Mission and Bylaws

The Academy was founded in December 1993 by the Faculty Senate (see Faculty Document 1041a) to: 

Recommended Purpose

As a focal center for scholarly dialogues, the Teaching Academy will gather together those scholars who have demonstrated excellence and expertise in teaching and are concerned about teaching and learning in this research university. The purpose of the Teaching Academy is to provide leadership to strengthen undergraduate, graduate and outreach teaching by University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty members and instructional staff. The Academy will identify contemporary issues of undergraduate, graduate and outreach teaching and learning in the context of a research university. Dialogue and discussion across departments and disciplines will be fostered.

Note the thoughts of founding member, Jim Taylor on How and Why Was the Teaching Academy Created?


Revised April 24, 2014, August 2016, and November 2019:


The name of the organization shall be the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy, also below referred to as Academy.


The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy is to promote, recognize and support excellence in teaching and learning among faculty, staff and students across campus and beyond.


Section 1. Fellows shall consist of those nominated from the UW-Madison faculty and staff who have directly and/or indirectly highly impacted teaching & learning at UW-Madison for at least 3 years and have demonstrated a commitment to the University’s educational mission.

The executive committee will vote on nomination packages for Fellows.

Section 2. Fellows are encouraged to be active participants in Teaching Academy events, serve on subcommittees and provide input into Teaching Academy initiatives by (a) sharing their enthusiasm and expertise as an educator with others, (b) weighing in on policy issues that affect teaching and learning at UW, (c) enriching the community of committed educators.

Section 3. UW-Madison Teaching Academy Future Faculty Partners (FFPs) are actively involved in classroom, field, outreach or extension education.

The executive committee will vote on nomination packages for FFPs.

Section 4. For educators in any setting who wish to affiliate with the Teaching Academy, the EC shall create policies as needed.


Section 1. Executive Committee. The Academy must maintain an Executive Committee (EC) as its governing body. Vacancies shall be filled to maintain at least seven (7) and no more than fifteen (15) Academy Members, all of whom serve a three-year term. A term may be interrupted by no more than one year and successive terms are permitted. Staggered terms are recommended. The EC should contain approximately equal numbers of faculty, instructional staff, and FFPs. Candidates for the EC may nominate themselves or be nominated by Members. The current EC elects new EC members by a majority vote of a quorum.

Section 2. Procedures. The EC must elect three co-chairs from EC members for staggered two-year terms by vote of a quorum (see Article IV, Section 3). Co-chairs may serve consecutive terms. One of the co-chairs must be tenure-track faculty, one co-chair must be instructional staff, and one co-chair must be an FFP. Exception to the shared governance structure of the co-chairs requires a new election every year. A co-chair may be removed from office prematurely by majority vote of the full EC. The EC shall meet at least six (6) times per academic year. Special meetings of the EC may be called by the co-chairs or by a quorum of the EC. Every EC meeting must be communicated to every EC member by email or post at least 48 hours prior to the start time. Off-site EC members may participate remotely, at the discretion of the co-chairs. Such participation will count towards quorum.

Section 3. Voting. No vote shall be taken without a quorum, defined as a majority of the entire EC. Unless noted otherwise in these by-laws, all votes pass with a majority. Voting may be conducted anonymously and implemented by voice or paper ballot. Electronic voting is permitted unless any member of the Executive Committee requests further discussions. Results of votes shall be announced after each is completed.


Section 1. Co-chairs. Academy co-chairs shall be the executive officers and representatives of the Academy unless they all agree to delegate such tasks. Co-chairs preside at EC meetings, determine the agenda for meetings of the EC, and serve as ex-officio members of all subcommittees. Co-chairs are responsible for submitting annual reports and responding to external requests directed to the Academy. Co-chairs are responsible for planning and oversight of all financial transactions of the Academy. Spending decisions must be approved by all co-chairs. The co-chairs must draft an annual budget for the Academy for a vote by a quorum of the EC before July 1 each year. By agreement between co-chairs, a co-chair may absent himself or herself from no more than three regular EC meetings per academic year. By agreement between co-chairs, the above duties may be delegated to sub-committees or individual Members. Such delegation does not absolve co-chairs of ultimate responsibility for the above duties. Any co-chair may appeal the decision of the co-chairs to the executive committee for consensus vote.

Section 2. Subcommittees. The co-chairs may establish as many subcommittees as needed to support the Academy’s mission. Removal of subcommittee chairs is at the discretion of both of the co-chairs. Subcommittee chairs must report subcommittee activities each year by 31 May. Voting procedures in subcommittees are conducted at the discretion of subcommittee chairs.

Section 3. Meeting of Members. At least once per year, the EC shall open a meeting or event to all Academy Members and provide reasonable opportunity for motions. A valid motion must include the signatures of at least 10 Members and these Members must produce a written ballot suitable for electronic distribution prior to the event. The text of the motion and ballot must be published on the Academy website and distributed to all Members at least one week before the vote is to be held. All votes must be in person at the event. Motions pass with a majority of all voting.


The Academy shall establish an annual budget in consultation with the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning.


“Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised” shall be the parliamentary authority of all matters of procedure not covered by these by-laws.


Notice to amend or repeal must be sent to all EC members 30 days prior to a vote. At least 48 hours prior to the vote, the final text of all amendments must be sent to all Academy Members with instructions allowing Members to comment to the EC. Such comments must be read at the EC meeting prior to the vote. Amendments or repeal require a vote by quorum of the EC.


The EC may establish additional policies and procedures unless they violate these by-laws.