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New contract approval policies provide flexibility

June 14, 2022 By Greg Bump

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents last week approved revisions to contract approval policies that will provide greater flexibility for UW–Madison related to approval of research and clinical trials and athletic employment contracts.

Previously, Regent policy required any grant or contract of more than $1 million with private, for-profit organizations receive board approval. Under the revised policy, the UW–Madison chancellor has been granted the authority to approve contracts up to $5 million, with additional flexibility for gifts and contracts up to $10 million if the UW System President also approves.

The revised policy allows UW–Madison to move more swiftly on high-dollar research projects and clinical trials with private sector partners. UW–Madison’s annual statewide economic impact is $30 billion. The university appreciates the Board’s responsiveness to the request for greater flexibility.

In addition, the Board revised the policy to raise the threshold requiring Board approval for UW–Madison Athletic Department employment contracts from $500,000 to $3 million, reducing administrative burden and giving more authority to the UW–Madison chancellor to approve the contracts in a timelier manner. The current $500,000 threshold would be retained for all other UW institutions.