Risk Management

Affiliation Agreements


The purpose of this paper is to set forth procedures for establishing a contractual relationship between the University and participating affiliates with respect to the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties.


Many departments, schools, and colleges require or encourage students to have clinical or field training as a part of the curriculum necessary to graduate. Such training experience is usually attained with the cooperation of an outside agency which agrees to participate in a cooperative effort with the particular school or college. It is in the interest of both parties that a formal agreement be in place prior to the acceptance of students into such programs. From a risk management perspective it is especially beneficial for the University department to negotiate a contractual agreement which clearly delineates the level of liability for the parties involved in a way that is consistent with our risk management objectives.

Key Components in an Affiliation Agreement

Master Agreement

These documents contain the primary terms to which the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin on behalf of the University and the cooperating agency (affiliate) have agreed. The language in these documents carries the approvals of the Attorney General's Office, State and System Risk Management. (See attached Master Agreement Form.)

Negotiated Agreements

Negotiated Agreements are those presented by the affiliate which may contain language in conflict with relevant Wisconsin State Statutes or which are beyond our capability to comply. In such cases, the risk manager will attempt to negotiate changes in the language to make it consistent with the approved affiliation agreement.

Program Memoranda

Program Memoranda are academic issues and details of the program which exclude any reference to liability, indemnification, or insurance protection. They are statements of agreement between the program contact of the affiliate and the dean of the school or college involved. They are limited to the time frame of a single program and are incorporated into the Affiliation Agreement by reference if not in any way inconsistent with it.

Master List

The Master List is a listing of all affiliates with which an Affiliation Agreement is currently in effect. The list should be maintained and updated by the campus risk manager with copies sent to System Risk Management and to the dean of each school or college.

Contract Signature

Contracts, affiliation agreements, or agreements that obligate the State of Wisconsin can only be signed by those with signature authority. DO NOT SIGN those types of agreements. The Chancellor, Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance and the Director of Purchasing are the only individuals on campus who have signature authority.


  1. When a school or college wants to assign students to a particular outside agency for clinical or field education experience, the program coordinator of that particular school or college shall:
    1. Check the Master List of Affiliation Agreements currently in effect.
      • If listed, proceed with development of the Program Memorandum Agreement. (Only one Affiliation Agreement is needed for all schools or colleges to send students from varying disciplines.)
    2. If not listed, send a written request to initiate an Affiliation Agreement to the campus risk management department. The following should be included:
      • Requestor's name, title, and school or college
      • Legal name of prospective affiliate
      • Address of prospective affiliate
      • Name of affiliate's contact person
      • Telephone number of affiliate's contact person
      • Starting date of program at affiliate
  2. The risk manager shall do the following on receipt of a request to initiate an Affiliation Agreement:
    1. Check to determine if the requested Affiliation has been established since the last printing of the Master List. If it has, advise the requestor. If it has not, initiate a new agreement.
    2. Initiate a Master Agreement document, have it pre-signed by the proper authority for the Board of Regents of The University of Wisconsin System and send two copies with the appropriate cover letter to the affiliate's contact person.
    3. Advise the requestor when a fully executed copy of the Affiliation Agreement is received and enter same into Master List database. The requestor may then proceed with the Program Memorandum.
  3. Should the prospective affiliate reject the Affiliation Agreement as written, or submit a contract of its own, the risk manager shall do the following:
    1. Review the contract to determine that there is no conflict with State Statute or University interests.
      Note: Conflict most commonly arises out of the hold harmless and indemnification language or the insurance requirements.
      • If no conflict is found, request signature authority and advise University requestor.
      • If conflict is found, attempt direct negotiations with prospective affiliate to modify language to be acceptable.
      • If negotiations come to an impasse or if questions arise at any point in this process, solicit opinion of campus legal affairs or the University of Wisconsin System Office of Risk Management (UWSRM). Should negotiations fail, advise University requestor to cancel plans for that agency.

Contact Us

Risk Management
Phone: 715-425-3344
Fax: 715-425-4980
25H North Hall

Facebook Icon