Chapter 12

Training and Development




It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to promote the continuing education of employees. Employees may be reimbursed for authorized education in accordance with the Chapter 8 of the UW-System Unclassified Personnel Guideline. To be eligible, faculty, academic staff, and limited employees must have a half time or greater appointment. Graduate students, employees in training and student help are not eligible for job-related or career-related training.

No more than one course, up to five credits, or training equivalent in any academic term (e.g. a semester, summer session) should be reimbursed. The chancellor or designee may authorize additional coursework. Coursework at UW System institutions is encouraged, but coursework may be taken at any state-accredited public or private higher educational institution or VTAE district institution. Reimbursement for coursework at private institutions should be limited to the rate of an equivalent course at the home institution. Note: Dissertator status courses are eligible for reimbursement as long as the work done during the semester meets the Job-Related or Career-Related criteria provided below.


Educational assistance shall be defined as follows:

Job-Related—Professional development or training courses required by the employer to maintain or improve skills required in the employee’s present work. Such training is directly and immediately related to the work needs of the unit and is fully funded by the employer on University time. Such training is usually of brief duration and is not recurring or extensive.

Career-Related—Professional development or undergraduate/graduate level courses which will improve an employee’s job performance and may help qualify an employee for advancement to positions closely related to his/her current job. The training or course work may be suggested by the employer or employee, but is not required for continued employment. Courses for personal enrichment do not apply. Approval by the Academic Personnel Office is required before the course or training begins.


In all instances of job-related/employer-required training or course work, the instructional fees should be paid by the unit when the employee registers, not after completion of the course.

UW Institutions—Payments for job-related/employer-required training or courses at any UW institution should be made via internal requisition. If the course work is done at a UW institution other than UW-Madison, the requisition should include a notation: “Please issue check for payment.”

External vendors—Payment for job-related/employer required training or courses provided by an external vendor is typically accomplished via an external requisition. Consult with your Dean/Director’s office regarding employing unit policies and procedures.

Please note: All requisitions should be routed through the Dean/Director’s office to the Business Office, and include a notation: “This is employer-required course work or training.”


In all instances of career-related/employer-authorized training or coursework, the instructional fees must be paid by the unit only after successful completion of the course. The unclassified staff member, though the appointing authority, initiates the request for reimbursement for the cost of coursework or training. A Request for Authorization to Reimburse Employee’s Fee/Tuition must be completed prior to the coursework or training.

Reimbursement Procedures

    1. Complete the Request for Authorization to Reimburse Employee Tuition form—this form must be completed by the employee and department, signed by the Dean/Director or designee, and approved by the Academic Personnel Office before the course or training begins.

    2. Amount of Reimbursement—Up to 100% of fees, including segregated fees upon successful completion of the training our course work if employee is still employed in state service. Books, supplies and travel costs are not reimbursed. Any financial aid received by the unclassified staff member for tuition and fees shall be taken into account when determining the amount to be reimbursed.

    3. Funding—Funds for reimbursement must be available within the work unit.

    4. Transfer—An employee who enrolls in a course while employed by one department and who completed the course after transferring to another department will be reimbursed by the second department only if the course meets the conditions outlined here, as well as in 2. and 3. above. Otherwise, the first department must fulfill its obligation.

Requests for reimbursement that do not include all of the above requirements shall be denied. If tuition reimbursement is from gift or grant funds, the Dean’s office must verify with Research Administration that this is an appropriate charge and that funds will be available.

Note: Career-related coursework is normally taken on an unclassified staff member’s own time. If the needed coursework is available only during the employee’s scheduled hours of service, a proportional compensatory time may be arranged, provided normal service hours of the employing unit are not disrupted.

Employers are encouraged to establish mechanisms that will ensure equitable distribution of opportunity for educational assistance.


UW-System Unclassified Personnel Guideline (UPG) Chapter 8.