Original Issuance Date: September 4, 2015
Last Revision Date: February 18, 2021
1. Policy Purpose
Administrative 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 administrative policies and procedures is issued to promote these objectives.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
This policy applies to the development, revision, and approval of UW System Administrative Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines. 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: Definition of UW System Administrative Policies. Regent Policy Documents are policies maintained by the Office of the Board of Regents and can be found at https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/policies/.
Administrative policies cover a wide range of subject areas that affect UW System institutions and apply systemwide. There are two general administrative policy areas: Academic and Student Affairs Policies that govern issues such as international education, program audits, and program planning and review, and Finance and General Administration Policies that govern areas such as information technology, tuition and fees, and capital planning & budget.
Administrative policies are central to the governance of the System and need to be developed, approved, and communicated in a manner that is clearly defined and easily understood by internal and external stakeholders. Administrative procedures contain a series of action steps specifying how a policy should be implemented. Administrative guidelines provide supplemental information to help ensure consistent compliance and interpretation across campuses. Interim policy/procedure actions are policies or procedure designed to address an emergency that are needed within a period too short to go through the full review process, with a set expiration date.
This policy creates a standard format and establishes parameters for the development and approval of administrative policies, procedures, and guidelines and for interim policy/procedure actions.
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 Administrative Procedures: Contain a sequence of action steps related to a policy that specifies how that policy should be implemented. Administrative procedures may include specific instructions and forms that foster compliance with an associated policy.
UW System Administrative Guidelines: Documents typically associated with policies that help with compliance, interpretation, and might suggest best practice(s) in a given operational area.
Interim Policy/Procedure Action: Policies or procedures that are needed to address an emergency within a period too short to go through the full review process. These interim policy/procedure actions always have an expiration date, typically within one year of approval. An interim policy/procedure action can establish new practices or amend, waive, or suspend provisions of existing SYS policies or procedures.
6. Policy Statement
A. UW System Administrative Policy, Procedure, Guidelines, & Interim Policy/Procedure Action Formatting
The following sections shall be included in all administrative 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 ):
- Policy Purpose
- Responsible UW System Officer
- Policy Statement
- Related Documents
- Policy History
- Scheduled Review
Administrative procedures developed after the effective date of this policy shall use a consistent format, SYS 1.B, UW System Administrative Procedure Template, where practical.
Administrative guidelines developed after September 12, 2019 shall use the consistent format, SYS 1.C, UW System Administrative Guideline Template.
Interim policy/procedure actions shall use a consistent format, SYS 1.D, UW System Interim Policy/Procedure Action Template.
B. Standard UW System Administrative Policy Process
Academic and Student Affairs Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines will be developed and revised under the guidance of the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.
Finance and General Administration Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines will be developed and revised under the guidance of the Office of Administration and the Office of Finance.
The development and review processes for both (1) Academic and Student Affairs Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines and (2) Finance and General Administration Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines are outlined in administrative policies to be established by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and the Office of Administration and the Office of Finance. These policies, and any subsequent revisions to these policies, are subject to the approval of the UW System President.
The development or revision of administrative 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 administrative policies and procedures. Administrative guidelines should be reviewed by relevant UWSA policy owners prior to requesting approval. Administrative 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 Administrative Policies. All procedural documents associated with administrative policies shall be approved by the appropriate Vice President or the Executive Director of UW-Shared Services, 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.
C. Interim UW System Administrative Policy/Procedure Actions
Interim policy/procedure actions may be necessary to address an emergency situation by:
- Drafting a new policy/procedure action, 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
- Amending/waiving provisions of an existing policy or procedure, if the action is to be necessary for only a temporary time (e.g., one-time extension of the due date of a required report).
All interim policy/procedure actions will include an expiration date, which will be no longer than one year after the policy or procedure 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 for the extension. That justification must be approved by the relevant UW System Vice President or the Executive Director of UW-Shared Services and UW System President prior to any extension taking effect. The UW System President must approve all interim policy/procedure actions.
An interim policy/procedure 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. If an interim policy/procedure action addresses an operational or business need that exists 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.
7. Related Documents
UW System Administrative Procedure 1.D, UW System Interim Policy and/or Procedure Template
(Editable versions of SYS 1.A, 1.B, 1.C, and 1.D can be found on the Administrative Policy Resources for Policy Owners and Responsible Officers page)
8. Policy History
Revision 5: February 18, 2021
Revision 4: November 11, 2020
Revision 3: September 12, 2019
Revision 2: December 7, 2018
Revision 1: March 29, 2016
First approved: September 4, 2015
9. Scheduled Review