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Whether in times typical or trying, shared governance is a significant part of what makes the University of Wisconsin-Madison great.


Academic staff governance takes the form of decision making bodies organized by and for academic staff, shared governance committees, membership on search and screen committees, ad hoc committees and other forms of participation in institutional decision and policy making. The governance of public institutions in a democratic society, like the society itself, is best served by the broadest participation of their respective constituencies. By action of the Legislature of the State of Wisconsin [Wisconsin State Statutes Chapter 36.09 (4m)] and directive of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Academic Staff is responsible for active participation in the governance of and policy development for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other participants in the shared governance process include students, university staff, faculty, and administration.

Shared governance structure at UW-Madison; a letter W made up of puzzle pieces, each representing a different branch of shared governance

36.09 (4m) states “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 their representatives to participate in institutional governance.”

Here is a schematic for a institution-wide view of shared governance.

To view the scope of academic staff governance at UW-Madison, here is another diagram.