Regent Policy Documents



(Formerly 04-1)


This policy applies to bequests/gifts of $250,000 or more made directly to any UW System institution, where the donor is silent as to the expenditure of principal.


The purpose of this policy is to provide for more long-term or perpetual support from large gifts where the donor has not chosen to “endow” or otherwise restrict the usage of gift principal.  Recognizing that specific immediate needs may sometimes outweigh the need for additional perpetual but incremental support, a mechanism is also provided whereby UW institutions can request an exemption from this policy.

Policy Statement

All new  bequests/gifts of $250,000 or more where the donor is silent as to the expenditure of principal, shall be identified as designated endowments, with only the income from the trust available for expenditure in accordance with the terms of the trust agreement. However, where the donor explicitly states that the principal of the gift be made available for expenditure, this policy will not apply.  If an institution wants an exception to this proposed rule, the request for exception, with appropriate justification, should be contained in the institution's recommendation for acceptance and be incorporated in the Regent resolution.  If at a later date, the institution wishes to seek an exception to the Regent imposed restriction, it should submit a request to the Office of the Vice President for Finance for consideration at the next meeting of the Business, Finance, and Audit Committee. 

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The Office of Trust Funds shall ensure that this policy is implemented for all relevant bequests/gifts.

The UW System Vice President for Finance shall oversee requests for exceptions to this policy, and the Business, Finance, and Audit committee will give due consideration to such requests at its regularly scheduled meetings.

Related Regent Policies and Applicable Laws


History: Res. 5631, adopted 10/05/1990; Res. 8930, adopted 11/05/2004, rescinded and replaced Res. 5631, and created Regent Policy Document 04-1, subsequently renumbered Regent Policy Document 31-15; Res. 10146, adopted 12/07/2012, amended Regent Policy Document 31-15.

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The Regent Policy Documents were adopted and are maintained pursuant to the policy-making authority vested in the Board of Regents by Wis. Stats. § 36. The Regent Policy Documents manifest significant policies approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This document is a ready reference for those charged with carrying out these policies. Unless noted otherwise, associated documents and reports may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, ph 608-262-2324.