Increases in administrative fees for Fund 136 Fee-for-Service accounts begin Jan 2020

This fiscal year (FY19) CALS will increase the administrative fees assessed on 136 fundsfrom 2% to 3.5% (a 1.5% increase) and then from 3.5% to 5% in FY20 (an additional 1.5% increase). The increasing fees will cover additional expenses incurred by the college for accounting, audit, compliance and human resources activities associated with these fee-for-service programs.

Mission-driven revenue producing activities support Chancellor Blank’s goal of identifying new revenue streams and include hundreds of services we provide to citizens and research partners. It is important that fees for such programs are designed to fully recover costs, without requiring subsidization from other sources of state, federal or tuition funds.

The UW–Madison Business Services administrative fee remains 5% for fee-for-service 136 funded accounts. These fees apply to 136 accounts in departments, centers and other CALS units based on expenditures (minus sales credits).

  • 136 fee-for-service funds generated in FY18 (the period that ended June 30, 2018) will be charged 2% by CALS Business Services and 5% by UW–Madison Business Services in January 2019
  • 136 fee-for-service funds generated in FY19 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019) will be charged 3.5% by CALS Business Services and 5% by UW–Madison Business Services in January 2020
  • 136 fee-for-service funds generated in FY20 and beyond will be charged 5% by CALS Business Services and 5% by UW–Madison Business Services in January 2021

Templates to assist with developing rate structures can be found here.

Fall semester welcome and college updates from Kate VandenBosch

The following message was sent from Dean Kate VandenBosch to CALS faculty, staff and graduate students on Sept. 7:


With the start of the fall semester, I want to send a warm welcome to the CALS community.

We begin this year with plenty of good news. If you read eCALS on August 20, you know that we are going to hire at least twelve new faculty this year. My goal is to continue to grow our total faculty numbers, and Chancellor Blank has supported that goal by providing some funding for faculty hires over the next three years.

In addition, we continue to offer popular and robust academic programs to our students. The chancellor has challenged us to increase enrollment and evaluate our undergraduate programs that have become less popular with today’s students. I hope to grow enrollment by 25 percent by FY23. I am working closely with Karen Wassarman, associate dean of academic affairs, and her staff to enhance student experiences.

We are addressing undergraduate programs through the CALS Organizational Redesign process. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to prepare students for careers in life sciences, natural resources and agriculture. In a recent message to undergraduate students, I let them know that, despite possible changes to future undergraduate academic offerings, their path to graduation within their chosen major will not change. UW-Madison policy ensures that students can complete any major into which they were admitted. Because majors are so fundamental, the university takes the time to carefully consider changes and it takes several years to launch a new program or even change an existing one.

Other structural changes being discussed will also take time. You may have heard that we have two departments considering a possible merger. Animal sciences and dairy science are exploring the possibility of becoming one department. As part of these considerations, I don’t anticipate changes to the animal sciences or dairy science majors. While the exploration is taking place, I will engage with faculty, staff and students from both departments to hear their thoughts about the future.

This semester, I will also work closely with other departments that are planning to form collaboratives. A collaborative unit is comprised of at least two departments working together while maintaining some departmental autonomy. Examples of collaborative activities could include a shared academic program or curriculum, joint revenue-generating instructional programs, shared administrative structure or partnering on hiring.

I know that change is difficult, so it is important to keep in mind that the core of what we do will stay the same. We will remain true to our signature strengths and the key partnerships that inspire and sustain us. CALS will continue to conduct cutting-edge research; offer students a world-class education, including hands-on research and internship experiences; and address global grand challenges through applied research and outreach.

Thank you for being part of this great learning community and vibrant institution where we can learn about and make important contributions to the agricultural and life sciences. I value and respect what each of you bring to the table and appreciate your efforts to make CALS as strong as possible.

I wish you a fruitful semester and invite you to share any questions or concerns you may have.

Looking forward to another great year of discovery and learning,

Kate VandenBosch, Dean

Five-year plan template

Last week, Dean VandenBosch provided departments with a template and guidance document for five-year planning, as well as the most recent data available for measuring performance. Departments will add this information into their individual plans. The data, documents and resources can be found in Box (

These plans are meant to be living documents that will be revisited annually. They will help shape the college’s overall goals, evaluate priorities, offer context for faculty and staff hiring decisions and be used in developing reports to the chancellor. Future collegiate funding decisions will be made in accordance with the goals and strategies outlined in the departmental five-year plans.

Beginning in 2019, the annual meetings between the dean and departments will focus on these five-year plans and progress to date.

Plans are due back to the Dean’s Office by December 31, 2018. If you have questions, contact Kara Luedtke.

Updates from the department chairs’ retreat

The annual CALS department chairs retreat was held last Wednesday and included a college update from the dean before digging in to some redesign-related topics.

After an overview of where we are in the Organizational Redesign, the chairs reviewed options for the summer session funding model and discussed pros and cons of each. An update on the model will come later in September.

The departmental five-year plans were also a topic on the agenda. The plans will be developed by departments this fall and will take the place of the annual report that has historically been prepared in advance of the annual department meetings with the Dean’s Office. Five-year plans will guide college-wide priorities and will be referenced when reviewing future requests for funding to determine if the funding will help to meet goals outlined in the plan. Final five-year planning documents and metrics will be provided to departments in September.

Dean VandenBosch also announced the FY19 approved faculty positions.

Schedule update

A friend of mine was recently shocked to find out that, as a university employee, I don’t get summer break. Few of us do and, while the scarce population of students on campus is palpable, a lot of work is done in the summer months.

In Ag Hall, a big focus has been on the implementation of the CALS Organizational Redesign and related activities. Dean VandenBosch will soon announce decisions on the faculty funding requests that were submitted by departments at the end of May. This will include 101 funding that is part of the new resource allocation model, as well as 101 funding that comes from the dean’s pool of funds.

Speaking of resources, the deans are currently reviewing the approach to the distribution of funds generated from summer sessions. It will be a topic at the upcoming department chairs’ retreat on August 15 and you can expect to hear more early this fall.

In May we told you about the upcoming departmental five-year planning process. We are working on the templates and measures and will release the final documents in September for departments to begin the planning process. Departments planning to form a collaborative should work together on their five-year plans.

Also in September, we will share a document that outlines specifics of collaborative characteristics and management, and a template for a memorandum of understanding that departments would use to outline shared activities.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me with any process questions you may have. I’ll be on campus!

Kara Luedtke, CALS Organizational Redesign project manager

Frequently asked question about graduate programs

At the beginning of the process, we committed to providing answers to frequently asked questions about the redesign on the project page. We have a question to add to the existing list:

How will graduate programs change as a result of the college redesign?

There are no plans to consider changes to graduate programs in the scope of this process. Graduate programs are reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee per university policy. Following reviews, program leaders may consider changes as a result of that university-wide process.

Many CALS graduate programs operate across existing departmental lines as cross-disciplinary training efforts. Because they are currently broader than individual departments, we don’t expect graduate programs to change as a result of possible changes to either departments, collaboratives or undergraduate academic programs.

Spring 2018 bridge funding for academic departments announced

The college recently announced nearly $175,000 in fund 101 bridge funding to departments who have experienced a faculty departure or other change in their faculty ranks. Ten departments submitted requests by the May 31 deadline.

Bridge funding is a temporary resource to aid departments with unexpected faculty attrition until fund 101 faculty salary savings can be returned and utilized under the new fund 101 faculty salary policy.

This round of bridge funding will cover the following fund 101 activities:

  • Instructors (Biological Systems Engineering, Entomology, Life Sciences Communication, Plant Pathology)
  • Teaching Assistants (Genetics, Life Sciences Communication)
  • Temporary program director salary (Plant Pathology)
  • Short-term, partial faculty salary (Forest and Wildlife Ecology)

Another call for fund 101 bridge funding will go out during the fall semester with requests due to the Dean’s Office by December 31, 2018. Going forward, this process will occur twice per year, during the fall and spring semesters.

Dean expected to respond to department concepts in July

All departments in CALS submitted a concept document proposing a future structure to merge, collaborate or remain as is. In a recent communication to department chairs, Dean Kate VandenBosch noted, “We received responses representing a variety of new approaches to our structures and programs. I appreciate your effort and I am energized by your ideas.”

VandenBosch will consider departmental proposals over the next couple of weeks, and will send department chairs individualized comments on the plans in early July.

She also encouraged chairs to share proposals among faculty, staff and colleagues, noting that for the process to work well, “Members of the collegiate community need to be aware of and understand all of the options available.”

After receiving feedback from the dean, departments will embark on the next step of the redesign process. That will include drafting five-year plans.

Five-year plan questions answered

How will five-year plans be used?

Plans will be used in a variety of ways to enhance our ability to set and meet goals to benefit the college, our students and our stakeholders. Here are four primary ways the plans will be used:

  • Allow the college community, including the APC and the dean, to provide feedback on priorities and plans.
  • Guide the dean in making decisions about investments.
  • Assess overall success at the department and collegiate levels.
  • Report to the Chancellor, Provost and others by rolling up individual plans.

Why can’t the plan just be one page?

Goals are important, but it can be difficult to reach a goal without considering how to do the work. The root of our governance is sharing the effort to set and reach goals. Documentation of those shared goals and strategies to reach them is the best way to ensure planning is truly a collective effort.

Why is philanthropic support called out separately?

Two reasons: Philanthropy could support any of the three primary mission areas of the college (teaching, research and outreach), so it has a one to many relationship, whereas other revenue areas have a one to one relationship (increasing 131 programs is part of instructional efforts and increasing indirect costs is part of research work), it is also an area the university expects the college to report on separately from other revenue.

What if we cannot work equally across all goal areas?

We expect every department/collaborative to be driven by unique strengths and weakness, and anticipate that each unit may weight each goal differently. Within the plan, we encourage you to reflect your overall priorities.

Departmental five-year plans and schedule

Dean Kate VandenBosch released early drafts of a planning template and guidance document that departments will use to outline priorities and activities for the next five years. Five-year plans were recommended in the Organizational Redesign Committee’s report from December 2017. The planning templates will continue to be refined over the summer. Each department, including those who will participate in a collaborative, will complete a plan by the end of 2018.

Organizational Redesign schedule, summer-fall:


Concept documents are due to the dean

Department chairs and the APC review draft template for five-year plans

Funding requests are due to the dean for bridge funding, approval of plans for 50% retained funds and new investments from the Dean’s Office


Dean provides feedback on concept documents

Dean’s Office announces decisions about bridge funding


Dean’s Office announces decisions on other funding requests

Department Chairs’ retreat to discuss approach to five-year planning

Final concept documents, following dean’s feedback, due to Dean’s Office


Second call for funding requests released


Departmental five-year plans are due