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Contracting for services

A page within Business Services

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse secures the services of independent individuals and business entities through the use of contracts.

If the individual is employed by UW System, they must be paid via UW payroll, please contact Human Resources for assistance.

Academic Support Service:   If the service is from an independent contractor, if it is of a unique or noncompetitive (sole source) nature, and if it supports instruction, research, or public service, it will be considered an Academic Support Service.  ***ASSA's are for STUDENT RELATED SERVICES***academic-support-service-agreement-form(Updated_12.13.22).pdf

Independent Contractors:   These may include speakers and guest lecturers in a nonpublic setting.  Officials for athletic events and contest judges may also be considered independent contractors.  An independent contractor is not eligible for fringe benefits and is not subject to State liability protection or eligible for Workers and Unemployment Compensation.  Generally, an independent contractor situation exists if the service is provided regularly and continuously to the general public, and the service is the principal source of livelihood or profit.  The institution may not control how the work must be done, only the result of the work.  An independent contractor may be an individual, a group of individuals or a business entity. ***INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR FORMS are for NON-STUDENT RELATED SERVICES***UWL_Independent Contractor Services Agreemnt(Blank).pdf

Competitive Sourcing: If the service desired is available from more than one source, competitive procurement rules apply and standard purchasing bid and waiver regulations must be followed.  Contact

Unique, Sole Source:  Some services provided by independent contractors represent special talents needed by UW-La Crosse on a temporary basis to fulfill its missions of instructions, research and public service.  These talents may be unique and available only from a single, sole source.

Mission Support:  Academic Support Services are provided in support of the University's missions of instruction, research, and public service.

Academic Support Service Agreement (ASSA):  All Academic Support Services, regardless of dollar amount, require an Academic Support Services Agreement (ASSA) Form to be completed and approved before the service may be performed and before any payments may be made to the service provider (the “Contractor”).  The sequence for processing the ASSA is as follows:

  1. The supported (sponsoring) department or division completes the fill-in-the blank sections of the ASSA form and forwards the ASSA to the Contractor for signature.
  2. The Contractor signs the ASSA and returns a copy to the supported (sponsoring) department or division.
  3. The supported (sponsoring) department or division submits the CONTRACTOR signed ASSA via ShopUW+ for campus reviews and approvals.
    1. Enter as Non-Catalog Item (click here for directions)
      1. Check the box “Receiving Required/Positive Approval”
    2. Payments:
      1. One payment – enter one line for the total amount
      2. Multiple payments – enter one line for each payment amount
    3. Attach the ASSA signed by the Contractor
  4. Once all campus approvals are received via ShopUW+ for the ASSA, the Purchasing Director signs the ASSA on behalf of the University and a fully signed copy is sent back to ShopUW+ Requester.
  5. A purchase order (PO) is generated.
  6. The supported (sponsoring) department or division then provides a fully signed copy of the ASSA back to the Contractor for the Contractor’s records.

 Academic Support Services Payments:  

  1. Individuals/Organizations providing an invoice
    1. Invoice emailed to
    2. Requester will receive ShopUW+ notification that Receiving is required for approval of payment against the PO.
  2. Individuals/Organizations not providing an invoice
    1. Department emails and requests payment against the PO (provide PO number and payment amount) OR adds Comment to PO in ShopUW+ requesting payment (provide amount).
    2. Requester will receive ShopUW+ notification that Receiving is required for approval of payment against the PO. 
    3. Steps a) and b) should be repeated for each payment to be made to the Contractor.

UW-La Crosse will comply with IRS and State of Wisconsin reporting and withholding requirements.

Tax withholding for non-resident speakers/entertainers:  If someone who is not a resident of Wisconsin contracts with UWL to provide entertainment or public speaking services, and the total contract price exceeds $7,000.00, Wisconsin law (Department of Revenue Publication 508) requires UWL to withhold 6% of the fee for tax purposes. This law is very broad and covers almost any kind of performance or lecture. The withholding process is handled by Accounts Payable at the time the payment is processed, but the speaker/performer must be made aware ahead of time, since the withholding will affect the amount of their net payment. Please contact Accounts Payable for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:   How do I determine the difference between an employee-employer relationship and an independent contractor?
A:   Look at  Factors to Consider.  If you are still in doubt, contact the Human Resources for more information.

Q:   Can the ASSA ever be used for services not related to instruction, research or public service?
A:   No.  The Academic Services Support concept originates from unique, non-competitive services needed for our instruction, research, and public service missions.  Other services are not unique in the same manner and should be obtained through normal purchasing processes.

Q:   Who at UW-La Crosse who will verify that a contractor is providing a unique, non-competitive service?
A:   You may contact the Purchasing Office  for more information for assistance with this determination.