Jul 20, 2024  
2017-18 University Handbook 
2017-18 University Handbook FINAL VERSION - Closed for Revisions

Chapter 1 - The UW System and the UWSP

Section 1 - The University System: A Brief Introduction

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).

Section 2 - University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point: General Information

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).

Section 3 - University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point: Organization

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).

Section 4 - University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point: Governance Organizations 

(To see who has authority to approve changes to this section, please see the Approval of Changes  page).


NOTE. Individual position descriptions, descriptions of the System and institutions within the System, and descriptions of organizational units within the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in this chapter are exclusively for informational purposes and do not have legal standing or implications. Persons interested in official position descriptions may contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor.


  • Statutory Authority
  • Responsibility and Organization
  • Administration


The University of Wisconsin System was created in 1971 as a result of the merger of the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities. The University of Wisconsin System is authorized and defined by Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin statutes.



The primary functions of the UW System are teaching, research, and public service.


The University of Wisconsin System consists of 13 four-year institutions, 13 two-year centers, and UW-Extension.

Doctoral Cluster.

Two institutions, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, known within the System as the doctoral cluster, are authorized to grant bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

University Cluster.

There are eleven institutions in the university cluster: UW-Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Parkside, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens Point, Stout, Superior, and Whitewater. These universities are authorized to grant associate’s, bachelor’s, and some master’s degrees.


The centers offer associate’s degrees at UW Center-Baraboo-Sauk County, Barron County, Fond du Lac, Fox Valley, Manitowoc County, Marathon County, Marinette County, Marshfield-Wood County, Richland Center, Rock County, Sheboygan County, Washington County, and Waukesha County.


UW-Extension is a statewide organization offering credit courses for degree, continuing education courses, and service programs.


The statutory mission of the University of Wisconsin System is to

  • develop human resources;
  • discover and disseminate knowledge;
  • extend knowledge and its applications beyond the boundaries of its campuses; and
  • serve and stimulate society by developing in students
  • heightened intellectual, cultural, sensitivities;
  • scientific, professional, and technological expertise; and
  • a sense of purpose.

Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended education, and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.




Chapter 36 of the statutes vests in the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System the primary authority for the governance of the System and, except as limited under Chapter 36, gives to the Board all powers necessary or convenient to perform its duties in order to accomplish the objectives of the System. The Board concerns itself primarily with the development of broad policy for operating the System. Implementation of policy generally resides with the individual institutions under policies and procedures developed locally.


The Board of Regents consists of seventeen members: fifteen individuals, one of whom must be a student of the UW System, appointed by the governor and approved by the state senate, and two ex officio members, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the President of the Board of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education. The appointed members serve staggered seven-year terms except for the student regent, who serves a two-year term.



The president of the University of Wisconsin System is the officer who has executive responsibility for the operation and management of the System.


The president, who reports directly to the Board, has the responsibility to carry out the duties prescribed in Chapter 36, provisions of other applicable statutes, and appropriate provisions of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, Rules of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

In fulfilling these obligations, the president directs, manages, and coordinates System Administration and the institutions of the System pursuant to Board policies. The president is also charged with the responsibility to

  • assure System-wide fiscal control;
  • maintain a full range of management-planning information;
  • develop a single System budget; and
  • coordinate academic program review, evaluation, and development on all campuses.
Administrative Personnel.

Each of the universities of the System, the Centers, and Extension is headed by a chancellor who reports to the president of the System or to the Board through the president. All local policy matters which require Board approval for adoption, amendment, or rescission are submitted by the chancellor through the president to the Board. The president may include a recommendation for Board action.

System Administrative Officers.

System administrative personnel reporting directly to the president are the

  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs;
  • Senior Vice President for Administration;
  • Vice President for Business and Finance;
  • Vice President for Physical Planning and Development;
  • Vice President for University Relations;
  • Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity Programs;
  • Special Assistant to the President for Minority Affairs; and
  • General Counsel.


  • Historical Overview
  • Mission Statements
  • Accreditation and Memberships
  • Majors, Minors, and Graduate Programs


Since its establishment in 1894 as Stevens Point Normal School, the university has served the state and its citizens in the preparation of teachers for the public schools.  Two- and three-year curricula were offered until 1927, when the school was renamed Stevens Point Teachers College and became a degree-granting institution.

In 1951, after liberal arts degrees were authorized by the state, Stevens Point Teachers College became Wisconsin State College, Stevens Point, and a letters and science division was established.  Graduate work was inaugurated in the summer of 1960 as a cooperative program with the other nine state college institutions and the University of Wisconsin (graduate studies became a full-time, independent, academic-year program in the fall of 1966).  Partially as a result of the establishment of graduate programs–many of the first graduate students were in-service teachers–separate schools were created for education and applied arts in 1961.  Later, in 1963, a separate school was established for fine arts.

On July 1, 1964, the name of the institution became Wisconsin State University-Stevens Point.  The schools were officially designated colleges on July 1, 1967.  The College of Professional Studies and the College of Natural Resources were established in 1970.  On July 9, 1974, under the law merging the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Universities, the institution became the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  The university offers a variety of curricula in general education, liberal and applied arts, fine arts, pre-professional study, teacher education, adult education, and natural resources.

In 1994-1995, UWSP celebrated its centennial, for which Justus Paul, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Letters and Science, wrote a detailed history of the University.  Copies of The World Is Ours are available through the University Foundation.


In addition to sharing in the mission of the University of Wisconsin System, UWSP shares in the core mission of the university cluster and has its own select mission.  All mission statements have been approved by the Board.


  • Each university in the cluster shall:
  • offer associate and baccalaureate degree level and selected graduate programs within the context of its approved mission statement;
  • offer an environment that emphasizes teaching excellence and meets the educational and personal needs of students through effective teaching, academic advising, counseling, and through university-sponsored cultural, recreational, and extracurricular programs;
  • offer a core of liberal studies that supports university degrees in the arts, letters, and sciences, as well as specialized professional/technical degrees at the associate and baccalaureate levels;
  • offer a program of pre-professional curricular offerings consistent with the university’s mission;
  • expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship, and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree levels, its selected graduate programs, and its approved mission statement;
  • promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity;
  • participate in inter-institutional relationships in order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the state effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources;
  • serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled, and nontraditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff; and
  • support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.


In addition to the Core Mission of the University Cluster Institutions, the select mission of UW-Stevens Point is to provide programs that help communities become more vibrant, healthy, prosperous, and sustainable. We accomplish this by providing a broad foundation in the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences for associate and baccalaureate degrees.

Our commitment to helping communities thrive requires that we provide education, research and outreach in a wide array of disciplines, with particular emphases at the baccalaureate level in integrated natural resources management and environmental education; in the performing and visual arts; and in areas such as business, health and wellness professions, communicative disorders, design, select engineering programs, family and consumer sciences, information science, paper science, social work, and teacher education.

UW-Stevens Point provides select master’s programs in business, communication, communication sciences and disorders, health care, health promotion, natural resources, teacher education, wellness, and other select areas clearly associated with this university’s undergraduate emphases. UW-Stevens Point provides a clinical doctoral program in audiology, as well as professional doctoral programs in select areas of strength at the master’s level.

UW-Stevens Point puts special emphasis on promoting inclusivity, advancing human wellness, providing excellent academic support resources, offering extensive study abroad and international programs, and providing a robust array of UW-Extension programs.



The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

In addition, various departments and programs are accredited by these national professional organizations:

  • American Chemical Society;
  • American Dietetics Association;
  • American Speech, Language and Hearing Association;
  • National Academy of Early Childhood Programs;
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design;
  • National Association of Schools of Dance;
  • National Association of Schools of Music;
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre; and
  • Society of American Foresters.

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is a member of the

  • American Council on Education;
  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities;
  • Inter University Communications Council;
  • North Central Association; and
  • Stevens Point Chamber of Commerce.


The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is authorized to confer Associate, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Education, Master of Music Education, Master of Science, Master of Natural Resources, Master of Science in Teaching, Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) with UW-Madison, and Educational Sustainability Doctorate (Ed.D.) degrees.

Please refer to the latest University Catalog for specific information on majors and minors, concentrations, options, areas of emphasis, teacher certification, and kinds of graduate degrees available, or contact the Office of the Registrar.


From an organizational perspective, the university is divided largely by role and function into five primary areas:









The Common Council is the primary governance body on the campus.


Under the provisions of the Constitution of the Common Council and for all governance purposes outlined in that constitution, “faculty” is defined as the chancellor, all persons holding faculty appointments, and all persons holding academic staff appointments.

A copy of the Constitution of the Common Council is in Chapter 9  of this Handbook.


All persons holding faculty appointments and all persons holding academic staff appointments are eligible for membership in the Senate.



The Senate consists of no fewer than 35 and no more than 45 elected senators, chairpersons of standing committees, one dean, and the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee (the chancellor or a designee are ex officio members).  The distribution of senators is determined by the number of full-time equivalent faculty and academic staff in the college or other equivalent area.


Senators are from each college, the University Library, and from among those not assigned to a college (Business Affairs and Student Development/University Relations).  Senators serve as representatives of the entire university, not the constituency from which they are elected.

Voting, Election, and Term. 

The annual election is in April, by mail ballot; voting is at large.  Write-in votes will not be counted for Senate elections or for elections of its standing committees.  Senators are elected for two-year terms but committee chairpersons are elected for one-year terms; all may be re-elected for an additional term.


The primary work of the Council is conducted through its standing committees, which seek broad input and give detailed consideration to the issues before them.  All committees report to the Council; no action of a committee is final until it has been reported to the Council.  Some matters brought by committees require a vote of the Council, others only the report.  However, any member of the Council may request and require a vote on any matter brought before the Council by a standing committee.

Committee Membership. 

Membership on these committees is not restricted to members of the Senate.

Executive Committee. 

The officers of the Senate and the chairpersons of the standing committees serve as the Executive Committee of the Senate.  Among its other responsibilities, the Executive Committee acts on behalf of the Senate when the Senate is not in session (primarily during the summer).


The faculty and academic staff derive their authority from 36.09 (4) and (4m) of the statutes:

(4)  Faculty. 

The faculty of each institution, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the board, the president and the chancellor of such institution, shall be vested with responsibility for the immediate governance of such institution and shall actively participate in institutional policy development.  As such, the faculty shall have the primary responsibility for academic and educational activities and faculty personnel matters.  The faculty of each institution shall have the right to determine their own faculty organizational structure and to select representatives to participate in institutional governance.

(4m) Academic staff. 

The academic staff members of each institution, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the board, the president and the chancellor and faculty of the institution, shall be active participants in the immediate governance of and policy development for the institution.  The academic staff members have the primary responsibility for the formulation and review, and shall be represented in the development, of all policies and procedures concerning academic staff members, including academic staff personnel matters.  The academic staff members of each institution shall have the right to organize themselves in a manner they determine and to select representatives to participate in institutional governance.

Faculty Representatives. 

The Common Council interacts with the Board and UW System administration primarily through the chairperson of the Senate, who serves as UWSP’s member of the Faculty Representatives.  The faculty representatives meet monthly; meetings are chaired by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.


The faculty representative receives many documents from System administration, including system reports, budget information, the packet of information which Regents receive prior to their meeting, and press clippings related to the UW System.  Board and board committee minutes are now on the network.


The representatives sometimes discuss issues through an electronic mailing list which includes all representatives but not System administration. 

Board Meetings. 

The chairperson of the Senate also attends the monthly meetings of the Board as an observer and to report on the actions of the Board to the Senate.  Occasionally, a representative will address a Board committee or the full Board or will meet with regents privately to discuss issues of concern.

Administrative Committees. 

The Executive Committee of the Common Council or the chairperson of the Senate shall appoint all faculty and academic staff members of administrative committees.  Administrators responsible for administrative committees to which faculty or academic staff are to be appointed may notify the chairperson either to request appointees or to make nominations and request appointees from among the nominees.

Released Time. 

Chairperson of the Senate. 

A half-time (.50 FTE) position is assigned to the chancellor’s office to provide released time from teaching responsibilities for the chairperson of the Senate.


The chairperson’s department or unit is authorized to hire a .50 FTE replacement for the chairperson when the department or unit deems it necessary.

Other Officers. 

Requests for Load Relief. 

The Senate or individual officers may request that departments or units in which faculty serve grant load relief of .25 FTE for chairpersons of these committees:

  • Academic Affairs;
  • Academic Staff Council;
  • Curriculum;
  • Faculty Affairs;
  • Graduate Council;
  • International Affairs;
  • University Affairs;
  • University Personnel Development;
  • University Planning.


Departments and units from which load relief is requested for individuals in the enumerated positions shall arrange for load relief whenever possible.

SCH Production. 

Load relief granted by departments or units to individuals for Senate office is carried as official released time.  For classroom teaching personnel, the FTE allocated to released time is not required to generate SCH.




The Student Government Association works with faculty and administration to achieve the best possible university environment.  SGA serves as the messenger’s voice for student concerns, ideas, and interests in all facets of university life.

A copy of the SGA constitution is in chapter 9 of this Handbook.



Every student of the university is considered a member of the Student Government Association.

Elected Officers. 

The Student Government Association is led by an elected president and vice president.

Student Senate. 

Decision Body.

As the voting body of SGA, the Student Senate debates issues, passes resolutions, approves budget allocations, and confirms appointees.


The Student Senate consists of between 16 and 30 elected senators.  The distribution of senators is determined by the number of students in each of the colleges.  Each college is represented by a minimum of four senators.

Voting, Election, and Term. 

The annual election is in the spring, with ballot boxes at various sites across campus.  The president and vice president are elected at large, while senators are elected by each college.  Elected officers and senators serve a one-year term.

Segregated Fees. 

The Student Senate votes on the disbursement of all segregated fees.  The Finance Committee holds hearings, prepares a segregated fee budget, and reports its recommendations to the Student Senate for approval or amendment and approval.

Executive Board. 

The president appoints 12 students who, along with the president and vice president, hold paid positions and serve as the executive board of SGA.  The members of the executive board are the:

  • president;
  • vice president;
  • executive director;
  • secretary;
  • budget director;
  • budget assistant;
  • budget controller;
  • communications director;
  • academic issues director;
  • legislative issues director;
  • student life issues director; and
  • SOURCE director (training resource and organizational disciplinary body).

Students derive their authority from 36.09 (5) of the statutes:

(5)  Students. 

The students of each institution or campus, subject to the responsibilities and powers of the board, the president and the chancellor and the faculty shall be active participants in the immediate governance of and policy development for such institutions.  As such, students shall have primary responsibility for the formulation and review of policies concerning student life, services and interests.  Students in consultation with the chancellor and subject to the final confirmation of the board shall have the responsibility for the disposition of those student fees which constitute substantial support for campus student activities.  The students of each institution or campus shall have the right to organize themselves in a manner they determine and to select their representatives to participate in institutional governance.




The University Staff Council promotes active participation in university decision-making, informed communication, and a positive professional environment for all university staff employees.

A copy of the University Staff Council by-laws is in chapter 9 of this Handbook.


The committee offers advice and recommendations to the chancellor on issues pertaining to classified personnel or presents the views of classified personnel on university-wide issues.


Any represented classified employee, non-represented classified employee, limited term employee, or project appointment employee is eligible for election to the committee.

Size and Representation. 

The committee has eleven members and includes at least one member each from among the represented university staff; non-represented university staff; and limited term employees.

Voting and Election. 

Members are elected at large during an April general meeting of the university staff.  Members serve a two-year term.


There are two chairpersons and a secretary, elected by the committee from among its members for a one-year term.


The committee meets at least monthly