Each local government and receiving institution is expected to continue to have an operating agreement in place.

Receiving institutions should not fund construction, renovations, or remodeling using the leasehold improvement model in 2018-19 through 2020-21. Policy beyond 2020-21 will be determined at a future date.

The Board of Regents should not directly fund construction, renovation, or remodeling costs, whether through the state’s capital budget or with cash. The costs should be paid by local governments. After 2020-21, any funding from the Board of Regents should be through operating payments (similar to leasehold improvements), and should be limited to minor cosmetic improvements, such as room finishes.

As of July 1, 2019, applicable new agreements between branch campuses and local governments will fall under Regent Policy Document 13-2 and UW System Administrative Policy 910. Existing agreements will be considered under these policies when up for renewal.

No substantive changes to Wis. Stat. ss.13.48(2)(f), 59.56(4), or 66.0913(1)(a) will be sought at this time.


The UW Restructuring project includes the goal of expanding access to education and bringing additional educational offerings to the branch campuses. This may require changes to available instructional spaces to support academic program requirements.

The Board of Regents does not own these buildings. Local governments will continue to be responsible for construction, renovation and remodeling expenditures.

Each local government and receiving institution are expected to continue to have an operating agreement in place. These separate agreements will provide the basis for maintaining effective working relationships and assign responsibilities within the context and boundaries set by state statute and Board or UW System policy.

Relationship Between UW Colleges and local governments

  1. Responsibilities of the Board of Regents and local governments: Building construction, renovation, and remodeling have been the responsibility of the local government. Foundations and private developers have been involved in this process through local governments. The Board of Regents pays operating costs. There is a sharing of responsibilities for repairs and maintenance, which varies by specific agreement. Items that frequently appear in repair and maintenance agreements include, but are not limited to: maintenance contracts; grounds services; building systems, controls, and envelope; and supplies and equipment.
  2. Funding sources for construction, renovations, and remodeling: The State of Wisconsin provides General Fund Supported borrowing for equipment for new buildings constructed by local governments through the capital budget’s All Agency Program. Funding is directly related to the project taking place. Construction, renovation, and remodeling are funded through property taxes and gifts. Projects funded with gifts ultimately become the property of local government.
  3. Energy Conservation Program: The Board of Regents has completed projects relating to the Department of Administration’s Energy Conservation program on behalf of UW Colleges. These projects are funded by program revenue supported borrowing and repaid through Fund 109.
  4. UW System Administrative Policy (SYS) 910: SYS 910, which establishes leasing protocols for UW Institutions, has not been applied to agreements between UW Colleges and local governments.
  5. Operational Expenses: Some agreements between UW Colleges and local governments assign operational expenses. The agreements differ on funding responsibilities for tasks such as snow plowing, floor care, maintenance on air handlers, carpet replacement, and parking lot stripping.

Next Steps

  1. UW System Administration must be consulted as soon as possible regarding specific facility projects involving local governments.
  2. UW System Administration will continue coordinating with receiving institutions to prepare the annual report on city and financial support. This helps to highlight the ongoing partnerships in this area.
  3. The UW System Office of Capital Planning & Budget will provide guidance to institutions on application of Regent Policy Document 13-2 and UW System Administrative Policy 910 to agreements between UW Colleges and local governments prior to July 1, 2019.