Policy

1. Policy Purpose

Academic and Student Affairs policies, procedures, and guidelines must be up-to-date, consistent in format and how they are approved, and easily accessible and understandable to stakeholders. This policy on the development and approval of Academic and Student Affairs policies and procedures is issued to promote these objectives. 

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

3. Scope and Institutional Responsibilities

The policy applies to the development, revision, and approval of UW Academic and Student Affairs Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines within the UW System Administrative (SYS) Policy set. This policy does not apply to Regent Policy Documents (RPDs), which are policies of the UW System Board of Regents and maintained by the Office of the Board of Regents. RPDs can be found at https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/policies/. This policy does not apply to institution-specific policies, procedures, or guidelines. 

This policy also applies to any successor policy categories that exist for the same purpose as those listed in Section 5. Regent Policy Documents are policies maintained by the Office of the Board of Regents. 

4. Background

Academic and Student Affairs Policies (ASAPs) provide the necessary management framework to implement the priorities and strategic vision of the Board of Regents.  ASAPs govern and ensure consistent management of many UW System operations, including but not limited to all aspects of academic and student affairs, such as legal compliance, program planning and array management, educational innovation, PK-16, Veterans, faculty, academic staff, and student shared governance, faculty sabbaticals, academic calendar, global  education, faculty development, student transfer, financial aid, college readiness, diversity and inclusive excellence, and Title IX issues. 

The Board of Regents approves policies through Regent Policy Documents (RPDs).  These policies form the governing framework for the UW System.  An ASAP is an administrative implementation policy related to an RPD or state statute within the area of Academic and Student Affairs.  ASAPs focus on specific operational details and procedures, while RPDs focus on broader governance issues and policy guidance to UW System Administration and the UW institutions. 

This policy creates a standard format for academic and student affairs policies and establishes parameters for the development and approval of academic and student affairs policies, procedures, and guidelines. 

5. Definitions

UW System Administrative Policies: Policies that are broadly applicable across all UW System institutions and are designed to promote efficiency, reduce risk, and/or enhance the operational objectives of the UW System.  These policies include the former UPS policy series that applies to all UW Institutions excluding UW Madison. Administrative policies shall establish standards to achieve compliance with or implement applicable laws, regulations, and Regent Policy Documents, where appropriate. An administrative policy includes the following policy categories in existence at the time of initial publication of this policy: 

  • Academic Planning Statements 
  • Academic Information Series 
  • Financial and Administrative Policies and Procedures 

UW System Academic and Student Affairs Procedures: Contain a sequence of action steps related to a policy that specifies how that policy should be implemented. Academic and Student Affairs procedures may include specific instructions and forms that foster compliance with an associated policy. 

UW System Academic and Student Affairs Guidelines: Documents typically associated with policies that help with compliance, interpretation, and might suggest best practice(s) in an operational area. 

Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee (OASAPC): The standing committee is established under this policy to coordinate the approval, revision, and regular review of the ASAPs for a term to be specified by the VP of Academic and Student Affairs.  The ASAPC is created with broad representation to lead integrated policy development, analysis, and review.  The ASAPC shall be comprised of one representative from each of the following areas: 

  • Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs (Chair) or designee 
  • Vice President for Finance (or designee) 
  • Vice President for Administration (or designee) 
  • AVP of OPAR (or designee) 
  • AVP of Academic Programs and Educational Innovation (or designee) 
  • AVP of Student Affairs and Student Success (or designee) 
  • UW System Senior Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer 

Responsible UW System Administration (UWSA) Officer: The officer who has primary responsibility for a given OASAPC based on its content or administrative relevance.  The Responsible UWSA Officer is designated by the Vice President of the Office for Academic and Student Affairs, who may delegate authority to act on his/her behalf under the OASAPC. 

6. Policy Statement

The following sections shall be included in all academic and student affairs policies developed or existing policies that are revised after the initial effective date of this policy. Policies shall be consistent with the UW System Administrative Policy Template (SYS 1.A): 

  1. Policy Purpose 
  2. Responsible UW System Officer 
  3. Scope 
  4. Background 
  5. Definitions 
  6. Policy Statement 
  7. Related Documents 
  8. Policy History 
  9. Scheduled Review 

Academic and student affairs procedures developed after the effective date of this policy shall use a consistent format, SYS 1.B, UW System Administrative Procedure Template, where practical. 

Academic and student affairs guidelines developed after September 12, 2019, shall use the consistent format, SYS 1.C, UW System Administrative Guideline Template. 

The development or revision of academic and student affairs policies and procedures must include the opportunity for appropriate levels of consultation with affected stakeholders and a date upon which the policy will be reviewed by individuals or groups charged with reviewing academic and student affairs policies and procedures. Academic and student affairs guidelines should be reviewed by relevant UWSA policy owners prior to requesting approval. Academic and student affairs policies, procedures, and guidelines are to be developed in alignment with all laws, regulations, Regent Policy Documents and other policies and procedures. 

The UW System President shall approve all UW System Academic and Student Affairs Policies (ASAPs). All procedural documents associated with academic and student affairs policies shall be approved by the appropriate Vice President, as determined by the nature of the procedures being considered. Guidelines are issued and approved by the appropriate Associate Vice President, or if there is none, the Vice President. The Office of the President, or designee, shall serve as the custodian of UW System policies, procedures, and guidelines and work with relevant offices at UW System Administration to ensure the timely communication and publication of all approved policies.

A. Role of the Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee

The approval, revision, and regular review of ASAPs will be coordinated by the Academic and Student Affairs Policy Committee (OASAPC).  Policies should be established or revised to promote operational effectiveness; to preserve resources, to increase efficiency; to comply with applicable laws, regulations, Regent policies, and UW System administrative policies; and to foster a culture of equity and inclusion. 

The OASAPC shall actively evaluate the implementation of policies to ensure that the policies continue to serve the purpose for which they are intended and discontinue policies that are no longer needed or obsolete or that have been superseded by other policies and policy revisions.  The OASAPC shall also develop and maintain a meaningful classification system by which to order and number ASAPs.

B. Development of a New Academic and Student Affairs Policy

  1. Proposals for a new ASAP should be submitted to the OASAPC Chair from the Responsible UWSA Officer who has primary responsibility for the relevant policy area, as determined by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, using the policy proposal form.  Other individuals, such as UWSA staff or institution constituents wishing to propose a new ASAP should consult with the Responsible UWSA Officer. Consideration should be given to whether a System policy is needed or whether the same policy objectives can be accomplished through delegation to the chancellors or the revision of existing policies. 
  2. The OASAPC will consult with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, to obtain approval to proceed with policy development. 
  3. If approved, the OASAPC shall collaborate with the Responsible UWSA Officer to consult with relevant stakeholders in the development of a policy draft.  Members of the committee from the offices with purview over the policy shall assume primary responsibility for this process. 
  4. Consultation about the development of a new ASAP may include, but is not limited to, chancellors, chief academic officers, and provosts; external relations staff, as appropriate; and relevant shared governance groups, as well as subject-matter experts. 
  5. After consultation with relevant stakeholder groups and endorsement by the ASAPC, the OASAPC Chair and the Responsible UWSA Officer designated in the endorsed ASAP shall submit the ASAP to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs for approval. 
  6. Upon approval of the proposed ASAP by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the proposed ASAP shall be presented to the UW System President for final approval.  If the UW System President approves the final version of the ASAP, the OASAPC shall communicate the new policy to relevant stakeholder groups and ensure the publication of the new ASAP.  In addition to posting new and amended policies on its website, the Office of Academic and Student Affairs will also create and maintain electronic folders that contain historical and current versions of the policy. 
  7. New ASAPs shall be given an ASAP number which shall also include an indication as to the initial date upon which the UW System President approved the policy. 

C. Substantive Revision to an Existing Academic and Student Affairs Policy

  1. Proposed revisions to existing ASAPs shall be submitted to the OASAPC Chair by the Responsible UWSA Officer using the policy proposal form.  Other individuals wishing to propose amendments to an existing ASAP should consult with the Responsible UWSA Officer. 
  2. The OASAPC will consult with the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs to obtain approval to proceed with amendment of the ASAP. 
  3. If approved, the OASAPC shall collaborate with the Responsible UWSA Officer to consult with relevant stakeholders in the development of draft revisions to the ASAP.  Members of the OASAPC from the functional areas with purview over the policy shall assume responsibility for this process. 
  4. After consultation with relevant stakeholder groups and endorsement by the OASAPC, the OASAPC Chair and the Responsible UWSA Officer designated in the revised ASAP shall submit the revised ASAP to the Vice President consulted with under C. ii for approval. 
  5. Consultation about the substantive revision of an ASAP may include, but is not limited to, chancellors, chief academic officers and Provosts; external relations staff, as appropriate; and relevant shared governance groups, as well as institutional subject-matter experts. 
  6. Upon approval of the revised ASAP by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the revised ASAP shall be presented to the UW System President for final approval.  If the UW System President approves the revised ASAP, the OASAPC shall communicate the new policy to the affected stakeholder groups and ensure publication of the revised ASAP.  The revised ASAP shall maintain its initial ASAP number but the date upon which the revision was approved by the UW System President shall be indicated in the policy. 

D. Technical Amendments to an Existing Academic and Student Affairs Policy

Technical amendments to an ASAP may be proposed by the Responsible UWSA Officer whenever necessary to comply with routine changes in legal standards or business practices.  Examples of technical amendments include but are not limited to: updates to contact information or liaisons, changes in office names, dates and due dates, cross-references to additional information, and grammar/spelling edits. 

  1. The proposed technical amendments should be sent to the OASAPC for review by the Responsible UWSA Officer. 
  2. If there are no objections or modification requests from relevant stakeholders that were consulted about the planned technical amendments being proposed within 10 days, the OASAPC will inform the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, and the UW System President of the technical amendment.  If edits or corrections are proposed, the OASAPC will review them and incorporate them, as appropriate. 
  3. If there is no objection from either the Vice President or the UW System President, the OASAPC will update the ASAP.  The OASAPC shall communicate the new policy to relevant stakeholder groups and ensure publication of the revised ASAP.  The amended ASAP shall maintain its original ASAP number but the date upon which the revision was approved by the UW System President shall be indicated in the policy. 

E. Removal or Rescission of an Existing Academic and Student Affairs Policy

  1. A request to remove/rescind an ASAP may be communicated to the OASAPC by the Responsible UWSA Officer.  The request should include detailed reasoning as to why the ASAP should be removed or rescinded. 
  2. The OASAPC and the Responsible UWSA Officer shall consult with all relevant stakeholder groups as part of the request to remove/rescind a policy. 
  3. If there are no objections or modification requests from relevant stakeholders that were consulted about the planned technical amendments being proposed within 10 days, the OASAPC will recommend removal/rescission of an ASAP to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  Upon approval of the recommendation by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the recommendation shall be presented to the UW System President for final approval. 
  4. If there is no objection from the UW System President, the removal/rescission shall be approved.  The OASAPC shall ensure that notice of the removal/rescission is communicated to relevant stakeholder groups and that historical copies of the policies are kept electronically within the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. 
  5. The removed/rescinded ASAP will retain its original ASAP number, but the version number will be replaced with an “x” after the decimal. 

F. Review Schedule for Existing Academic and Student Affairs Policies

The OASAPC is charged with the development and maintenance of a comprehensive review plan for all ASAPs.  The OASAPC shall request the assistance of UW System offices to conduct reviews of ASAPs.  Reviews should be conducted in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. 

Each new and existing ASAP should be assigned a review date.  At a minimum, ASAPs should be reviewed every five years.  Existing ASAPs that do not follow current numbering conventions developed by the OASAPC should be renumbered during the review. 

The OASAPC may delay a scheduled review with approval from the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.  If approved, the new scheduled review date should be added to the ASAP document. 

The modification or removal of an ASAP resulting from a review should follow the relevant policy process described above. 

7. Related Documents:

8. Policy History:

Revision 1: August 31, 2021

Approved: August 11, 2016

9. Scheduled Review:

August 2026