UW–Madison recognizes that many of its activities provide potential sources of revenue or other non-financial benefits through legitimate and worthwhile opportunities for commercial use of facilities and other promotional activities. This revenue can be beneficial to the entire University community, and, in turn, the State of Wisconsin.
However, it is also necessary to recognize that the university is a public institution and that its reputation and image must be protected. Therefore, the university has adopted the following policies applicable to the commercial use of facilities, incentives, and acceptance of gifts.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for University Relations (VCUR) has been given the authority to administer these policies under the authority of the UW System Board of Regents. In addition, any dispute about these policies or their application must be referred for resolution to VCUR. Certain decision-making and administrative functions related to these policies may be delegated to other university offices or entities upon appropriate application to and approval by the Vice Chancellor for University Relations.
The use of university facilities is primarily for the purposes of instruction, research, and public service. Use by university groups and non-university groups under the sponsorship of a university department or organization is authorized, but only in conformance with these and other applicable policies, including but not limited to those policies referenced herein.
The use of university facilities by or for commercial or commercially-related interests is allowed as long as the use is consistent with these and other applicable policies and rules, the policies of any university department or facility, or organization that is involved in the activity, and the UW–Madison policies and guidelines governing the use of university facilities and lands.
Commercial use of facilities and grounds by non-university individuals or groups, and the commercial offering, demonstration, distribution, display, advertising, promotion, or sale of goods or services on university property not otherwise covered by a university contract will take place only with the prior written approval of the Vice Chancellor for University Relations, or designee, based on a case-by-case review, and subject to terms and conditions negotiated and/or imposed by the university. Uses that may involve sales or solicitations must also comply with the provisions of UWS 18.11(8) in particular.
Any contract between the university and a non-university entity under these policies for commercial use of facilities and any written approval for such use from the Vice Chancellor for University Relations will:
These policies are not intended to diminish appropriate support of university activities by non-university entities, but rather to ensure that university events and facilities are not inappropriately used as vehicles for promoting commercial interests. It is the responsibility of any university group or RSO involved in the sponsorship, development, arrangements, or publicizing of any such activities to comply with and to enforce compliance with these policies.
Gifts-in-kind involving products (but not services) require formal acceptance by the Regents on recommendation of (1) the appropriate department head and (2) the chancellor. Policies regarding the acceptance of a gift-in-kind are found in UW System Administrative Policy 342 and in the UW–Madison Division of Business Services Gifts-in-Kind Policy.
In certain cases, the would-be donor may request, or the intended recipient may wish to offer, specific public recognition of the gift beyond the customarily provided recognition, after acceptance by the Regents. Such recognition, or acknowledgment, must be consistent with the general principles of these policies and cannot result in an overt or implied endorsement of an entity, product, or service, result in or in any way give the appearance of personal gain, or be construed as being conditioned upon acquisition and/or use of additional or other products or services from the same source.
In cases where a gift-in-kind or gift of money is offered to the university in anticipation of specific public recognition, or acknowledgment, the gift-in-kind or gift of money may not be accepted, nor may any gift-related sponsorship be allowed or acknowledged, except under a written contract/agreement or until the Division of Business Services or its designee has been contacted and has formally approved in writing the proposed recognition. In addition, should a gift-in-kind or gift of money involve the naming or dedicating of any university facility, Regent Policy Document 19-14 must be followed.
University departments or RSOs receiving sponsorship for programs or events held in university facilities may provide an acknowledgment of that support. university departments or RSOs holding or publicizing events in university facilities shall not make statements or engage in activities that would constitute an endorsement of a particular non-university interest or organization, or its products. Limited exceptions may be granted to RSOs sponsoring events in support of charitable organizations.
Faculty and academic staff members are reminded that acceptance of individual gifts is governed by Chapter UWS 8 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code entitled, “Unclassified Staff Code of Ethics.” In particular, the code states, “it is a violation for unclassified staff members to seek financial gain for themselves, their immediate families, or organizations with which they are associated through activities that conflict with the interests of the University of Wisconsin System.”
Classified staff acceptance of gifts-in-kind is governed by Regent Policy Document 20-22, Section III, University Staff Code of Ethics which states that “It is the policy of the Board of Regents to prohibit those activities that will cause a conflict of interest. Therefore: (a) No University Staff member may use or attempt to use his or her position or University property, or use the prestige or influence of his or her position for financial gain or other benefits, advantages or privileges for the private benefit of the University Staff member, the University Staff member’s immediate family, or an organization with which the University Staff member is associated.”
Individuals and groups connected with the University’s athletic department are also referred to the applicable provisions of Sections 11.2 (Contractual Agreements), 11.3 (Compensation and Remuneration), and 12.5 (Promotional Activities) of the NCAA Manual.
The university recognizes that the ability to negotiate and to provide certain special incentives, as part of a bargained-for exchange of money, goods, or services, is a common business practice, and can be an effective tool for attracting advertising, gifts, sponsorships, and other promotional revenue if handled in a manner consistent with state and university policies.
Any granting of incentives will be covered by written contract.
It is further recognized that there are practical limitations on the availability of such incentives, and their use must optimize the return or advantages they generate for the university. These resources are made available only for university business purposes.
Complimentary and reduced-price tickets to any university athletic event for which an admission fee is normally charged are prohibited under Wis. Stat. § 36.39 with the following exceptions:
Therefore, whenever athletic or other event tickets are part of a bargained-for exchange under this section, the consideration in money, goods, or services to the university under the required contract must at least equal in value the dollar value of the tickets to be provided.
12-04-1980, 07-15-1988, 09-01-1992, 06-01-2000, 10-01-2020