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Effective November 2016, academic approval (via a screening proposal) by UW, as well as possibly, Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approval (UW's accreditator), for all contracts/purchases for credit instruction, must be completed PRIOR to submitting any contractual or purchasing requests to Purchasing Services.  The academic approval process is required, REGARDLESS of the purchase amount.  Specifics on what types of contractual arrangements are and aren't included in the policy, are found in the following KnowledgeBase document: 

If the instructor* is an INDIVIDUAL (versus contracting with a corporation or other entity), remember that they MUST BE PAYROLLED (and are subject to the "Policy on Minimum Qualifications for Instructional Staff", see below).  Please connect with the WSB's HR department well before the start of any courses taught for academic credit, to set-up the proper academic appointments.

     *Instructors must meet standards for instruction, have background checks, Title IX training, access to the Learning Management System (LMS), and otherwise meet standards for employees working with students.

Please make sure to plan sufficiently ahead if Contracting for Credit Instruction may be needed, as the approval process may take up to a SEMESTER.  As they require reporting to and possibly, approval by the HLC, UW-Madison academic approvals are required and are extensive.  

The following approval steps must be completed if contracting for credit instruction is needed:

Step 1. The proposed contractual arrangement is first approved by the program faculty.

Step 2. The proposal is approved by the dean, and may be approved as well by the school/college academic planning council.

Step 3. The dean’s office forwards the proposal to the Office of the Provost with a supporting cover memo from the dean to the provost, copy to the vice provost for academic planning and institutional research.

Step 4. The proposal will be subject to faculty approval through the University Academic Planning Council.

Step 5. After campus approval, information about the contractual arrangement for instruction will be submitted to HLC by the University’s HLC Liaison. HLC’s first step is a screening step. The response from the Commission based on the screening information will determine if a full proposal is required. A full proposal will follow the form specified by the HLC and will also be subject to dean approval and faculty/UAPC approval before submission to HLC.

When submitting the screening proposal for academic approval, include the following information:

  1. Name and contact information for lead faculty member for the academic program
  2. Primary contact person, if different, and their contact information
  3. Degree/major and/or certificate program(s) served by the contractual arrangement and the total number of credit hours required to complete the listed program
  4. Planned start date
  5. Information about the contractual partner – include contractual partner’s name and address, and information on a primary contact person
  6. List all courses and credits that will be provided by the contractual partner using their UW-Madison subject/title
  7. Provide the number of program credits offered by the contractual partner under the proposed contractual arrangement
  8. Provide a complete list of any courses and number of credits offered for this program by any other contractual partners
  9. A brief narrative of the nature of the contractual arrangement and the scope of what the contract covers.
  10. Provide a rationale for establishing this contractual arrangement. Provide a description of the role of program faculty in relation to the delivery of instruction by the contractual partner. Why is it necessary to contract for instruction? How will the UW-Madison partner monitor the quality of instruction?

Policy on Minimum Qualifications for Instructional Staff

As approved by the University Academic Planning Council on March 17, 2016, the policy was created to provide UW-Madison with a university-wide standard for the appointment of instructional staff in courses taught for academic credit.  Such a standard will set common expectations for instructor qualifications at UW-Madison. In addition, it is being promulgated to meet the new accreditation standards adopted by the Higher Learning Commission in June 2015.

Please visit the following KnowledgeBase for further information on the policy for minimum qualifications for instructional staff: 


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