Chapter 1 – The University Faculty

1.01. University
1.02. University Faculty
1.03. Academic Staff
1.10. University Administrative Officers
1.20. Authority and Responsibilities of the Faculty
1.21. Jurisdictional Relationships Within the Faculty
1.22. Secretary of the Faculty
1.23. Authority Delegated to the Senate
1.30. Meetings of the Faculty
1.31. Conduct of Faculty Business
1.32. Required Majority
1.33. Faculty Legislation
1.40. Faculty Policy Statements


As used throughout these rules, “university” or “UW-Madison” means the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is an institution in the University of Wisconsin System.

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A. The university faculty consists of all persons who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor with at least a one-half time appointment in UW-Madison, or with a full-time appointment jointly between UW-Madison and UW-Extension. Use of these titles and the definition of fractional appointments are governed by Chapters 4, 5, and 7 of these rules.

B. In exceptional cases, an employee of a state or federal agency, or the Morgridge Institute for Research, with at least a one-half time appointment with that employer, and whose salary is not paid by the university, but who is otherwise qualified for membership in the faculty, may be appointed to the faculty with the instructional, research, and service responsibilities of a tenure or tenure-track member. Such appointments require the affirmative recommendation of the concerned department(s) and dean(s), the approval of the University Committee, and must otherwise comply with the regulations set forth in Chapter 7 of these policies and procedures. Such appointments continue only for the duration of the individual’s employment relationship with the above-referenced employer while assigned in Madison. Appointments governed by this subsection convey full membership in the university faculty but do not obligate the university for salary in any event.

C. As used throughout these rules, an “appointment” (unmodified) is a contractual agreement between an individual and a department, school, college, or other unit of the university. The elements of an appointment are (1) duties; (2) title; (3) percentage time commitment; (4) beginning and ending dates; (5) financial remuneration, if any; (6) departments or other units involved; and (7) governance rights. “Appointment” may also be modified: “Tenure appointments” and “probationary appointments” are defined in 7.01. A “joint appointment” involves more than one department. A “joint probationary appointment” or “joint tenure appointment” occurs when two or more departments share a continuing commitment to a faculty member under the provisions of 7.02 and 7.19. A “joint governance appointment” is defined in 5.12 and does not confer a continuing commitment or tenure.

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A. “Academic staff” are professional and administrative personnel, other than university faculty, who have duties and types of appointments that are primarily associated with higher education institutions or their administration. They include individuals with instructional, research, outreach, or administrative responsibilities. Academic staff with research, teaching, and outreach positions may hold positions and/or have working titles that include the term “professor.” The creation of formal modified professorial titles, or the authority for the use of modified professorial working titles, constitutes an academic policy decision and therefore requires prior approval by the university faculty.

B. In accordance with the contract between the U. S. Department of Defense and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, military officers in the Officer Education Programs have rank without tenure, as follows:

  1. Professor: senior officer assigned to each ROTC unit;
    Associate Professor: Army, Air Force, or Marine lieutenant colonel, or Navy commander, other than senior officer;
    Assistant Professor: Army, Air Force, or Marine major or captain; Navy lieutenant commander or lieutenant;
    Instructor: Army, Air Force, or Marine first or second lieutenant; Navy lieutenant (jr. grade) or ensign.
  2. Military officers in the Officer Education Programs holding these ranks hold university faculty status. The Officer Education Program is not part of any college or school.

C. University faculty status provides eligibility to participate in faculty governance as provided in Chapters 1, 2, and 6 of these rules, including voting in university-wide faculty elections, senate representation, and eligibility for election to the senate, and is granted only as provided in 1.03.B. of these rules. University faculty status does not confer membership in a department, school, or college; does not confer rank or tenure; and does not convert an appointment to a faculty appointment.

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A. CHANCELLOR. The chancellor is the chief executive officer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and must hold a tenured university faculty rank as set forth in Chapter 7 of these rules.

B. VICE CHANCELLOR. Any vice chancellor and provost to whom the chancellor delegates responsibility for academic program and faculty personnel policies must hold tenured university faculty rank as set forth in Chapter 7 of these rules.

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A. The faculty is vested with responsibility for the immediate governance of the university, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the chancellor and under other provisions of 36.09, Wisconsin Statutes, and shall actively participate in university policy development. As such, the faculty has primary responsibility for academic and educational activities and for faculty personnel matters.

B. In cases where authority to act without subsequent review has been delegated by the Board of Regents to the faculty, that authority is exercised in accordance with these rules. In cases where the function of the faculty is to formulate recommendations to the chancellor or the Board of Regents, the authority referred to herein is for the formulation of such recommendations.

C. Matters within the authority of the faculty include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Educational interests or educational policies.
  2. Establishment of faculty committees.
  3. Establishment of the academic calendar.
  4. Establishment of requirements for admission.
  5. Establishment of requirements for graduation and the title of the degree to be conferred upon completion of any course of study.
  6. Recommendation of candidates for honorary degrees.
  7. Conduct of commencement exercises and honors convocations.
  8. Establishment of policies for the regulation of intercollegiate athletics.
  9. Establishment of policies concerning investigation of student misconduct and administration of student discipline, subject to the provisions of UWS 17.
  10. Adoption of rules and procedures for recruitment, appointment, and review of performance of members of the faculty, subject to the provisions of UWS 3 and RPD 20-9.
  11. Provision of a standing faculty committee charged with hearing dismissal cases (UWS 4.03).
  12. Creation of a standing faculty consultative committee to consult with the chancellor if at any time a declaration of financial emergency is to be considered (UWS 5.04); provision for a hearing committee to consider layoff and termination under a financial emergency (UWS 5.11).
  13. Adoption of rules and procedures to deal with allegations of misconduct or violation of university rules or policies on the part of the faculty (UWS 6.02).
  14. Designation of a committee or other appropriate faculty body and development of rules and procedures to hear grievances of the faculty (UWS 6.02).
  15. Adoption of rules and procedures to govern the performance by a faculty member of activities of an extensive, recurring, or continuing nature outside his/her institutional responsibilities (UWS 8.025).
  16. Adoption of rules and regulations for the conduct of its proceedings.

D. The enumeration of functions and powers in this section is illustrative of the nature of the jurisdiction of the faculty and is not to be construed as comprehensive in nature.

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A. The university faculty has charge of all educational matters that concern more than one college, school, or division, or which are otherwise of general interest.

B. College, school, or divisional actions on such academic matters as admission, degree requirements, and the titles of degrees to be conferred must be approved by the university faculty.

C. The resolution of any conflict of jurisdiction between the university faculty and the faculty of any college, school, or division rests with the university faculty.

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The secretary of the faculty is appointed by the chancellor after consultation with the University Committee.

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Except as restricted by 1.33. below, the authority of the university faculty is delegated to the university Faculty Senate, whose structure, procedures, and rules are described in Chapter 2.

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A. CALLING OF MEETINGS. Meetings of the faculty shall be held at the call of the chancellor; or at the request of the University Committee; or on the written petition, to the secretary of the faculty, or of any hundred members of the university faculty, and shall be consistent with the provisions of the state’s Open Meetings Law. Robert’s Rules of Order most recent edition, shall be the parliamentary manual for all meetings of the university faculty.

B. PRESIDING OFFICER. The chancellor is the presiding officer at meetings of the faculty. If the chancellor is absent, the vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost serves as the presiding officer. In the absence of both, the chair of the University Committee (see Chapter 6) shall serve as the presiding officer.

C. SPEAKING AND VOTING PRIVILEGES. All members of the faculty and full-time members of the academic staff may speak at meetings of the faculty, but only members of the university faculty and members of the academic staff holding faculty status (as defined in 1.02. and 1.03.B.) may offer motions, second motions, or vote.

D. COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE. At any meeting of the faculty, time may be set aside for the faculty to meet as a committee of the whole for discussion of matters of general interest. The University Committee is responsible for preparing the agenda for committee-of-the-whole meetings, and the chair of the University Committee presides over them.

E. EXECUTIVE SESSION. The faculty may meet in executive session; i.e., with only university faculty present where permitted by state law (see 19.85 of Wisconsin Statutes, Open Meetings of Governmental Bodies). Business of a confidential nature is indicated on the calendar and in the published minutes by title or some other brief form and is explained and discussed on the floor of the faculty meeting in executive session.

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The agenda for a faculty meeting is prepared by the chancellor in conjunction with the University Committee. Matters to be included in the agenda should be submitted to the secretary of the faculty at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. All proposals must be submitted in writing and must be accompanied by reports or statements that the secretary of the faculty deems necessary for an understanding of the proposed business.

Any ten members of the university faculty may propose a matter for consideration at any meeting of the faculty by submitting it to the secretary of the faculty. Matters submitted for the agenda under this subsection shall be examined by the chancellor and the University Committee and shall be included in the agenda if they are within the jurisdiction of the faculty and in a form suitable for expeditious consideration.

A matter not on the agenda for a faculty meeting may not be considered at that meeting except by unanimous consent.


The chancellor, in conjunction with the University Committee, may put at the head of business for any faculty meeting any administrative actions or informational reports of any faculty committee, or of any college, school, or division, that may appear to be suitable for passage by automatic consent.

Any member of the faculty may call up and debate any matter recommended for automatic consent.

C. MINUTES OF MEETINGS. The secretary of the faculty prepares the minutes of each faculty meeting and sends a copy to every member of the faculty. The minutes, as distributed to the faculty, shall stand as approved under the rule for automatic consent, unless the faculty determines otherwise at its next meeting.

D. NUMBERED DOCUMENTS. Documents that are too long to be included in the agenda for a meeting are given identifying serial numbers and attached to the agenda.

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Legislation passed at a meeting of the faculty shall be valid faculty legislation if it receives a majority vote of at least 10% of the faculty. Legislation passed at a meeting of the faculty, but receiving fewer than 10% affirmative votes, shall require ratification by a majority vote of the senate in order to become valid faculty legislation.

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Unless specific provision to the contrary is made, legislation adopted at a meeting subsequent to 1 October 1970 may be modified or rescinded only at a meeting of the faculty. A meeting of the faculty for this purpose may be called by a majority vote of the senate as well as in the other ways provided for in this chapter. Such a meeting is subject to all the provisions of this chapter, including 1.32. Senate action in accordance with 1.32., including nonratification, shall not be considered as modification or recision for the purposes of this section. If by a vote of four-fifths of the members present and voting the senate finds that a proposed change in faculty legislation (as considered in this section) is fully consistent with the policies and purposes of that faculty legislation and is only an alteration of the means for carrying out those policies and purposes, then the senate itself by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting may adopt the said changes in faculty legislation.

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Faculty policy statements and other faculty actions of continuing significance pursuant to these rules, and which supplement but do not alter them, shall not be incorporated into these rules unless faculty action explicitly so directs. A separate compilation of such actions and policy statements shall be maintained by the secretary of the faculty, with appropriate cross-referencing and the deletion of items that are no longer relevant.

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