Committees made up of faculty, staff, and students help the Department of Botany achieve its education, research, and service goals with enthusiasm, creativity, and inclusivity. Here are some of the permanent committees and their reasons for being.

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The Awards committee’s mission is to support, honor, and thank department members for their service and accomplishments by nominating them for awards and fairly distribute departmental awards to deserving recipients, and to raise the stature of the department within and beyond the university.


The Curriculum committee’s mission is to ensure that the University of Wisconsin-Madison student body has a world class opportunity to learn plant biology from subject experts. Botany courses


The Colloquium Committee aims to enrich the intellectual life of the Departments of Botany and Integrative Biology, the College of Letters & Science, and the whole campus by inviting and hosting speakers from diverse backgrounds who can present exciting research at the Biology Colloquium, and in so doing stimulate new thinking among the diverse audiences in botany and biology across campus, foster new collaborations, and raise Botany’s profile nationally and internationally.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In 2019, the Department of Botany recognized that it was not as welcoming an environment as its members wanted, and that there was no entity of framework for collecting or enacting our ideas. It was from this realization that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity committee (DEI) was established. The DEI started as and continues to be a committee made up of students, staff, and faculty representing the diversity of individuals in UW-Madison’s Botany Department. The DEI currently has multiple functions within the department that have included updating departmental guidelines and procedures, producing new mission and diversity statements for larger discussion within the department, and installing new graphics and messaging to celebrate the diversity of our community.

External Relations

This committee is responsible for communicating our efforts to discover and explain basic information about plants, from molecules to ecosystems, to a broad array of stakeholders. The means include the departmental website, newsletters, and social media.


The Space & Facilities Committee gathers information about space allocation and utilization and makes recommendations to the department to ensure workplace comfort, safety, and productivity in an equitable manner. This committee also oversees facilities, including information technology and services beyond what the university provides, to ensure a member of the department can access to needed facilities, such as data storage and computing, to further the department’s mission.


The finance committee supports the department mission in research, teaching, and service through the allocation of funds from different sources. The finance committee proposes how 1) to distribute funds to support the administrative operation of the department and its teaching mission, 2) to use funds from our generous endowments and gifts to support graduate and undergraduate students, the biology colloquium, and field course, and 3) to grant special annual requests to augment our instructional and research resources.

Graduate Studies

The Graduate Committee’s mission is to help the Botany Department achieve its graduate training. Specifically, the Graduate Committee helps department faculty to recruit new graduate students, provides new graduate students with initial program guidance, and maintains a progress-monitoring program to aid success toward obtaining an advanced degree.


The Social Committee makes sure that we make time to get together around some food and drink, to welcome new members in the fall, feel some holiday cheer at the end of the first semester, and celebrate the end of the second semester at the beginning of summer.

Space & Facilities

By overseeing building spaces, shared facilities, and IT infrastructure, the Space & Facilities Committee (SFC) helps the department achieve workplace comfort, safety, and productivity equitably to all members.