Chapter 1 PDF text 


1. Department Mission, Vision, and Shared Commitments

1.1 Mission

Our scholarship and educational activities will advance sustainable and livable communities, cities, and regions that are vibrant, thriving, and resilient. We do this through integrative teaching, research, and public engagement that seeks solutions to serve human needs and protect the integrity of natural environments. The department, based upon the disciplines of landscape architecture and urban and regional planning, provides opportunities to explore interdisciplinary research, design, planning, and policy analysis at local, regional, and global scales.

1.2 Vision

We are a dynamic network of scholars and stakeholders working to advance healthy, prosperous, equitable and sustainable built and natural environments in the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea and from the local to the global scale.

1.3 Expectations for department inclusion, diversity, and collegiality

The Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture 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 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). 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. We value all forms of scholarly inquiry.

1.4 Commitment to our Learning Community

The Faculty, Staff, and Students of the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture are committed to:

  • Value and respect all members of our community, faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Maintain a diverse, inclusive, vibrant, stimulating, welcoming, and excellent academic experience and work environment.
  • Prevent identity-based discrimination in the department. [What is identity-based discrimination and misconduct? Please see definitions at or the FAQ at]
  • Prevent identity-based misconduct in the department.
  • Support survivors of identity-based misconduct.
  • Support student organizations and student initiatives.
  • Be aware of students’ needs and concerns and address concerns that come to our attention.
  • Create a department environment that models mutual respect, safety, and accountability.
  • Hear and honor the input we receive through the climate surveys and other sources of input.
  • Actively seek and encourage student, staff and faculty input in department decision making.
  • Demonstrate commitment to diversity and inclusion through our decisions and actions.
  • Communicate with all members of the department about changes, actions, and progress towards achieving our goals.

We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and take steps to improve our everyday interactions, classroom instruction, delivery of academic and research programs, and professional development activities.