monitoring of overload payments.

The Chancellor of each institution shall be responsible for monitoring overload payments and shall provide the UWS Office of Academic Affairs, upon request, a list of persons receiving overload payments having a cumulative annual total per individual of $5,000.00 or more.


Administrative Appendix to SYS 165


1. Where appropriate this policy applies also to those academic staff members assigned instructional responsibilities.

2. In establishing a System sick leave policy, accumulation and usage of sick leave by other state employees was considered

3. Applies also to those academic staff members assigned instructional responsibilities

4. Wisconsin Statutes Section 16.417(2)(a)

No individual other than an elective state official who is employed or retained with an agency or authority may hold any other position or be retained in any other capacity with an agency or authority from which the individual receives, directly or indirectly, more than $12,000 from the agency or authority as compensation for the individual’s services during the same year.

Approved by the Regents: May 09, 1975

Revision History:

May 9, 1975
December 17, 1976 (Revised)
November 29, 1977 (Revised)
July 11, 1980 (Revised)
May 11, 1984 (Revised)
February 11, 2000 (Revised)

Last Revised: February 11, 2000