Charge and Function

The Academic Planning Council is established in accordance with Section 3.08 of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures. The council acts as an advisory body to the dean in decision-making in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences on:

  • Developing strategic and long-range plans.
  • College program reviews and future development or contraction of academic programs.
  • Factors relevant to the capacity of the college to fulfill its mission.
  • Budgetary planning and resource allocation.
  • Policies related to responsibilities of the departments, centers, institutes and the college for instruction, research, and public service.
  • Diversity initiatives to ensure excellence in education, research and outreach.

Rules Governing Procedures

  1. Agendas of APC meetings will be posted at least five days prior to the meetings.
  2. Any council member may add items to the agenda before it is posted.
  3. Items may be added to the agenda at the meeting under New Business, but no action may be taken on items not on the posted agenda.
  4. APC membership, agendas, and approved minutes of APC meetings are available on the APC website.
  5. In accordance with FPP 3.08.B.3.b, the elected members of the CALS APC shall review the structure and functions of the APC at least every five years. The last review was submitted in spring 2021.

Guidelines for Submitting Materials to APC

Submitting materials: Academic program, subject listing, department, and center/institute proposals are submitted through Lumen Programs or Lumen Structures to the CALS College Admin Reviewer queue. Prior to being submitted to the CALS College Admin Reviewer queue, appropriate approvals at the department level must be documented in the Lumen proposal. This signifies that the required reviews and faculty approvals have been completed at the department level and that the chair accepts the budgetary and academic implications of the proposal (see program proposal responsibilities). All other items for APC consideration can be sent from the chair’s office to the Office of the Dean.

Deadlines: Materials must be received at least two weeks before the meeting date, but three weeks is preferable. Earlier submission is better to allow time for review and to ensure the package is complete. Incomplete proposals cannot be placed on the APC agenda. Proposals will be placed on the agenda as meeting time allows, on a first received basis.


The council will have:

  • One elected faculty member (as defined by UWS 3.01) from each academic department in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
  • One Extension-funded faculty member from an academic department in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. It is expected that this role will be filled by at least one elected faculty members above. If no faculty members elected from the academic departments are funded by Extension, the Dean will appoint an Extension-funded faculty member to the council to provide this representation until one is elected.
  • Two elected academic staff members with an appointment in CALS of 50% or more.

Elected council members’ terms will be for three years.

Quorum is defined as a simple majority of voting members.

For council members who resign, retire, or have an extended absence that leaves them unable to participate in APC for several months, substitutions are allowed.

  • For department representatives, the department chair will identify a substitute faculty member.
  • For the Extension-funded member, the CALS associate dean of extension and outreach will identify a substitute.
  • For academic staff representatives, the CALS Committee on Academic Staff Issues will provide a short list of nominations from which the dean will select a representative.

Any permanent substitution will complete the original term of the person whom they replace.

The dean or their designee will serve as chair of the council. The dean and associate deans are ex officio members of the council.

Election of Council Members

A call for nominations will be made during the spring semester.

Nominations for faculty can be made by any faculty member within a CALS academic department. Nominees must be voting faculty members within the same department.

Nominations for academic staff may be made by any member of the academic staff.

Election of the representatives to the APC will be held during the spring semester. All faculty in CALS are eligible to vote for one faculty candidate in each department. All academic staff in the college may vote for the academic staff representatives.