This policy was a part of the former UPS Policy set that was integrated into the System Administrative Policy set. It applies to all University of Wisconsin institutions except for UW-Madison. For UW-Madison’s policies, please see the Human Resource Design Policies website.

Original Issuance Date: July 1, 2015
Last Revision Date: January 23, 2023

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for managing and evaluating performance that fosters employee engagement, encourages continuous performance improvement and maximizes the individuals’ contribution to the University of Wisconsin System (UW System). The performance management process aligns the individuals’ efforts to the organization’s goals where job-related and role-specific performance expectations are established; continuous feedback, career and professional development opportunities, and recognition for meritorious performance is afforded to all employees. The performance management process is a critical component and requirement of pay plan administration and other compensation decisions.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

3. Scope

This policy provides the performance management framework for all UW System employees, other than employees-in-training and student hourly employees, except for employees at UW-Madison.

4.  Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115 authorizes and directs the University of Wisconsin System to develop two distinct personnel systems: one for UW-Madison and one for all other UW System institutions.

UW System has elected align with ER 45.03 (3), which requires a performance evaluation be completed with each employee at least every 12 months.

Wis. Admin. Code § 3.05 requires periodic review of faculty performance.

5. Policy Definitions

Please see SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions, for a list of general terms and definitions.

Definitions specific to this policy:

Performance evaluation: A continual process of identifying, measuring, and developing job-related employee performance.

Performance management: A continual process of establishing expectations, ongoing coaching and feedback, and measuring outcomes in formal performance evaluations of employees.

6. Policy Statement

University staff, academic staff, faculty and limited appointees must participate in the annual performance management process, where job related performance expectations are established; goals and objectives are clearly defined and documented; and on-going feedback is provided. Performance outcomes are measured against expectations, established goals and objectives. Employees-in-training and student hourly employees are exempt from the formal performance management process.

A. Components of a Systematic Performance Evaluation Process

For all employee categories the performance management process shall include:

  1. A systematic process that includes goal setting, continuous coaching and feedback, and a documented performance rating scale, where one rating category must indicate the equivalent of satisfactory or meritorious performance. A mechanism to address poor performance should be included.
  2. Performance evaluations and ratings are retained according to the established University of Wisconsin System and UW-Madison General Records Schedule for Human Resource and Related Records and based on the institution’s policy.
  3. Written goals and expectations are established based on role-specific job-related duties and responsibilities.
  4. Performance conversations between the employee and supervisor must take place at regular intervals. A formal performance evaluation review shall be conducted with each employee at least every 12 months. One formal rating must be documented, and multiple touch points are encouraged throughout the rating cycle.
  5. The supervisors’ observations, the employee’s self-evaluation and feedback from others with whom the employee routinely interacts may be considered as factors in the overall performance rating. Performance reviews shall be conducted in accordance with the performance standards outlined Recommendation #9 of the 1992 Report of the Governor’s Commission on University of Wisconsin Compensation, adopted by the Board as Regent Resolution #6198, which states salary adjustments should be awarded primarily, if not exclusively, on the basis of merit.
  6. Appropriate governance input should be sought in the development and on-going maintenance of performance management policies prior to being finalized.
  7. Mandatory training to include Preventing Sexual Harassment and Violence and Information Security Awareness and other pay plan related requirements must be completed as a requirement for pay plan eligibility.

B. Non-faculty positions: Academic Staff, Limited Appointees, University Staff

  1. Each institution shall have a formal performance management process for academic staff, limited appointees and university staff. Employees must be evaluated a minimum of once per year in a formal process, where supervisors provide documentation of the performance rating and evidence that supports the rating.
  2. Each institution’s evaluation process for instructional academic staff shall incorporate the use of Student Evaluation of Instruction in accordance with Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction.

C. Faculty Positions

1. Tenured Faculty

a. Each University of Wisconsin System institution must have an evaluation process, in accordance with Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 3.05 and developed through the normal governance process, for tenured faculty review and development.  Each institution’s evaluation process must include the components identified in Regent Policy Document 20-9, Guidelines for Tenured Faculty Review and Development.

b. Each institution’s evaluation process shall incorporate the use of student evaluation of instruction in accordance with Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction.

2. Probationary Faculty

a. Each University of Wisconsin institution shall have an evaluation process in accordance with Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 3.05 for non-tenured faculty review and development. The purpose of the evaluation process is to promote development of professional skills and academic excellence and identify areas for improvement, along with recommendations for performance improvement.

D. Teaching Assistants

1. Each UW System institution employing teaching assistants shall have a plan to establish standards for supervision and evaluation of teaching assistants pursuant to SYS 1255, Teaching Assistants Selection and Training.

7. Related Documents:

Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 3.05, Periodic Review
Regent Policy Document 20-9, Periodic Post-Tenure Review in Support of Tenured Faculty Development Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction
Recommendation #9 of the 1992 Report of the Governor’s Commission on University of Wisconsin Compensation, adopted by the Board as Regent Resolution #6198
SYS 1255, Teaching Assistants Selection and Training
SYS 1278, UW System Pay Plan Distribution Framework for University Workforce

8. Policy History

Revision 2: January 23, 2023

Revision 1: November 19, 2019

First Approved: July 1, 2015

9. Scheduled Review

January 2028