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Academic Unit Leaders Forum


Facilitate discussion of disciplinary issues of particular relevance to plant pathology units across the country and representation of those issues before Council. The Academic Unit Leaders Forum (AULF) promotes interactions among the leaders of academic units that encompass their institutions’ plant pathology enterprise for discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing the discipline of plant pathology regionally, nationally, and internationally.​

Organization and Operation

The AULF embraces the following organization and general operation:

  • The AULF will meet annually during the APS Annual Meeting.  Regional AULF subgroups are encouraged to meet at divisional APS meetings.
  • Unit Leader Representatives (ULRs) are comprised of the current department heads and chairs of plant pathology departments or units at universities and colleges.
  • The number of ULRs will reflect the status of plant pathology departments. As department heads/chairs change at institutions, the membership of the AULF will change accordingly. As departments become merged, a representative of the plant pathology discipline of the new department will be considered a ULR.
  • Each year during the annual meeting, the AULF will elect an associate chair from among its ULR members.  The associate chair will serve for one year in support of the chair and will assume the role of the new chair at the end of the following year’s AULF meeting. The immediate past Chair will return to serve as a ULR.
  • The AULF may form subcommittees as necessary.

General Responsibilities

  • AULF is charged by Council to be the coordinating body for plant pathology units to share ideas, develop cooperative projects, identify individuals for leadership opportunities, and critically evaluate and address threats to and opportunities for the plant pathology discipline.
  • AULF is authorized to dispense funds if they are allocated by Council and form subcommittees (e.g. ad-hoc) as well as to utilize staff time for execution of AULF programs.
  • AULF will provide a platform for discussion of all aspects associated with the organization, curriculum, teaching, laboratory and field experiences associated with the discipline of plant pathology.
  • AULF will interact with other APS committees not only by individual ULRs but also as a group providing guidance in activities that enhance the discipline of plant pathology.

General Responsibilities of the AULF Chair:

  • The AULF Chair will facilitate the establishment of priorities and sub-committee and individual assignments.
  • The AULF Chair will prepare and submit reports on AULF activities or AULF sub-committees to the Internal Communications Officer of APS upon request.
  • The AULF Chair will develop and distribute an agenda for all meetings of the AULF.  The associate chair will act as scribe during annual AULF meetings and will prepare meeting minutes.

General Responsibilities of the Unit Leader Representatives (ULRs):

  • The ULRs will meet annually at the APS annual meeting. However, planning, decision-making, and program execution are expected to occur throughout the year.
  • ULRs are expected to participate actively in AULF meetings and to respond in a timely manner to requests from the AULF Chair.
  • ULRs are the liaison between the AULF and their respective units.
  • ULRs will promote more effective interactions among members within and between units.