University of Wisconsin–Madison

Mission and Bylaws

University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy By-laws

(Approved on April 24, 2014 and revised August 2016)


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 demonstrated 1.) excellence in teaching, through classroom innovation, program development, grant funding, publications, presentations, or policy work, 2.) a commitment to be actively involved in the teaching and learning programming that occurs within the Teaching Academy and across the UW-Madison campus, and 3.) have at least three years residence status and teaching experience (or equivalent) on the UW-Madison campus. These criteria will be detailed in the application materials. Nominees who have demonstrated these criteria will be selected by majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Fellows are expected to be active participants in Teaching Academy events, serve on subcommittees and provide input into Teaching Academy initiatives. Fellows will be contacted by the executive committee or membership subcommittee to serve the TA consistent with their application materials. If the fellow cannot meet their commitment to the Teaching Academy, their status will be assessed and determined whether it should be sunset.  Examples of involvement might include the Teaching Academy’s winter Retreat, Summer Institute, spring and fall sessions, collaborative work between teaching academy and other on-campus academic units.  

Section 3.  The purpose of the Future Faculty Partner (FFP) affiliation is to encourage a commitment to teaching by the next generation of college and university educators. This allows those with a continuing academic connection to UW-Madison who are engaged in graduate or professional study for a career in higher education teaching to apply to be a FFP of the Teaching Academy. Nominees are expected to have at least one-year residence status on the UW-Madison campus, three semesters of teaching experience (or comparable), and have a deep interest in and commitment to higher education including a willingness to commit to one year (preferably two years) of active involvement in the Teaching Academy. Future Faculty Partners retain their FFP status until the completion of their graduate training.  FFP have all the responsibilities and privileges of TA Fellows. 

The Nomination committee for Fellows will consist of two Teaching Academy Executive Committee members, and three members from the Teaching Academy at large. The Teaching Academy Executive Committee members serve as co-chairs of the committee. The nomination review committee for FFPs will consist of one Teaching Academy Executive Committee member, the Executive Committee FFP representative, and one other FFP member of the Teaching Academy. Decisions for Teaching Academy membership rest with both Nomination Committees.


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 and instructional staff. At least one FFP must be included on the EC. 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 two co-chairs from EC members for staggered two-year terms by vote of a quorum (see Article IV, Section 3). Co-chairs may serve sequential terms. One of the co-chairs must be tenure-track faculty, and the other co-chair must be instructional staff. 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 by telephone or conferencing software 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 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 both 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 both 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. In cases of disagreement between co-chairs over any of the above duties, a quorum of the EC shall decide by vote.

Section 2. Subcommittees. 

The co-chairs may establish as many subcommittees as needed to support the Academys 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. It is recommended that a single individual chair only one subcommittee at a time.

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.