Glossary search results: 70

A-basisSalary rate computed on a twelve-month, annual basis.

AAPAcademic Advancement Program.  This program has been superseded by the Center for Academic Excellence

Academic StaffAcademic Staff: a professional and administrative employee whose duties are exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and who performs work that is primarily associated with a higher education institution or its administration.
Acronym UnscramblerUW-Madison Business Services list of acronyms often used in business processes:
ADAAmericans with Disabilities Act.  See also:

AG (Administrative Gateway)This term refers to the L&S Administrative Gateway.

AOFAdvanced Opportunity Fellowship.  For Graduate students only.  This fellowship is awarded to highly qualified underrepresented students. To be considered for AOF funding, prospective students must be new to the Graduate School and be admissible to a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For further information:


The L&S Academic Planning Council, or APC, advises the Dean on planning, program, and fiscal matters, and thus plays an important role in College governance activities.  The Dean chairs the Council's weekly meetings, where topics that affect the whole college (and often, the rest of the university) are discussed by elected and appointed members. Academic and Administrative Deans serve as ex Officio observers to advise the council. Agendas are prepared by the Assistant Dean for Academic Planning, in consultation with the Dean and Associate Deans.  For more information, see the Administrative Gateway document, What is the L&S Academic Planning Council? .

APOAcademic Personnel Office. Main campus office for unclassified human resources, personnel, and related activities:

ARMSArchives and Records Management.  See for more information, including policy on maintaining public records.

ASPPAcademic Staff Policies and Procedures.  For more information, visit the Secretary of Academic Staff website:
Assessment of Student LearningUW-Madison's accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, defines assessment of student learning as a "participatory, iterative process" that:
  • Provides data/information needed regarding student learning;
  • Engages the institution (faculty, staff, students) in analyzing and using this data/information to confirm and improve teaching and learning;
  • Produces evidence that students are learning the outcomes identified by the faculty;
  • Guides educational and institutional improvement; and
  • Helps the institution understand, evaluate and document whether changes made affect student learning
This iterative process asks a series of "Fundamental Questions, including:
  1. How are your stated learning outcomes appropriate to your mission, programs, students and degrees?
  2. How do you ensure shared responsibility for student learning & assessment of student learning?
  3. What evidence do you have that students achieve your stated learning outcomes?
  4. In what ways do you analyze and use evidence of student learning?
  5. How do you evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your efforts to assess and improve student learning?

In the course of an accreditation review, external consultant/evaluators will gauge the extent to which the university has engaged in assessment for purposes of improving student learning, and used what we find to improve student learning.

BORBoard of Regents; the governing board for the UW System.  See:
Breadth (L&S and General Education)Undergraduate study in the Liberal Arts and Sciences requires students to become familiar with the ways in which humans systematically study and interpret the world, and how they communicate that understanding to others.  "Breadth" is a term that originates in the Letters and Science curriculum, where the term is used to describe the different "ways of knowing" found in the major divisions of scholarly inquiry: the Arts and Humanities (including Literature), the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Natural (including Physical and Biological) Sciences. Students who are completing the L&S degree requirements must take a specified minimum amount of coursework (credits) in each of these broad areas. To help L&S students meet their requirements, the L&S Curriculum Committee assigns "breadth designations" to courses that meet the committee's expectations for learning in those areas.  These designations can be used to search for courses that meet L&S degree requirements, and the degree audit reporting system (DARS) uses the designation to determine whether requirements are met.  Departments and faculty may ask the L&S Curriculum Committee to review courses to carry these designations.   As a service to the campus community, L&S Breadth designations are also used to signal courses that meet University General Education Breadth Requirements - though each school and college may specify more narrowly courses that meet those requirements.

For a description of what "breadth" courses are expected to convey to students in them, see the discussion of Breadth in the Guide, or consult Criteria for L&S breadth course designations.  For procedures on how courses are reviewed and approved to carry breadth designations, see Requesting "L&S Credit", Level, or Breadth undergraduate course designations .

C-basisSalary rate computed on a nine-month, academic year, basis.

CASICommittee on Academic Staff Issues; these committees have been established in each school and college to advise Deans on policies and procedures, promotional opportunities, participation in department governance, and performance recognition for academic staff.

CCASCross College Advising Service.  Campus advising service for freshmen and sophomores; administered through L&S for the campus.  See:

Chapter 36Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 36, established the University of Wisconsin System, of which UW-Madison is the flagship institution.

COIConflict of Interest  UW-Madison faculty and staff may participate in activities with external entities which may generate conflicts between the needs of the institution and the outside entity.  These conflicts are common, frequently avoidable and can often be appropriately managed.  UW-Madison collects reports of these potential conflicts in the form of OARs.

College Portrait

Prepared by Academic Planning and Institutional Research, the College Portrait contained a standard set of information about the university published as part of the university's participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability. The VSA initiative involves 4-year public colleges and universities belonging to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public And Land-Grant Universities. The VSA is designed to help institutions demonstrate accountability and stewardship to their publics; measure educational outcomes to identify effective educational practices; and assemble information that is accessible, understandable, and comparable.  The College Portrait has been superseded by the Student Achievement Measure, which is intended to improve upon the College Portrait by tracking students across institutions.  See UW-Madison's Student Achievement Measure.

Comm ACommunication A, one of two communication requirements that are part of the university-wide undergraduate General Education Requirements.  See also: 

Comm BCommunication B, one of two communication requirements that are part of the university-wide undergraduate General Education Requirements.  See also: 

Consensual RelationshipsThe College of Letters & Science abides by faculty legislation and university policy governing consensual relationhips, which is founded on Faculty Legislation

Credit HoursFederal guidelines adopted in July 2011 require that a credit hour must reasonably approximate the learning outcomes achieved in not less than one hour of direct faculty instructional contact with two hours of out-of-class work, per week, for each week of a fifteen week term.  Institutions may establish equivalencies that approximate this standard to allow for distance learning and other learning activities (such as laboratories, practica, internships, etc).  UW-Madison's Divisional Executive Committees have established credit hour policies that conform with these well-established conventions,

Thus, "credit hours" are a mechanism that can be used to measure the amount of instruction delivered each academic term, since it measures the number of hours of direct instructional contact for a given course, when multiplied by the number of students enrolled in that course during the term under consideration.

DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System)
DARS is used to track student progress toward, and completion of, an undergraduate degree, major and/or certificate program.  It is also used to store exceptions to those requirements submitted by and on behalf of L&S faculty.  In addition, DARS is used analytically to ascertain how students complete curricular requirements, how many exceptions are approved, what courses are accepted and most-taken by students, and what academic requirements present barriers to student success.

The L&S DARS is coded under the supervision of Academic Information Management (AIM) in L&S Student Academic Affairs, to audit the minimum requirements of all L&S degrees, majors and certificates.  DARS does this by applying student information (courses, grades, program declarations, credits, high school units, etc) toward the coded program requirements for that student.  Thus, separate DARS are created for each L&S degree, major and certificate and students must be declared in those programs to receive an official DARS.

DARS is Document of Record for all L&S programs.1  When a student applies for their bachelor's degree from L&S, a DARS is produced to confirm that student has completed all academic requirements of their degree, additional major, and/or certificate program.  If a student is comforted eligible, his/her degree is cleared and posted, and that DARS is saved as Document of Record.

It is important to note that DARS is widely used by students and advisors -- over 500,000 DARS audits are run annually, most by students.  To facilitate student selection of a degree, major or certificate, DARS is available as a "What If" tool.  This allows students to see how their academic record would apply to an L&S program they are interested in, but for which they are not declared.

Questions about DARS can be directed to the L&S Academic Information Management office (AIM).  

1 L&S Music degrees are currently in development, and are not yet Document of Record status.

Data DigestThe UW-Madison Data Digest is prepared by the Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research ( The Data Digest contains useful, official information about the whole university - - and the College of Letters and Science within that realm - - in a succinct graphical format. The current and previous editions of the Data Digest are available here

DCSDivision of Continuing Studies - see website:

DoITDivision of Information Technology.  Handles instructional technology, administrative data processing, and other IT related activities for the campus. See website:

EAOEmployee Assistance Office.  The Employee Assistance Office is a resource provided by the University of Wisconsin to assist employees and their immediate family members or significant others who are finding it difficult to successfully cope with personal or work related issues and concerns.

Employee-in-TrainingPersons holding a title in the Employees-in-Training title group are normally acquiring additional training or experience in their field of specialization. Two examples of Employees-in-Training titles are Postdoctoral Fellow and Postgraduate Trainee.
Source: Office of Human Resources, Unclassified Title Guideline: Summary of Unclassified Appointment Types

ESREthnic Studies Requirement, one of the requirements that are part of the university-wide undergraduate General Education Requirements.  See also:

ETF(Department of) Employee Trust Funds.

FacultyThe UW-Madison faculty consists of all persons with instructional, research and service responsibilities who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor with at least a one-half time appointment with UW-Madison, or a full-time appointment held jointly between UW-Madison and UW-Extension.
SOURCE: Faculty Policy and Procedures 1.02.A
FCOI (Financial Conflict of Interest)A Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) is a significant financial interest in an entity that could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of federally-funded or human subjects research.

FERPAFERPA – the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended – is a federal law that governs the privacy of student educational records, access to those records, and disclosure of information from them. More information about FERPA can be found on the Office of the Registrar website.  (FERPA is also commonly referred to as "the Buckley Amendment".)

FPPFaculty Policy and Procedures.  Primary faculty governance policy document.

FTEFull-time equivalent.  A way of counting the number of staff or positions. 

FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and HeadcountThere are two basic ways that we count the number of employees. When we use headcount, each individual person counts as one employee whether their appointment is full time or part time. When we use "FTE," we are using the "Full Time Equivalent."

The Full Time Equivalent is the total of all positions using the percentage of the appointment rather than the number of individual employees. This is what the headcount looks like for the same employees using each measure:

Employee A - .5 appointment
Employee B - 1.0 appointment
Employee C - .6 appointment
Employee D - .4 appointment

Using Headcount, there are 4 employees
Using FTE, there are 2.5 employees (.5 + 1 + .6 + .4 = 2.5)

FYFiscal Year; each fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30.

GPRGeneral Purpose Revenue.  This is the main type of funding received by the university from the State of Wisconsin.  GPR is comprised of Wisconsin state sales and income tax revenues.

Human Subjects ResearchFor information on human subjects research, please see the Institutional Review Board's website.

I-9 FormFederal form that proves employment eligibility that must be completed by all new employees.

ICIIncome Continuation Insurance.  For more information, see

Institutional ResponsibilitiesInstitutional Responsibilities are an investigator's professional duties on behalf of the UW-Madison, which may include; research, research consultation, instruction, professional practice, extension/outreach, administrative activities and institutional committee memberships.

L&S Department ID/UDDS

A Department ID is the sequence of numbers that identifies a specific campus department, program, or entity. Historically, the Department ID was known as a "UDDS," which stands for "Unit, Division, Department, Subdepartment." This term is still in use in some resources, so we are including it in this glossary listing.

In more practical terms, a Department ID/UDDS is the unique combination of letters and numbers that identify the division, department, and possibly subdepartment, associated with a particular personnel, research, financial, or other activity or transaction.

EXAMPLE:  The full Department ID for a particular Letters & Science Department would be written as : 48XXXX.

"48" stands for "College of Letters & Science"

"XXXX" are the four numbers that identify the specific department, program, project, or other administrative entity.

A list of Letters & Science Department ID/UDDS numbers can be found at:

UW Madison Coding Information Dept ID

Click on the link and you will be directed to the Accounting Services web site.  Click on the Coding link on the left side of the screen.  Click on the Organization/Dept ID.  When the excel list opens click on A48 to find a list of all Letters & Science Departments and descriptions. 

UDDS Look Up Tool

L&S Majors, Certificates, and DegreesThe official lists of majors, certificates, and degrees offered in Letters & Science are available on-line:

  • The Guide provides a comprehensive list of undergraduate majors, special degree programs, certificates, and concentrations organized by the respective school or college that offers the academic program.
  • The Guide also provides a comprehensive list of graduate degrees, minors, and certificates. The information is organized alphabetically for all university programs.

LOALeave of absence
LSSLearning Support Services.  See:

Management PlanA Management Plan (MP) may be put into place by the UW-Madison Conflict of Interest Committee to aid an investigator reduce or eliminate a financial conflict of interest (FCOI) and to ensure, to the extent possible, that the design, conduct, and reporting of research will be free from bias.  An example Management Plan may be found here Financial Conflict of Interest Management Plan Example .

Memorandum of Agreement in Summer TermMemoranda of Agreement (MOA) forms are sent to confirm summer instructional appointments in the College of Letters & Science. These are sent to legal faculty and fixed-term renewable academic staff members with nine-month (C-Basis) appointments. 

These green forms are generated by L&S and are distributed to department administrators via campus mail in spring each year. Please contact Amanda Mahr for any changes needed to an MOA. These forms should be signed by the instructor and the department chair, and returned to 301 South Hall by the deadline listed at the bottom of the form. These agreements are contingent upon sufficient course enrollment. For Summer 2019, instructors will be notified of course cancellations by May 6, 2019.

Other instructors will need offer letters approved through L&S HR; L&S departments should work with their STS/SA HR Rep.

Non-Service Related AppointmentIncome with no work requirement; related to a non-service appointment (e.g. Fellow, Scholar, Trainee). Payment of the funds is not dependent on work or service to the university performed by the recipient.
OAROutside Activities Report  These reports are submitted annually by UW-Madison faculty, academic staff and personnel named upon any federally-funded or human subjects research.  The form can be found here.

OHROHR refers to the Campus Office of Human Resources

OHRDThe Office of Human Resource Development - formerly OHRD - is now known as the Office of Talent Management.

Outside ActivityAn outside activity represents a relationship with an entity outside of the UW-Madison which, for the purposes of Conflict of Interest, may overlap with an individual's institutional responsibilities.  An outside activity may involve compensation, leadership, ownership or equity interest in an external entity.

QR-AQuantitative Reasoning A, the first of two quantitative reasoning courses required as part of the university-wide undergraduate General Education Requirements.  Emphasizes mathematical procedures.  Must be completed before students may enroll in QR-B.


Quantitative Reasoning B, the second of two quantitative reasoning courses required as part of the university-wide undergraduate General Education Requirements.  Emphasizes quantitative reasoning within the context of another subject.  QR-A must be completed before students may enroll in QR-B.

Service Related AppointmentsEmployment payment, compensation for work performed in service to the university. Income is contingent upon an activity or employee position (e.g. Project Assistant, Research Associate, Teaching Assistant, etc.).
Sifting and WinnowingThe phrase "sifting and winnowing" refers to UW-Madison's historic tradition of defense of intellectual and academic freedom. The words are taken from an 1894 report of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and were originally used to explain the board's refusal to censure a professor accused of socialist and pro-union activity. The words are mounted on a plaque on the front of Bascom Hall:


Significant Financial Interest (SFI)A Significant Financial Interest means any financial interests held by an investigator (and/or his or her immediate family), or by a business entity controlled or directed by the investigator or a member of his or her immediate family, that has monetary value, whether or not the value is readily ascertainable, including:
  • Remuneration (e.g. salary, consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship, etc.) received from a publicly traded entity in the twelve months preceding disclosure, and the value of any equity interest (stock, stock option, or other ownership interest) in the entity at the date of disclosure that, when aggregated, exceed $5,000
  • Remuneration, (e.g. salary, consulting fees, honoraria, paid authorship, etc.) received from a non-publicly traded entity of greater than $5,000 in the twelve months preceding the disclosure
  • Any equity interest (e,g. stock, stock option, or other ownership interest) in a non-publicly traded entity
  • Royalty income from intellectual property rights not arising out of university employment, which are not assigned to organizations created to manage such rights on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (WARF)
  • Reimbursed or sponsored travel related to institutional responsibilities that is not reimbursed or sponsored by a government agency, a U.S. university, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with a U.S. university
  • Service in positions with fiduciary responsibility , including senior managers (e.g. presidents, vice presidents, etc.) and members of boards of directors, whether or not the investigator receives compensation for such service.
Significant financial interests do not include the following:
  • Salary, royalties, or other remuneration received from UW-Madison, the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation, or the VA
  • Royalty income from intellectual property rights arising out of UW-Madison employment that are assigned to organizations created to manage such rights on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (WARF)
  • Income from investment vehicles, such as mutual funds and retirement accounts, as long as the investigator does not control the investment decisions made in these vehicles
  • Income from seminars, lectures, or teaching engagements sponsored by a domestic government agency, a university, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with a university
  • Income from service on advisory committees or review panels for a domestic government agency, a university, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with a university
  • Travel related to institutional responsibilities that is reimbursed or sponsored by a domestic government agency, a university, an academic teaching hospital, a medical center, or a research institute that is affiliated with a university.


The Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration is designed for all new first-year and transfer students who plan to enter UW-Madison.  For more information about the program, see  (University staff who work with SOAR are able to access the Wiki, where program planning resources are posted, from that site. )

STSThe term “STS” refers to short-term instructional staff. STS may refer to the following titles:
The L&S Administrative Gateway has documents regarding how to request, recruit and make offers to short-term instructional staff.

Student Achievement Measure (College Portrait)

The College Portrait contained a standard set of information about the university published as part of the university's participation in the Voluntary System of Accountability. The VSA initiative involves 4-year public colleges and universities belonging to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public And Land-Grant Universities. Designed to help institutions demonstrate accountability and stewardship to their publics, the system sought to measure educational outcomes to identify effective educational practices by assembling information that was accessible, understandable, and comparable across institutions.  Over time, the College Portrait system was improved and superseded by the Student Achievement Measure, which helps to track students across institutions.  See UW-Madison's Student Achievement Measure.

Student Assistants

Titles in the Student Assistant title group are used for graduate students who: hold a fellowship, scholarship or traineeship; hold an appointment which is intended primarily to further the education and training of the student; are employed to assist with research training or other academic programs or projects; and/or have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional department under the supervision of a faculty member.

In addition, Student Assistant titles are available to undergraduate students when: no qualified graduate student is available to perform a function that would normally be assigned to graduate students (i.e., Undergraduate Assistant - requires advance approval of the dean); or when the terms of a supporting grant or contract preclude the use of other normally appropriate titles (Undergraduate Intern).
SOURCE: Office of Human Resources, UW-Madison Unclassified Title Guideline; Summary of Unclassified Appointment Types

Sub-recipientUW-Madison Conflict of Interest Policy defines sub-recipient to mean an entity or individual named on a subcontract from UW-Madison on a federally-funded award or human subjects research protocol.

Teaching Report
Each semester, the College of Letters & Science requests an updated departmental Teaching Report. This report lists Faculty and renewable Academic Staff who have teaching commitments to a department/program, along with the following information:
  • Instructor's standard teaching load
  • Instructor's planned teaching assignments for the academic year
  • Any planned course releases for an instructor in an academic year
The Teaching Report is used to review and audit overall teaching assignments and loads within academic programs. It is designed to assist departments and instructional programs as well as the Dean’s Office in documenting the allocation of faculty and renewable academic staff teaching. 

The following Gateway document contains instructions for updating the Teaching Report: L&S Teaching Report . Past copies of teaching reports may be downloaded from Departmental STS folders in Box (folder name = “48-#### Teaching Report”). The primary contact at L&S for the Teaching Report is Amanda Mahr (

UAS / UADSUndergraduate Academic Services, or  Undergraduate Academic Deans Services.  Services provided by L&S Student Academic Affairs; please see L&S Academic Services & Support

University StaffUniversity staff positions focus primarily on supporting education, research, and the campus infrastructure. If a position involves functions that are similar in nature to other positions in Wisconsin state government, the position is university staff. These positions include accountants, administrative support associates, nurses, microbiologists, and custodians.

SOURCE: Office of Human Resources

USICUniversity Staff Issues Committee.  Similar to the L&S CASI, the Dean has established this committee to advise him on policies and procedures, promotional opportunities, participation in department governance, and performance recognition for classified staff.

Wisconsin Administrative CodeRules established by the UW System Board of Regents, which apply to all UW System institutions.  See . The Code addresses a wide range of topics,  secure to faculty the rights of tenure, grant to students a voice in governance, and describe appropriate conduct on university lands and in university facilities.