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Parking Application Procedures

Employee parking on the UW-Madison campus is limited, so the university uses a priority system to assign parking to a limited number of applicants. The Annual Application Process Policy requires divisions to assign priority numbers to parking applicants. This document describes how the Nelson Institute prioritizes parking applicants.

Robin Higgins is the Nelson Institute’s Unit Transportation Coordinator.


These procedures apply to all faculty, academic staff, university staff, post docs, and graduate assistants with some portion of their tenure or appointment in the Nelson Institute. Affiliate faculty, honorary fellows, or student hourlies are not eligible to apply for parking through the Nelson Institute.


Parking is coordinated through Transportation Services’s Permit Application System (PAS). Employees do not automatically have access to the system to request parking. Employees must first email the Unit Transportation Coordinator for the Nelson Institute to request to be added to the Permit Application System. This must be done only once. However, if employees had parking through a different unit on campus, they must contact the Unit Transportation Coordinator first to request parking through the Nelson Institute. All employees who are eligible to request parking through the Nelson Institute will be added to the system.

Employees use the Permit Application System to apply for parking. Multiple lots may be selected.

The Nelson Institute uses a formula-based point system to prioritize employees who have requested parking. Employees receive points for:

  1. Annual Salary
    1/3 of the formula is based on salary, where 1 point is applied for every $1K of salary. For example, if an employee makes $24,000, they receive 24 points. If an employee makes $149,000, they receive 149 points.
  2. Years of Service
    1/3 of the formula is based on years of UW service, where 2 points are applied for every year of UW service. For example, if an employee has worked at UW-Madison for 21 years, they receive 42 points.
  3. Senior Leadership Adjustment
    The Dean receives 120 points. Associate Deans and Assistant Deans receive 110 points.

Points from these three categories are totaled and priority is given to those with the most points. 

The Unit Transportation Coordinator enters the priority numbers into the Permit Application System.

Transportation Services uses the Nelson Institute’s prioritizations to make parking offers to employees. Offer notifications are sent via email. Employees can accept or decline the offer in the Permit Application System.


Exact dates vary each year. In general, the schedule is as follows:

April: Transportation Services emails annual parking rates and policies to all employees
Mid-May: Employees apply for parking
Late June: Application deadline for first-round offers
Early July: Unit Transportation Coordinators prioritize applicants
Mid-July: First-round parking offers made

Transportation Services makes parking offers regularly throughout the year. Every quarter, the Unit Transportation Coordinator re-prioritizes the employees who are still waiting for an offer. For example, someone who is priority number 18 at the start of the year may become priority number 2 at the middle of the year.

Procedure Approver

These procedures were approved by the Nelson Institute Associate Dean for Administration, Colleen Godfriaux, on April 29, 2021.

Procedure Contact

If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact the Nelson Institute Transportation Coordinator, Robin Higgins,