Overview of UWM Policies and Procedures for Instructional Academic Staff

Updated: 10/15/20

UWM greatly values the contributions of its instructional academic staff, and it is important that you feel part of the UWM community. This includes understanding our values and the policies that apply to all UWM employees.

You can find UWM’s Guiding Values at the following link:

Office of the Chancellor: UWM’s Guiding Values

Your commitment to these values, including ethical behavior and providing a caring, compassionate, and collegial community, are achieved, in part, through your knowledge of and adherence to these and all UWM policies.

UWM is governed by State statutes and regulations, Board of Regents and UW System policies and procedures, and its own policies and procedures. Below are summaries of several policies that are critical for UWM instructors to use to guide their own behavior as UWM employees.

Irrespective of the lists below, all UWM staff are obligated to comply with all applicable laws and policies.

A list of campus wide policies can be found at:

Secretary of the University: Selected Academic and Administrative Policies (SAAPs)

A list of academic policies and procedures can be found at:

Division of Academic Affairs: Academic Policies & Procedures

  1. Faculty and Staff Code of Conduct

    The Code of Conduct governs all UWM employees and establishes the basic requirements for employee behavior.

    Code of Conduct (SAAP 7-3)

  2. Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter UWS 8 (Unclassified Staff Code of Ethics)

    UWS 8 establishes the core ethical obligations for UW System Academic Staff. These include, but are not limited to, avoiding conflicts of interest and outside activities reporting obligations. UWM staff may not use their university positions to promote their private businesses or outside employment.

    UWS 8

  3. Discriminatory Conduct and Consensual Relationships Policy

    UWM prohibits discrimination consistent with State and Federal law. This includes negative action taken against any member of the UWM community based on a protected status such as race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status and religion. This policy also governs consensual romantic or sexual relationships between instructors and students.

    Instructors may not commence a consensual romantic or sexual relationship with their current or likely future students. A pre-existing consensual relationship with a student under their instruction must be reported to their supervisor so any actual or perceived conflict of interest can be eliminated/managed.

    Discriminatory Conduct and Consensual Relationships Policy (SAAP 5-1)

  4. Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy

    UWM prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment. There are also reporting obligations for UWM employees who learn of incidents of sexual assault and other acts of sexual violence.

    All UWM employees are required to complete online sexual harassment training every three years (a link will be sent to you for this purpose). Formal Title IX complaints against employees are investigated according to the procedures in the Interim Policy on Investigation and Resolution of Formal Title IX Complaints.

    Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy (SAAP 5-2)

    Interim Policy on Investigation and Resolution of Formal Title IX Complaints (SAAP 5-4)

  5. Fiscal Misconduct

    UWM prohibits theft, misuse of UWM resources, and financial conflicts of interest. This policy provides the reporting mechanisms and response to such suspected misconduct.

    Fiscal Misconduct (SAAP 8-2)

  6. Acceptable Use of IT Resources and Information Security

    UWM information technology resources should only be used for UWM business, except for brief, incidental personal use. UWM staff must not use UWM IT resources to view or transmit sexually explicit material, for outside business, for political activity, or for any illegal purpose. UWM staff are obligated to maintain the safety and security of UWM information technology resources. They must also guard the confidentiality of sensitive information and records, including, but not limited to, student records and information.

    All UWM employees are required to complete annual online IT security training (a link will be sent to you for this purpose).

    Regent Policy Document 25-3

    Information Security Policy (SAAP 11-2)

  7. Child Abuse and Neglect

    Per gubernatorial executive order, all UWM staff are required to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect observed or reported in the course of their UWM work.

    Child Abuse and Neglect Policy (SAAP 10-2)

  8. Children in the Workplace

    Whether UWM staff may bring their children into the workplace is subject to approval by their school/college/department. The circumstances under which employees may bring their children to work must be brief, for specific campus events and/or in the event of an emergency. In no case may children be present in high-risk areas or be left unsupervised.

    Children in the Workplace Policy (SAAP 10-3)

  9. Minor Protection and Adult Leadership

    One-on-one contact between an adult and a minor is prohibited in UWM-sponsored programs except in the case of a parental/guardianship relationship, one-on-one tutoring, UWM police department interactions, or in cases approved by UWM’s Risk Manager. This policy does not apply to public events or in locations generally open to the public.

    Minor Protection and Adult Leadership Policy (SAAP 10-7)

  10. Political Activity by Employees

    UWM staff may not engage in political campaigning activities during work hours. UWM staff may serve as elected or appointed officials so long as such work does not conflict with their UWM hours of work.

    Political Activity by Employees Policy (SAAP 7-11)

  11. Board of Regents Policy on Freedom of Expression

    UWM staff enjoy academic freedom to explore their scholarship and research, although UWM may restrict expression that violates the law, defames a specific individual, constitutes a genuine threat or discriminatory harassment, unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the university. UWM staff may speak on matters of public interest or concern but must make clear that they are speaking on their own behalf and not on behalf of UWM unless expressly authorized to do so.

    UWM staff may be subject to discipline for violating UWS 18, including, but not limited to offenses against public safety, use of campus facilities, and offenses against public peace and order, in addition to the Code of Conduct.

    Regent Policy Document 4-21

    UWS 18

  12. Signature Authority

    Only certain individuals are authorized to sign contracts, agreements, or memoranda that legally obligate the University.

    Those individuals are identified here:

    Office of Legal Affairs: Signature Authority

    No faculty or instructional staff, unless they are also acting in an administrative role with specifically delegated authority, has authority to sign contracts, agreements, or memoranda on behalf of UWM and should not do so.

  13. Background Checks

    A safe campus environment for students, employees and visitors is critical to UWM. In keeping with UW System policy, the UWM Criminal Background Check Policy can be found here:

    Criminal Background Check Policy (SAAP 7-4)

    Per the policy, employees or volunteers that hold positions of trust with access to vulnerable populations must report any criminal arrests, charges or convictions (excluding misdemeanor traffic offenses punishable only by fine) to the HRBP for the school, college or division within 24 hours or at the earliest possible opportunity. Failure to make the required report may constitute a violation of this policy and result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

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