The University of Wisconsin System is committed to continuing the strong tradition of the Wisconsin Idea. This public service outreach mission in Wisconsin has been an important feature of public higher education since the turn of the century, whereby departments, colleges and schools of all UW System institutions consider the needs of Wisconsin residents and families, professions, businesses and industries, farms, and communities in their teaching and research activities. At three points in the 1980’s
(1982, 1985 and 1988), the Board of Regents adopted policies designed to affirm and strengthen the UW’s outreach mission. In these affirmations, policies were adopted to explicate the outreach functions of all 26 UW System institutions (later reduced to 13 institutions as a result of the UW System Restructuring), to empower UW System’s coordination and oversight of the resulting statewide outreach and public service mission, and to delegate the authority for this statewide outreach and public service mission to one of its institutions, UW-Extension.* With the 2017 restructuring, the Board of Regents expressed the intent to preserve the model of statewide outreach and public service that evolved under UW-Extension.**
*As an historical footnote, In December 2015 the Board of Regents approved a mission change for UW- Extension allowing it to grant its own degrees to better serve the nontraditional learner. This new mission was dissolved when UW-Extension was dissolved as a result of the UW System Restructuring.
**Resolution 10956: Approval of Restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension. This resolution was amended by Resolution 10961: Amendment of Resolution 10956, “Approval of Restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension”.
A Note on the Definition of Extension
State statute defines “Extension” as: “Extension means the community outreach, public service and extension services of the system” (36.05(7) Wis. Stats). As a result of restructuring, the meaning and use of the term “Extension” requires clarification. This clarification is outlined immediately
below, with one purpose of this policy SYS125 being a detailed explanation and clarification of this term and others.
- The term “Extension” as defined for the former UW-Extension embodied the roles and activities of the former UW-Extension’s four major divisions.
- One of these divisions, Cooperative Extension, has now become UW-Madison Extension, continuing to fulfill its county-based statewide outreach and public service responsibilities. Likewise, the other three divisions also continue to fulfill their specific statewide outreach and public service responsibilities within their new administrative homes.
- As “Extension” no longer can refer to the roles and responsibilities of all four units of the former institution, UW-Extension, without creating confusion with “UW-Madison Extension,” it is necessary to clarify that the term “Extension” should now be considered an equivalent shorthand for UW-Madison Extension.
- Additionally and as defined in the remainder of this policy, statewide coordination and oversight responsibilities for outreach and public service are explicitly shared among UW-Madison Extension, Wisconsin Public Media, the Institute for Business Entrepreneurship, and UW Extended Campus, and shall now be referred to as “UW statewide outreach and public service.”
Intent of Regent Policy on the UW System Responsibilities Related to Statewide Outreach and Public Service
None of these efforts are intended, nor do they have the effect of diminishing the vital importance of the outreach and public service responsibilities accepted by every UW institution, which typically are more regional in character. Rather, the actions of the Board of Regents, as embraced
by this policy, serve to affirm the modes of delivery for outreach activities serving the entire State of Wisconsin (hereinafter referred to as “UW statewide outreach and public service”).*
The model of UW statewide outreach and public service has been one of partnership, with four divisions historically responsible for coordination and implementation of specific UW statewide outreach and public service activities. Two of these divisions have been transferred to UW-Madison: Cooperative Extension (having become UW-Madison Extension) and Broadcast and Media Innovations (having become Wisconsin Public Media). The other two divisions have UW System as their administrative home: CEOEL (having become UW Extended Campus) and Business and Entrepreneurship (having become the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship). As examined more fully below, the responsibility and function of these former divisions in relation to UW statewide outreach and public service will continue, consistent with the directive of the Board of Regents, but subject to the oversight of UW-Madison and UW System. That is, UW-Madison and UW System are institutional authorities for the UW statewide outreach and public service units reporting to them, with the units themselves having explicit authorities to execute their respective UW statewide outreach and public service missions.
As was true for UW-Extension, and now will be true of UW-Madison Extension, Wisconsin Public Media, UW Extended Campus, and the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, each of these four entities are granted responsibility for UW statewide outreach and public service by the UW System, to encompass certain key responsibilities, including the following:
- Administration and oversight of dedicated FTE and UW statewide outreach and public service funds (currently designated “104 Funds”)**
- Facilitating coordination and mission coherence among the non-104 Funds-based outreach programs and activities supported by the various UW institutions***
While Wisconsin Public Media is one of the four programs charged with responsibility for UW statewide outreach and public service, it does not allocate FTE or 104 Funds to partner campuses. Therefore, without diminishing the importance of Wisconsin Public Media to the overall conduct of
the UW statewide outreach and public service mission, it is not a subject of direct concern in this policy.
*This nomenclature represents an important affirmation of the role legislatively ascribed to “Extension” when it was embodied in the separate institution, UW-Extension. “Extension” as activity (as opposed to the institution) meant “the community outreach, public service and extension services of the system” (36.05(7) Wis. Stats). Extension-type activity is a component of every campus’s outreach, but statewide coordination and oversight of UW statewide outreach and public service, per se, as provided by the former UW-Extension remains vital. To this end, identification and recognition of the “statewide outreach entities” and their now domain-specific authority over UW statewide outreach and public service (as defined in this policy document) as well as the role they play following the 2017 restructuring of the UW System, preserves the character of “extension” as recognized in 36.05(7) as previously implemented through UW-Extension.
**The intent of this policy is to preserve the described administrative authority over UW statewide outreach funds irrespective of any future changes in the fund designation, e.g., whether labeled as 104 Funds or any other GPR funding source dedicated explicitly to statewide outreach.
***This function will be wholly consistent with the responsibility formerly exercised by UW-Extension in this regard. This function has the specific objective of promoting synergies and avoiding duplication of effort, but does not otherwise impact the programmatic and operational prerogatives of the individual institutions; each campus retains final authority over its non-104 programs and activities, including allocation of FTE and financial support.
UW System Statewide Outreach and Public Service Responsibilities and Authorities Post-2017 Restructuring
This policy updates and revises SYS 125, adopted May 1, 1989. SYS 125 (and its attendant policies, SYS 126-130) elucidate the key elements of the UW System partnership model of UW statewide outreach and public service. In the version of these policies in operation prior to the 2017 UW Restructuring, UW- Extension was a separate institution charged with primary responsibility to oversee and coordinate outreach across the state and with all other UW institutions – including the responsibility to distribute and hold each campus accountable for state funds designated to support the UW outreach mission.These designated funds are currently and commonly referenced to as “104 dollars,” “104 funds” or “Fund 104.” Three categories of outreach activities are supported by 104 funds: county-based programming, continuing and professional education, and small business development and entrepreneurship. Each of these three categories of outreach activities were coordinated and overseen by separate divisions of UW-Extension, respectively Cooperative Extension, Continuing Education, Outreach, and E-Learning (CEOEL) and Business and Entrepreneurship.
In the 2017 UW Restructuring, each of the four major divisions of UW-Extension (the three listed above, plus Broadcast and Media Innovations, or BAMI) moved to new administrative homes. Cooperative Extension and BAMI became the new Division of Extension and Public Media at UW-Madison, reporting directly to UW-Madison. CEOEL became the UW Extended Campus, reporting to UW System. Business and Entrepreneurship became the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, also reporting to UW System. Notwithstanding the relocation of these former divisions of UW-Extension, hereby known as “the three statewide outreach entities,”* the Board of Regents has made clear that those charged with overseeing and coordinating outreach and related programming retain their pre-existing responsibilities, including the receipt and subsequent allocation of FTE and 104 Funds, and that they shall continue to act in partnership as before with UW campuses across the state.
Consistent with this premise, the remainder of this policy will focus on the post-restructuring functions of the three statewide outreach entities responsible for receiving and allocating 104 Funds in support of UW statewide outreach and public service: UW-Madison Extension, UW Extended
Campus, and the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship. Fundamentally, these three entities ensure coordination, mission compatibility and fiscal accountability for UW statewide outreach and public service programs and activities supported by FTE and 104 funds in partnership with various UW campuses.**
*This is a functional reference only, for purposes of this policy alone, given the specificity of emphasis on 104 Funding that is transacted between UW partners. BAMI/Wisconsin Public Media remains active as a the fourth “statewide outreach entity.”
**As noted earlier, the individual campuses will retain final authority over the non-104 FTE and non-104 fund financial support they choose to dedicate to their own outreach programs and activities.
Defining Partnership Responsibilities in the UW Partnership Outreach Model
Insofar as outreach is a responsibility throughout and across the UW System, delegated to all UW institutions, and coordinated and overseen on a statewide basis by delegated units of the UW System consistent with this policy (as revised), and now subject to the direction of UW-Madison and UW
System, respectively,* the first task in this policy is to differentiate the responsibilities of each partner of the reconstituted UW Partnership Outreach Model. All partners are critical to fully execute the outreach portion of UW System’s tripartite research-teaching-outreach mission.
- The three statewide outreach entities through their respective institutions, have delegated coordination and oversight authority from UW System to:
- For UW-Madison Extension: Develop a statewide plan and accountability report that indicates areas of need and priorities, focuses program efforts, and coordinates outreach programs carried out by County Extension offices and UW campuses throughout the state.
- For UW Extended Campus: Develop a statewide plan and accountability report that indicates areas of need and priorities, focuses program efforts, and coordinates outreach programs carried out by continuing and professional education units and other units within each of the UW campuses throughout the state, and with others across the state and beyond.
- For the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship: Develop a statewide plan and accountability report that indicates areas of need and priorities, focuses program efforts, and coordinates outreach programs carried out by entrepreneurship and small business development units and partners throughout the state, some of which are attached to UW campuses.
- For all three statewide outreach entities: Provide statewide leadership with a planning framework and process that links each entity’s statewide long range plan with the annual program plans of the UW campuses that serve as the basis for annual allocation of funds and positions by each of the three entities delegated by UW System to have UW statewide outreach and public service authority.
- For all three statewide outreach entities: Exercise accountability for the expenditures and outcomes for the three statewide outreach entities, and for the collection and reporting of relevant data on each unit’s use of state and federal resources.
- Each UW campus has responsibility and authority to:
- Develop an annual institutional program plan and budget that serve as the basis of its interinstitutional agreements (IIA) with the three statewide outreach units.
- Implement an annual institutional plan responsible for program identification, content, delivery, academic quality, and budget accountability within the context of each of the three statewide outreach entity’s plans.
- Recruit, appoint, promote, and develop faculty and staff with expertise appropriate to its outreach mission.
For the purposes of internal communication, all four UW statewide outreach entities (Wisconsin Public Media, and UW-Madison Extension, the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, and the UW Extended Campus) will confer regularly to ensure that their respective outreach missions remain complementary. In addition, all four programs will submit annual reports in the spring of each year to the Board of Regents, for discussion only. The following sections provide more detail on responsibilities of each partner.
*It is important to note that the responsibilities of UW-Madison and UW System in this regard will be discharged in a manner fully consistent with past practice under UW-Extension, including the commitment to continue allocation of 104 Funds to partnering UW institutions as before, as negotiated annually through Inter-Institutional Agreements. That is, UW-Madison and UW System are institutional authorities for the units reporting to them, with the units themselves having explicit authority to execute their statewide outreach missions. Further, as ordinarily is the case, this commitment remains subject to fundamental changes in mission and purpose as the needs of the state evolve.
I. Planning and Coordination Responsibilities
UW System has assigned the responsibility for statewide program coordination, planning, and oversight of outreach functions to the three entities receiving 104 funds for their respective activities – i.e., UW- Madison Extension, UW Extended Campus, and the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship.* UW-Madison Extension, UW Extended Campus, and the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship are hereby called “the three statewide outreach entities” in the remainder of this document. The Chancellors or their designees of the UW campuses will work with the Directors of each of these three entities (hereby called “the Directors”** in the remainder of this document) to develop and maintain a coordinated, UW statewide outreach and public service plan.
- At each UW campus, the Chancellor, in partnership with the Directors, has the responsibility for approving annual program plans defined in the interinstitutional agreements (IIAs) and monitoring the outreach efforts during the year. Prior to the end of each year, the Directors and the Chancellors, or their respective designees, will review the achievements of the agreed upon programs. Such reviews provide part of the context for the next IIA and provide an indication of the effectiveness of UW statewide outreach and public service.
*Operating under the direction of UW-Madison and UW System, respectively.
**While use of the term Director is employed here as a convenience, UW-Madison Extension is headed by a Dean, the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship is headed by an Executive Director, and the UW Extended Campus is headed by an Executive Director and UW System Senior Vice President.
II. Responsibility for Outreach Activities
- There are two basic forms of outreach activities. Category 1 encompasses those activities which are part of each statewide outreach entity’s IIA, respectively including county-based extension activity, credit and noncredit activity, and activity related to small business development and entrepreneurship. Category 2 activities fall outside of the IIA because of budgetary or programmatic factors, and because they are not supported by other resources such as market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities. Category 2 activities are under the purview of each UW campus. The three statewide outreach entities are, however, assigned reporting responsibility by the UW System for these activities in the areas of coordination and mission compatibility.*
- Category 1 – The three statewide outreach entities have responsibility to direct the planning, coordination, and oversight of their respective outreach programs and activities for which resources are allocated to them by UW System (the currently called “Fund 104” resources). Each of the three statewide outreach entities exercise budgetary control over their resources through IIAs, which codify agreements reached between individual UW campuses and the three statewide outreach entities, and which should include mutually agreed programming, annual allocations, market analysis and other research to support said programming. Each of the three statewide outreach entities retain final authority and control over their respective FTE and 104 dollars. Each campus must use the allocated 104 funds and FTE for their intended purpose, as specified in the IIA; these FTE and dollars are specifically not a “pass through” from the state through the three statewide outreach entities and to each UW campus.
- Category 2 – For non-104-supported programs and activities out in the state but supported by UW campuses and under that campus’s purview, each of the three statewide outreach entities is assigned by the UW System reporting responsibility only to promote coordination and mission compatibility. The UW campuses retain final authority and responsibility over the FTE and dollars associated with these non-104- supported programs and activities.
- Every institution shall designate an office or officer authorized to represent the institution, one each for each of the three statewide entities, for all matters related to UW System outreach function programs and activities as described in both Category 1 and Category 2 above. Assignment of this responsibility to a single office or officer for each of the three statewide entities is designed to improve communication between each campus and each of the three statewide outreach entities for the outreach function.
- Once 104 funds and FTE are transferred, each Chancellor or designee has responsibility for outreach program implementation and for the budget associated with those programs at his/her campus. Unless major changes in program plans are contemplated, the campus Chancellor or the designee shall be authorized to approve any adjustments within the functionsto which resources are assigned in order to facilitate effective programming during the year. Major changes in program plans require review and approval by the campus Chancellors or designee and the appropriate Director(s) of the three statewide outreach entities. Changes may also require review and approval by the appropriate external funding sponsor (for example, at the USDA, the SBA, or Lumina), coordinated by the Director of the unit receiving external support.
- The following criteria define those UW System outreach activities, programs, research, and teaching in both Category 1 and Category 2, which are part of the annual program planning, coordination, and review process initiated and led by the three statewide outreach entities:
- Programs and activities that address a need and theme identified in the appropriate UW statewide outreach and public service plan.
- Programs and activities that either are of a recurring nature or have the potential for sustained repetition for a specific nontraditional client group outside of teaching and programming typically focused on traditional student populations.
- Programs and activities that meet a short term need that is pervasive and whose impact extends beyond the institution’s service area.
- Programs and activities of the types described above, whether credit or noncredit, are usually intended for nontraditional audiences who are not full time students. Youth programs whose knowledge base is clearly identified with science, arts or the humanities, or which are part of a learning experience for teachers and other professionals may be included.
- Finally, identical programs and activities, found in some or all of the UW institutions, should be treated in a consistent manner, either as part of the annual program planning and review process or excluded.
- Programs that meet at least one of the following criteria are not considered as UW statewide outreach and public service function activities, per se, and are therefore not exclusively under the jurisdiction of the three statewide outreach entities.
- Offerings which supplement credit bearing programs, intended primarily for regularly enrolled traditional-age students. Examples are noncredit lectures, and internships and field experiences related to either credit courses and/or to a degree program.
- Programs intended exclusively for UW System employees. In service training is an example.
- Activities which are intended for students and which receive funding primarily from campus GPR or tuition-pooled student allocations.
- Clinical services.
- Programs using only the campus’s facilities or meal services, and not supported by market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities.
- Activities in which the principal objective is recreation, entertainment, or youth sports, and not supported by market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities.
- Programs for which the content and/or budget are determined by a sponsoring organization outside the UW System, and not supported by market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities.
- Programs for which the budgetary and programming responsibility lie with UW System Administration, and not supported by market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities.
- Ad hoc, one time offerings of less than six instructional hours, and not supported by market analysis and other research from the three statewide outreach entities.
- Programs offered as a requirement of either a grant or extramural funding under one of these two conditions: (1) Primary purpose is research but the conditions of the grant or extramural award include a requirement that a demonstration/outreach component be offered for professional peers; (2) Primary purpose of either the grant or extramural funding is to support an academic degree program whose entitlement is system wide.
- Other activities as agreed upon by the three statewide outreach entities and the residential campus(s).
*As has been noted several times already, the authority of the three statewide outreach entities is subject to the direction of UW-Madison and UW System, respectively. In an effort to avoid redundancy, this point will not be repeated each time the authority of the three statewide outreach entities is mentioned, but it remains applicable in all circumstances envisioned in this policy.
III. Budgetary Policy
- A program and budget process has been implemented whereby funds will be allocated from the three statewide entities, based on delegated authority outlined above, to institutions based on annual interinstitutional agreements (IIAs). IIA commitments can vary from long-term to short- term and be continuing or new, but they are annually based on fulfilling UW statewide outreach and public service responsibilities with the three statewide outreach entities exercising their authority via the partnership model outlined above.
- All resources allocated via the annual IIAs must be expended by the institution in support of UW statewide outreach and public service in partnership with the three statewide outreach entities. Program revenue generated in excess of the projections contained in the IIAs should, whenever possible and consistent with institutional priorities and agreements as applicable, be expended for UW statewide outreach and public service at that university. Likewise, all deficits which occur will be that university’s responsibility.
- When unanticipated state or federal budget reductions are imposed, the magnitude of the reduction in percent and dollars will be communicated via the communication channels outlined above in Section II.B., who will communicate to their respective provosts, CBOs, and chancellors. Each university will then have the responsibility for internally managing the reduction of funds allocated to it and of providing a report, via the communication channel outlined above, on how the reductions have been handled.
- Programs that meet criteria outlined in Section II.A. of this policy shall be part of an annual program planning, coordination and review process initiated by each of the three statewide outreach entities.
- Any biennial budget proposal submitted to support UW statewide outreach and public service shall be reviewed and approved by the pertinent statewide outreach entity or entities.
IV. Data Reporting and Monitoring
- Institutions are required to provide Student, Client, & Program data for all activities that fall within the coordination, planning and budgetary control of the IIAs (Category 1) and for coordination and mission compatibility (Category 2). For Category 1 activities, the statewide outreach entities have both reporting and monitoring requirements; for category 2 activities, the statewide outreach entities have reporting requirements only. Data elements will need to be provided routinely or through ad hoc requests, but at least annually to both renew the annual reporting requirements contained in the authority of the statewide outreach entities as outlined above.
- As outlined above in this policy, UW statewide outreach and public service is a primary mission responsibility given to UW System. It is executed by four statewide outreach entities: UW- Madison Extension, Wisconsin Public Media, the Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, and the
UW Extended Campus. UW System and UW-Madison have institutional oversight over their respective statewide outreach entities, as outlined above in this policy.
VI. Dispute resolution
- The four statewide outreach entities have authority to execute their responsibilities to coordinate and oversee the UW statewide outreach and public service activities in partnership with the UW campuses. Further, the expectation is that the four statewide outreach entities will be able to resolve conflicts that may arise between them and the UW campuses.
- In the rare instances where conflicts between the statewide outreach entities and UW campuses cannot be resolved by the parties themselves, including disagreements over the allocation or use of designated UW statewide outreach and public service funds (currently designated 104 funds), the UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will consult with the affected parties in an effort to resolve the conflict. Final authority to resolve the conflict rests with the President of the UW System.
Last Revised: June 16, 2020
First approved: May 01, 1989