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March 2023 Policy Distribution and SYS Policy Approval Notice

Posted 3:22 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2023


The March 2023 institution policy distribution includes three (3) revised polices and one (1) rescinded policy.

Three (3) revised policies:

·       SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting

·       SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions

·       SYS 1277, Compensation

One (1) rescinded policy:

·       SYS 840, Student Financial Aid in Extended Degree Program Administration

Please submit your feedback by:

·       Friday, April 7, 2023 for SYS 840, SYS 1225, and SYS 1277.

·       Tuesday, May 23, 2023 for SYS 102.

Click on the links above to view the drafts and ensure that your feedback is captured for review during the post-comment period. Comments can include attachments, including word documents and PDFs.

Please find summaries of the items below.


SYS 102, Policy on University of Wisconsin System Array Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Definitions

·       This policy provides detailed guidance on academic degree program array management actions, including the approval of new programs, review of program suspensions and eliminations, changes to programs, program reviews, and other required reporting and approval items at the Board of Regents or University of Wisconsin (UW) System level.

·       The list of proposed revisions is as follows:

·       General

·       Replaced references to “Academic Programs and Faculty Advancement” with “Academic Affairs.”

·       Removed the University Action table, which will be moved into a separate procedure in the future.

·       Renumbered policy sections as needed to reflect the addition or deletion of terms; the table of contents was also updated to reflect these changes.

·       Section 1, Introduction

·       Removed the definition of “unnecessary duplication.”

·       In Section 1.2.2, added a reference to Regent Policy Document (RPD) 4-12, Academic Program Planning, Review, and Approval in the University of Wisconsin System.

·       Added Section 1.2.3, The UW System Provost Council.

·       Section 2, Approval Process for New Academic Degree Programs and Degree Types

·       Replaced “new programs” with “new academic degree programs.”

·       In Section 2.1.1 (3) and (4), updated language to clarify that a change to the curricular content of a program determines whether a program is considered new. Additionally, clarified that a change to the first two Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) digits may that indicate a new program authorization may be required.

·       In Section 2.1.2, revised Step 1 to reflect that a Notice of Intent (NOI) is needed, regardless of track. Additionally, Step 2 was revised to clarify the pre-authorization process.

·       In Section 2.2, clarified the processes and eligibility requirements for NOI standard-track and fast-track. Additionally, added a three-step appeals process.

·       In Section 2.3, clarified the steps of the recommendation process, as well the role of the Board of Regents.

·       In Section 2.4, replaced “MajorMania” with “Find-A-Program.”

·       In Section 2.5, added language to clarify the requirement that UW associate degrees much follow the associate degree standards in SYS 115, Associate Degree Standards. Additionally, revised language to allow for the addition of a major to any UW associate degree.

·       Section 3, Existing Academic Degree Programs and Degree Types

·       In Section 3.2, clarified the threshold for a substantive change.

·       In Section 3.3, clarified the threshold for a curricular change the CIP changes which may require Board of Regents approval.

·       In Section 3.6, clarified that changing a program’s method of delivery to distance education may require Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approval or notification. Additionally, clarified that adding or eliminating distance delivery for an academic degree program requires notification at least four weeks prior to the effective date.

·       In Section 3.8, eliminated the requirement to notify UW System Administration of the addition or removal of a concentration to an associate degree.


SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions

·       This policy provides a list of general terms and definitions that are used in the 1200 series of the UW System Administrative (SYS) policy set.

·       The update adds an official definition for the term “domestic partner” as it is used in SYS policies and procedures.


SYS 1277, Compensation

·       The purpose of this policy is to outline parameters for setting and adjusting salaries of UW System employees. This policy provides the compensation administration policy framework for the university workforce except for employees at UW-Madison.

·       This revision affects two provisions of SYS 1277:

·       It authorizes overtime to be calculated for Law Enforcement Officers on the basis of either hours in excess of 40 hours in one workweek, or on the basis of hours in excess of 80 hours over two workweeks. The current policy includes the 80-hour option only for this employee group.

·       It updates the amount of the Night Differential and the Weekend Differential for University Staff and Academic staff holding a FLSA nonexempt job title.


SYS 840, Student Financial Aid in Extended Degree Program Administration

·       This policy establishes the eligibility of Extended Degree Program students for student financial aid. 

·       Per the policy, Extended Degree Programs are those in which the program delivery has been customized so that it “takes into account the life situation of adult students.” In these programs, student and faculty interaction may include “on-campus or off-campus group learning experiences (weekend or evening sessions) and frequent individual conferences and tutoring session. It may also involve individual or group telephone conferences, use of cassette audio and video tapes, and traditional interaction via mail.” The programs are non-semester based and the working agreement between the student and the campus is facilitated by a contract.

·       The policy also provides guidelines for the administration of these programs on behalf of Extended Degree students, with particular attention given to Extended Degree Programs as both separate and distinct from courses of correspondence instruction.

·       There are no UW System institutions which currently offer an Extended Degree Program as defined by this policy – Extended Degree programming appears to pre-date the evolution of online and other distance education modalities as a means of providing flexible delivery modes to non-traditional students Given the absence of Extended Degree Programs within the UW System, and the advent of various distance education modalities that more effectively provide flexible programming, the University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) believes that this policy is obsolete.

SYS Policy Approval Notification

On March 21st, President Jay Rothman approved substantive revisions to:

·       SYS 521, Authority to Sign Procurement Contracts in the UW System;

·       SYS 523, Emergency Procurement; and

·       SYS 540, Non-Competitive Procurement Contracts

See the attached final summary document for a list of revisions to these policies, as well as UWSA's responses to institutional feedback and concerns.

FY2024 Policy Prioritization Process

We will be beginning our annual Policy Prioritization Process for FY2024 at the end of this month on March 31. This process begins with soliciting input from university stakeholders on policies/policy topics that they recommend be addressed in the upcoming fiscal year. We will be sending an email to campus leadership with a link to provide up to five (5) policy recommendations per university. We encourage leadership to discuss this process with other policy stakeholders on campus for their input. Feedback from the universities will be due on Friday, April 28. The final FY 2024 Policy Priorities Plan will be distributed on June 23.