Appendix PDF Text

Approved by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Department of Urban & Regional Planning– May 2017

Internal Plans/Intentions for Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

1. This agreement is a “living document” and we recognize it as a complement to the approved merger proposal.
2. We commit to the expectation that all members of the new department will treat each other with dignity and respect and that inequitable treatment, incivility, bullying, and harassment will not be tolerated (from Enhancing Department Climate, WISELI 2015).
3. Because of our shared interests and mutual goals, all members of the new department commit to supporting collegial and collaborative efforts that ensure the success of the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture.
4. We value all forms of scholarly inquiry.

Department Governance:
5. We commit to open discussions of all policies and procedures – long before significant decisions are made – to identify differences of opinion before they become disputes, and to resolve them through collaborative, problem-solving processes that strive for collectively-beneficial (“winwin”) solutions.
6. We recognize, in accordance with FPP 1.02, that instructors with at least a 50% appointment are members of the faculty, with the right to vote and participate in department governance, including preference balloting for department chair.
7. In accordance with FPP 5.10, the new department executive committee will invite all academic staff to participate fully in department governance, including the right to participate in preference balloting for department chair.
8. University staff will participate fully in department governance, to the extent possible.
9. Undergraduate and graduate student representatives are invited to participate in department governance, including in committee service. Undergraduate and graduate students may determine their own representatives through their student organizations.
10. We commit to developing explicit, comprehensive, and fair annual performance review criteria by January 1, 2018. New annual review procedures currently under development will include academic and instructional staff.
11. We intend as a new department, to adopt clear grievance and student appeal procedures and to create student handbooks for each of our academic programs.
12. We commit to a reflective and deliberative process for revisiting governance structures.

Position replacements:
13. Within the first 5 years of the new department (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2022), the department commits to replacing departing faculty with someone in their area of expertise, subject to the priorities of faculty associated with that faculty member’s current program and ensuring that instructional needs for core courses within the associated accredited programs (BSLA or MSURPL) are met. In addition, when replacing faculty with current appointments in landscape architecture, the new position PVL must include a requirement that the successful candidate have at least one professional degree in landscape architecture.
14. During the first 5 years, if surplus 101 funds become available due to LA positions being replaced, we will prioritize the instructional needs for the Landscape Architecture professional program (e.g., TA positions).
15. When opportunities arise that serve the broad needs of the new department (e.g., a spousal hire opportunity that helps address an important need in the department), we will pursue these with bridge funding or new funding resources.
16. When possible, we will hire faculty with expertise across degree programs and across fields represented by our new department.

17. L&S Policy on instructional workload states: “The normal instructional load in L&S departments is two courses per semester per faculty FTE on the instructional budget, although for various reasons there is some variation around this norm.” We commit to developing an equitable teaching assignment process that takes into consideration external appointment percentage (Extension, SoHE, etc), individual allocation emphasis for CALS faculty (e.g., 80% Instruction, 20% other), teaching requirements under existing appointment letters, instructor expertise, needs of the department’s academic programs (including accreditation standards and focus areas), the ability of the graduate faculty to teach graduate as well as undergraduate courses, among other considerations to be developed (contact hours, number of students, time commitment, TA support, etc).
18. Faculty teaching expectations are for department courses only. Courses outside of the department, while supported generally, do not ordinarily count towards fulfilling the normal course load as described above. In some case, assuming all the curricular needs are otherwise satisfied, and with the approval of the Executive Committee, a faculty member can count a course taught outside of the department as part of her/his normal load. In all cases, courses taught outside of the department can be considered as part of a person’s academic contributions during annual performance reviews. Core courses must be offered in such a way that students can complete their degrees in a timely manner. We will continue traditions of ensuring core courses are taught primarily by department faculty (as defined in FPP 1.02).
19. Balancing program requirements and principles of academic freedom, we commit to providing faculty opportunities for teaching courses in their areas of specialization. Except for department needs to ensure that core or required courses in accredited programs be taught on a regular and efficient schedule, we will recognize substantial faculty autonomy to determine the courses they teach and the timing of course offerings. No faculty member will be required to teach a course without their consent.
20. L&S publishes expected enrollment minima for courses (currently 15 students <300 level; 12 students for 300-699 level; 8 students for 700 and above). As part of implementation planning, we will discuss minimum enrollment expectations with the college to reach a reasonable accommodation for the special needs of our professional degree programs.
21. Instructional resources (including TAs) shall be equitably distributed based on academic program and department mission regardless of instructor title, rank, tenure, or years of service (seniority).

Academic Programs:
22. We commit to protecting the integrity of the current doctoral program in Urban and Regional Planning (including the committee structure, exam protocols, and disciplinary focus). We will work to develop a doctoral program in landscape architecture/landscape studies.
23. We commit to a continued focus on restoration ecology/ecological restoration as one of the core areas of concentration in the current MSLA and the new BS Degree under development.
24. Resources supporting current academic programs, curricular concentrations, and areas of
scholarship will continue to be directed towards those programs, concentrations, and areas during the transition period.
25. Given the inexorable changes in higher education and the broader global environment, we commit to open and frank discussions on diverse pedagogical strategies and themes – while working collaboratively to identify and achieve mutually-beneficial goals on curricula design, integration and delivery.

Events and Activities:
26. We commit to supporting existing events, such as the Department Lecture Series, JensenLongenecker Banquet, MS-URPL Forum, URPL MS Graduation Ceremony, and others. We commit to developing new events that support the new department.
27. We again affirm the climate statement from the DPLA proposal (appended here as Appendix 1) and guidance regarding department climate from the WISELI document, Enhancing Department Climate (2015) available for download at:

Appendix 1.1

Our Joint Commitment to Ensuring a Supportive Departmental Climate – April 2017

As faculty and staff in two academic departments intending to merge into a new combined department, we affirm and recommit to this statement from our original October 2016 proposal:

“3.4 Expectations for department inclusion, diversity, and collegiality

The new department is committed to establishing and maintaining a supportive climate of inclusion, diversity, and collegiality among our interactions and through our actions and policies. We envision a department in which all individuals are engaged in a vibrant learning community, where ideas, experiences, and perspectives are supported, nurtured, and developed to their highest levels. Attitudes, behaviors, and standards within our community will demonstrate inclusion and respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

We recognize the seriousness of the climate issues identified through the URPL Academic Program Review and the student response to that review, and we are committed to ensuring the supportive climate of inclusion, diversity, collegiality, and safety envisioned for our new department. This is our responsibility and our obligation to each other, our students, and the UW-Madison community. We know that creating and maintaining this type of positive environment is complex and requires sustained individual and collective efforts to learn, improve, and hold each other accountable. We have challenging work ahead, and we commit to meeting the high expectations envisioned for our new department.

As initial steps, before the end of the Spring 2017 semester, we will do the following:

  • URPL will commission an external assessment to recommend actions and accountability measures to resolve the issues of climate and sexism identified in the report.
  • URPL will adopt interim grievance procedures based on campus models.
  • URPL and LA will jointly conduct a climate survey for faculty and staff in both departments (already underway).
  • URPL and LA will jointly collaborate with students to conduct a student survey on climate in both departments (to begin in mid-April).
  • URPL and LA faculty and staff will participate in diversity training, including unconscious bias training (WISELI workshop scheduled for both departments on April 21) and sexual harassment training (through the UW-Madison Title IX coordinator to be scheduled).
  • LA representatives will join the URPL Climate Committee.

As we transition into a new department in Summer 2017 and beyond, we will do the following:

  • Create a new department standing committee on climate and community
  • Regularly conduct climate surveys for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Implement recommendations from the external climate assessment and assess progress.
  • Create opportunities to ensure appropriate inclusion of staff, students, and other stakeholders in department decisions and activities.
  • Complete updated student handbooks for all academic programs that include clear grievance procedures, and ensure student awareness of procedures.
  • Expeditiously address concerns related to sexism and other potential violations of UW policies as they arise.

Approved by the faculty and staff in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning and the Department of Landscape Architecture – April 2017