Frequently Asked Questions about University Policies Related to UW Foundation Gifts and Other Accounts

This document contains basic information and links to detailed information on the following topics: Cost Transfer Policy, University and UW-Foundation Gifts and Gifts-in-Kind policies, Tuition Remission, WISPER, F&A and Fringe Benefit Rates, Responsibility for Monitoring/Oversight of Grants/Contracts.

1.   Cost Transfer Policy Sponsored Projects:

A cost transfer is an after-the-fact reallocation of costs, either salary or non-salary costs, to a sponsored project within a 90-day period from the accounting date. Funding agency requirements concerning the management of awards made to institutions such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison limit the circumstances under which cost transfers are allowed.   In contrast, a re-budgeting action involves the reallocation of budgeted funds and not a transfer of expenditures


2.   University and UW-Foundation Gifts and Gifts-in-Kind Policies:

UW Foundation Gifts:

Gifts coming to us through the UW-Foundation are made with thoughtful care and with great love for this institution. Let us not forget that we all have the responsibility to cooperate with the Foundation in the solicitation of the gifts and to provide good stewardship of the gifts once received. By adhering to the policies and procedures set forth in this memorandum we will continue to benefit from this partnership for many years to come.


Sometimes referred to as non-monetary gifts, require formal acceptance by the Board of Regents. As in the case of extramural grants and contracts, gifts must have campus approval prior to their presentation to the Regents. To accomplish this, all relevant information pertaining to the gift must be routed through appropriate channels using a transmittal form.  

Link to prepare Gift in Kind form:


3.   Tuition Remission:

Since 2006 the University has charged a flat dollar amount on all PA and RA positions as a tuition remission surcharge.  The fee is allocated at the end of the month, posting as an expense to the accounts that are paying the salary for the PA or RA.  If more than one project is paying the salary, the tuition remission charge is pro-rated among all projects according to the portion that each project is paying.

Tuition Remission FAQ: 


2006 Tuition Remission Notice:


 4.   WISPER:

The purpose of the WISPER application and associated business processes is to assist in routing, approval, and negotiation of applications and agreements related to extramural funding on the UW campus. WISPER provides the data necessary to record information sufficient for internal tracking and reporting purposes and facilitates the Generation of Awards in the new PeopleSoft Grants system.

WISPER is a flexible system to allow each record to be facilitated in its own unique process across campus. Each record is accessible only to users who have been asked to participate via their role as a Principal Investigator, Campus Contact, Routing Recipient, Approver, Division, or RSP. Each user performs his or her step in the process and can route the record on for additional processing while still maintaining access to track or support additional data or document collection.  The website for WISPER can be found at which provides detailed information and instructions. 

5.   F&A and Fringe Benefit Rates:

Current F&A and Fringe Benefits Rates can be found at                                                         

6.   Responsibility for Monitoring/Oversight of Grants/Contracts: 

Grant and Contract Accounts at the UW-Madison are monitored by a combination of the Principal Investigator, the departmental or lab administrator, the Dean's office (often both pre-award and post-award), and Research and Sponsored Programs. The PRIMARY responsibility for various functions is extrapolated from the Roles and Responsibilities document.


Keywords:Cost Transfer, Gifts-in-Kind, UW-Foundation, Foundation, Tuition Remission, WISPER, F&A, Fringe Benefit Rates, Rates, Oversight of Grants, Gift-in-kind form   Doc ID:37743
Owner:Mary M.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2014-02-18 15:48 CDTUpdated:2017-12-01 14:40 CDT
Sites:College of Letters & Science
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