The UW Colleges Senate embodies a Wisconsin tradition of shared governance, a tradition recognized in both practice and in state statute. As the main governance body of the UW Colleges, the Senate creates and oversees academic and institutional policies. Among other things, it is responsible for personnel matters, including tenure and promotion procedures, and all curricular matters, including the Associate of Arts and Science Degree.
The UWC Senate is a combined Senate, one of only a handful in the UW System that includes members drawn from faculty, academic and university staff, and students. The seventeen faculty senators are elected by and represent the UW Colleges campus collegiums. Eight academic staff senators are elected by academic staff from across all thirteen UW Colleges campuses. The University Staff Council is composed of a university staff member elected by the university staff from each campus, Online, and the central offices; that Council then chooses the five university staff senators from among their membership. The three student senators are elected by the Student Governance Council of the UW Colleges. The Senate includes a non-voting representative from the campus deans, and one from the academic department chairs. The Chancellor of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, the Provost of the UW Colleges, and several other members of the Colleges' administration regularly report to the full Senate.
Senate meetings are held four times a year, conducted under the current version of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised. The meetings are open to the public. Senate documents are by state statute public documents; if anyone is unable to find a specific document, please notify the UWC Senate by contacting the Chair of the Senate Steering Committee Holly Hassel and the Assistant to the UW Colleges Senate Linda Baum, or by calling 715-261-6355. For a quick overview of how the Senate works, see the slideshow.
Further information regarding UW Systemwide policies, including those of the Board of Regents, may be accessed at the Policies & Procedures page of the University of Wisconsin System website. Statutes governing the University of Wisconsin System can be viewed at the Wisconsin Legislature site.