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:

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of expectations regarding conduct in the university setting that may be applied to all UW System employees.

2. Policy Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115 requires the Board of Regents to develop a personnel system that is separate and distinct from the personnel system under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230.  The “classified employee work rules,” which prior to July 1, 2015 were applicable to classified UW System employees covered by Chapter 230, no longer apply.

Effective July 1, 2015, this operational policy provides general workplace conduct expectations for all members of the University of Wisconsin System workforce.

3. Policy Definitions

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

4. Policy

As described below, there are general expectations for conduct of UW System employees in the workplace.  These general expectations do not preclude a UW System institution, a department, or a work unit from establishing additional rules that are necessary for the effective operation of that institution, department, or work unit.

The workplace expectations listed below or further developed by a UW institution apply to:

  • All UW System employees
  • Volunteers and other representatives when speaking or acting on behalf of a UW System institution.

These guidelines are not meant to and shall not interfere with academic freedom.  The following are general expectations for UW System employee conduct in the workplace:

A. Be Fair and Respectful to Others –Every UW System employee shall be courteous and respectful in interactions with students, other employees, members of the general public or any other individual when acting on behalf of the UW System. Other expectations in furtherance of this principle include but are not limited to:

  • Avoid all forms of harassment, abuse, illegal discrimination, threats, or violence;
  • Provide equal access to programs, facilities, and employment;
  • Treat others with fairness and impartiality;
  • Promote conflict resolution.

NOTE: Wis. Admin. Code § UWS 18.10 defines specific offenses against public safety and UWS 18.11 defines offenses against public peace and order.

B. Protect and Preserve UW System Resources – Employees shall responsibly use and care for UW System property. UW System property, services, resources, or information shall not be used for personal gain.  Other expectations in furtherance of this principle include but are not limited to:

NOTE: UWS 18.12 defines property offenses and UWS 18.08 further defines personal conduct prohibitions.

C. Act Ethically and with Integrity – All UW System employees shall act according to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct (See Regent Policy Document 20-22, Code of Ethics  ) and Stat. § 19.45(11)(b)).  UW System employees are expected to, among other things:

  • Be personally accountable for individual actions;
  • Fulfill obligations owed to students, clients, and colleagues;
  • Conscientiously meet UW System responsibilities.

D. Contribute to a Healthy and Safe Workplace –The UW System strives to promote health and safety in the workplace. It is the responsibility of all to ensure a safe, secure, and healthy environment for all. General expectations in this regard include but are not limited to:

  • Dangerous weapons are not allowed on any UW System property;
  • Illegal drugs are not allowed on any UW System property;
  • The use of alcohol is limited to those areas on UW System property where allowed by law;
  • Any individual acting in any capacity on behalf of the UW System shall not do so while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

NOTE: UWS 18.09 defines alcohol and drug prohibitions, UWS 18.10  defines offenses against public safety, UWS 18.11 defines offenses against public peace and order, and UWS 18.15  defines additional statutory penalty provisions regulating conduct on university lands.

E. Promote a Culture of Compliance – The UW System is committed to meeting legal requirements and to fostering ethical and lawful conduct. Expectations for UW System employees include:

  • Learn and follow all applicable laws, regulations and UW System policies and procedures;
  • Protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of university information and records where appropriate and required by law;
  • Be proactive to prevent and detect any compliance violations;
  • Report suspected violations.

5. Related Documents

Wis. Admin. Code Chapter UWS 18, Conduct on University Lands
Regent Policy Document 20-22, Code of Ethics
SYS 1230, Workplace Safety
SYS 1290, Code of Ethics

6. Policy History

Reviewed by the Board of Regents, April 10, 2015