Original Issuance Date: June 23, 2021
Last Revision Date: June 23, 2021
Effective Date: August 1, 2021
1. Policy Purpose
The University of Wisconsin System, as a unit of the State of Wisconsin, is protected by Wis. Stat. s. 895.46 (1). This coverage protects the UW System, its officers, employees, and agents from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses arising out of any acts considered within the scope of employment and operations. This policy outlines acceptable vehicle use by student drivers under this coverage.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
UW System Director of Risk Management
3. Scope and Institutional Responsibilities
This policy applies to UW System institutions, including UW System Administration, and specifically to students who would qualify as “agents of the state” under section 5 of this policy. The UW System Office of Risk Management has primary responsibility for this policy. UW institutions may have more restrictive policies for student driving privileges.
It is important that the University take appropriate steps to protect the interests of the state as well as the interests of students who are acting in the capacity as agents of the University. Students are only covered by the state’s self-funded liability program under Wis. Stat. 895.46(1) if they are employees or agents of the University and only when they are acting within the scope of such employment or agency.
Agent of the State: A student that is (1) performing an act that falls within the University’s educational mission and/or outreach activities; and (2) participating in an activity that is under the direction and control of the University.
Personal Vehicle: Personal vehicles driven for UW business purposes may be reimbursed, however the driver’s personal insurance is primary.
State Vehicle: A vehicle owned by the State of Wisconsin for use to conduct official state business. A state vehicle also includes a commercially leased or rented vehicle that is assigned to an individual, agency or
business subunit for use to conduct official university business.
University Course: Specific training or activity that is approved by the University of Wisconsin as meeting the objectives or requirements of a for-credit course that counts towards a university degree or professional certification.
University Program: Practical training or program that is under the purview of the University of Wisconsin.
6. Policy Statement
For purposes of this policy the term “business use” is used to describe instances in which a student is driving a state vehicle as an agent of the University, while acting within the scope of such agency.
- You must be an employee or agent of the University to drive a state vehicle for business use.
- No one may use a state vehicle for non-business use.
- For non-business travel rentals, refer to the Travel Wise website.
- BIGTEN Rentals may be used for non-business use but requires drivers to be ages 21 and over and to take the personal insurance option. Please review campus travel policies for rental vehicles for more information. For eligibility of rentals see current BIGTEN Contract.
University students may qualify as “agents” of the State for purposes of liability coverage under Wis. Stat. ss. 893.82 and 895.46, under certain circumstances. Whether a student is an agent depends on the following: (1) is the student performing an act that falls within the University’s educational mission and/or outreach activities; and (2) is the student participating in an activity that is under the direction and control of the University.
General propositions necessary for liability coverage to attach are described below:
- University Program:
- The practical training or program is under the purview of the University (i.e. developed, managed, and controlled by the University); and
- The activities that the student performs must be within the scope of activities which the student is directed to perform by the University as part fulfilling the requirements of the practical training or program, OR
- University Course:
- The specific training or activity is approved by the University as meeting the objectives or requirements of a for-credit course that counts towards a university degree or professional certification;
- Such University-approved training or activity must be evidenced by documentation that identifies the objectives for the course and a means of evaluating the student (e.g., course description and syllabus); and
- The activities that the student performs must be within the scope of activities which the student is directed to perform by the University as part fulfilling the requirements of the training or activity; and
- If the training or activity takes place at a facility or site that is not operated by the University, the University’s relationship with that site must be evidenced by a written affiliation agreement or like documentation that sets for the responsibilities of the University and the training site.
While not an exhaustive list, the following are examples of training programs or activities that meet the above requirements:
- Internal University-managed program designed to provide students with unique training opportunities that may or may not be for credit (e.g. MEDiC, UWPD First Responders, Law School clinics).
- Participation in a practical training or internship in which the University exercises substantial control over the requirements of the training or internship as evidenced by a written student affiliation agreement (e.g. practicum or internship that is part of a for-credit course).
Students who fulfill all the following criteria are covered by the State Self-Funded Liability Program when they are acting in the scope of their agency:
1) meet the criteria to be classified as agents of the University;
2) have signed a Vehicle Use Agreement; and
3) are authorized by the University to drive University fleet vehicles for Business Use.
Vehicle Use Agreement authorization does not mean student liability coverage applies towards all student use of the vehicle. The following travel examples described will be helpful in determining what types of student travel may be considered Business Use Travel. Whether a student meets the criteria to be classified as an agent of the University while acting within the scope of that agency depends on the facts of any given situation.
Note: Individual campuses may have more restrictive policies for student driving privileges.
|Student Scenario||Examples||Further Clarification||Considered Business Use||Vehicle Use Agreement Required||Directed in Writing|
|NCAA Competitions and practice related travel||Football, basketball, cheerleader, etc.||All NCAA Division I, II, and III team sports||Yes||Yes||No|
|Recreational Sports under the direction and control of the University Rec Sports Department||Lacrosse, rugby, volleyball, soccer, etc.||Under the direction and control of Campus Rec Sports. Team practices, training, and competitions in registered extramural, regional, national, or open tournaments.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Recreational Sports NOT under the direction and control of the University Rec Sports Department||Sports programs NOT under the direction and control of Campus Rec Sports||No||N/A||N/A|
|Activities the student is directed to perform in fulfilling UW program requirements – Professional or Competition||Professional Association Events, Degree Related Competitions, Conferences and Seminars||Related to academic classwork or academic activity||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Travel not directly tied to academic program, but closely related to areas of Study||Political affiliation, sustainability groups||Interests outside of student’s major||No||N/A||N/A|
|Co-Sponsored with Campus Department under the direction and control of the University||Parent advisory, Study Away, Expos, Rodeos, University fundraisers||Students volunteering for University events or student organizations holding events that are jointly sponsored by the University are likely to be considered agents of the University and thus covered by the State Self-Funded Liability Program for acts committed as an agent of the University.
Travel must follow SYS 145.A, University of Wisconsin System Uniform Statement of Responsibility, Release, and Authorization to Participate in Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
|Student Organization – Social/Recreational Events||Charity Fun Run, Spring Break, Ice Fishing Competition, Attending Sporting Events||Recreational events and student organization activities not under the direction and control of the University||No||N/A||N/A|
|Non-University Community Service||Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank, Blood Donations||Not under the direction and control of the University||No||N/A||N/A|
|Students participating in governance||University Student Representatives Counsel, Lobby on state and National level, Student Government Conferences and Training||Authorized by Wis. Stat. s. , 36.09 (5)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Students employed by the University||Same as all employees||In the scope of employment and under the direction and control of the University||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Commute Miles from Home to University sponsored activity||Internships, student teaching, volunteer opportunities||A Student driving from their residence to a University sponsored activity is not covered by the State’s insurance program.||No||N/A||N/A|
|Faculty and Staff Advisors to Students and Student Organizations||Paid and volunteer advisor roles.||Faculty and staff advisors to students and student organizations are covered by the State Self-Funded Liability Program for acts performed in the scope of employment.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Faculty that needs to host a class at a remote site and needs additional drivers||Domestic Study Away programs, Dairy inspections at local farm, nature observations||A specific training or activity is approved by the University as meeting the objectives or requirements of a for credit course that counts towards a University degree or professional certification.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Study Abroad||For-credit study, internship, or research while traveling internationally||Students are highly discouraged from driving as an agent of the University in a foreign country, even if the academic activity is under the direction of an academic staff member. Students who are traveling in their home country may drive their personal vehicle for non-business use, but the student would not be considered an agent of the University in that circumstance. Exceptions to this policy may be approved in writing prior to driving in a country other than the United States by the institution risk manager.||No
unless exception is granted
unless exception is granted
7. Related Documents
SYS 145.A, University of Wisconsin System Uniform Statement of Responsibility, Release, and Authorization to Participate in Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
8. Policy History
First approved: June 23, 2021
9. Scheduled Review