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Joint Finance Committee gives the Dairy Innovation Hub the “go ahead”

Last week the Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously for final approval of the plans for the Dairy Innovation Hub. The deans of the three agricultural-related colleges in the UW System have been collaborating on plans for the launch of the Hub since the 2019-2021 state budget included $8.8 million in the Joint Finance Committee’s supplemental appropriation. With final approvals from the UW Board of Regents and the Joint Finance Committee, the deans are excited to begin working in earnest. They released this statement regarding the vote.

Heather White, associate professor in the department of dairy science and special assistant to Dean VandenBosch, has been partnering with the deans to develop a governance structure for the Hub and the process for soliciting internal funding proposals that will be released via eCALS later this year. These UW–Madison-specific calls will be for postdoctoral research fellows; capacity-building equipment; and short-term, high-impact projects that address Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendations. This handout has additional information.

Dean Kate VandenBosch noted, “Departments in the college may use their 5-year plans, currently being updated, as a way to indicate how they plan to interact with the Hub.” She also noted that because of the timing of final Joint Finance Committee approvals, faculty positions funded by the Hub will not be considered in the fall 2019 requests for faculty proposals due on Nov. 15. This fall, the college will host sessions to encourage broader discussions about the work of the Dairy Innovation Hub.

An advisory council for the Hub comprised of industry and campus representatives will be named in November along with campus-specific steering committees and a faculty director. UW–Madison will post an academic staff program manager position later this month to assist the faculty director with coordinating Hub activities.