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NIPP Chapter 4: Organization

This document outlines Chapter 4 of the Nelson Institute Policies and Procedures (NIPP) as approved by the Governance Committee on April 19, 2021 and revised on March 20, 2023.


The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies is a divisional academic unit led by a Dean.

4.02.  THE DEAN

  1. The Dean is appointed by the Chancellor with the advice of a search and screen committee constituted by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost. The Dean is a tenured member of the Nelson Institute faculty and reports to the Provost.
  2. Responsibilities
    1. Overall leadership and strategic planning for the Institute.
    2. Oversight of the Institute’s research, teaching, service, and outreach activities.
    3. Oversight of the Institute’s budget and making final budget decisions.
    4. Fundraising for the Institute in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.


  1. The Associate Dean for Education and Faculty Affairs is a tenured member of the UW-Madison faculty and is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Dean.
  2. Responsibilities
    1. Act in the place of the Dean at the request of the Dean.
    2. Act as the department chair to implement our department-like responsibilities (FP&P 5.01.C.).
    3. Oversight of all educational programs, activities, policies, and staff of the Institute.
    4. Oversight of Executive Committee actions concerning faculty appointments, promotions, evaluations, and award nominations.
    5. Solicit and recommend members for all committees of the Institute.
    6. Identify research priorities and opportunities for interdisciplinary environmental research.
    7. Prepare and disperse the annual instructional budget proposal.
    8. Hear and adjudicate faculty and student grievance complaints in accordance with the divisional grievance policy.


  1. All UW-Madison Assistant, Associate, and full Professors with any percentage of their appointment, tenure, or funding in the Nelson Institute are automatic members of the Nelson Institute faculty.
  2. Nelson Institute faculty have primary responsibility for (UWS 36.09(4) and FP&P 1.20):
    1. Developing, teaching, and ensuring the quality of the curricula, including individual courses and programs, whether certificates, majors, or degrees.
    2. Matriculation and graduation of students.
    3. Staffing, including recommendations for the hiring of faculty, and promotion of faculty to tenure.


Each Nelson Institute research center is administered by a Director who is elected in accordance with the by-laws of the center (NIPP 8.01.–10.22.) and serves subject to approval by the Dean. Research Center Directors may be tenured faculty members, tenure-track faculty members, or academic staff members.


Each Nelson Institute academic program is administered by a Chair who is elected by the program committee and serves subject to approval by the Dean. Program Chairs may be any Nelson Institute faculty or affiliate faculty member.


The Nelson Institute’s academic and university staff are partners in research, teaching, service, outreach, governance, and administration. As an interdisciplinary Institute, staff members play a crucial role in integrating efforts with campus partners. Staff input into governance and policymaking is valued, and staff attendance at Governance Committee meetings is encouraged.


Nelson Institute Research Professors are academic staff members who conduct high quality, productive, and impactful research programs. They make significant contributions to the research mission of the Institute by obtaining independent funding, leading research programs, and operating at the highest level of academic integrity.


Nelson Institute Teaching Professors are academic staff members who demonstrate excellence, distinction, and innovation in instruction. They make significant contributions to the teaching mission of the Institute through innovative teaching strategies and curricula.


The Nelson Institute is a learning community that seeks input from students in the design and delivery of our programs. Student input into governance and policymaking is valued. Students in each of the Institute’s graduate programs annually elect one or more of their members to represent them at meetings of their graduate program committee. The Dean will invite the Institute’s students to elect one or more representatives to serve on appropriate standing and ad hoc committees. Student attendance at Governance Committee meetings is encouraged.


  1. Faculty or academic staff from within the University of Wisconsin System may affiliate with the Institute without governance rights or a continuing departmental commitment.
  2. Affiliating with the Nelson Institute allows one to:
    1. Chair and serve on graduate student academic committees.
    2. Teach a course that fulfills foundation requirements for an Institute academic program.
    3. Serve on standing and ad hoc committees of the Institute.
  3. Affiliate terms are for three-year terms and may be renewed.
  4. The Executive Committee approves affiliate requests and renewals. 


  1. Individuals outside the university may be granted an official, zero-dollar appointment as an Honorary Fellow. Faculty must sponsor an Honorary Fellow and provide a description of the duties and the purpose of the appointment.
  2. An Honorary Fellow appointment allows one to access to University systems, libraries, and other facilities, and collaborate on research activities.
  3. Honorary appointments are for up to one-year terms and may be renewed.
  4. The Associate Dean for Administration approves Honorary Fellow requests and renewals.

KeywordsNIPP, policies, procedures, structure, dean, associate dean, school, college, division, faculty, affiliate, center director, program chair, research professor, teaching professor, staff, honorary fellow   Doc ID106703
OwnerColleen G.GroupNelson Administrative Hub
Created2020-10-19 12:15:17Updated2023-04-06 13:05:02
SitesNelson Administrative Hub
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