PLATO: Participatory Learning and Teaching Organization


PLATO is an organization run by its members who contribute their time and effort to carry out the administrative tasks. It is affiliated with the Division of Continuing Studies of the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-DCS), which provides programmatic and administrative support. 

PLATO members share their expertise, skills, and talents to keep the organization strong and vibrant.  We are always looking for more members to help keep PLATO running.  If you would like to become involved in PLATO's administration, contact any Board Director or Committee Chair. 

The PLATO organization is composed of a Board of Directors and four standing committees.  Meetings are open to all members and everyone is encouraged to attend.  See below for meeting times and locations.  Other ad hoc committees and task forces may be designated as needed to pursue special initiatives.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is comprised of 14 PLATO members: a president, president elect, past president, treasurer, secretary, chairs of the standing committees, and five members-at-large. This group determines the overall policies and directions for PLATO.  The Board of Directors meets monthly.  Meetings are attended by the UW DCS liaison and staff project assistant.

PLATO Board of Directors

PLATO Past Presidents  (57k pdf)

Standing Committees

Curriculum Committee
This committee is responsible for the following activities:

  1. Planning, scheduling, and setting standards for a balanced program of courses.
  2. Identifying and confirming course coordinators.
  3. Locating and reserving suitable meeting rooms for courses.
  4. Supporting course coordinators.
  5. Evaluating current curriculum offerings and developing new offerings.
  6. Planning and leading the Fall and Spring Previews.
  7. Identifying potential educational needs and opportunities other than courses.
  8. Arranging training for members who desire instruction prior to assuming coordinator duties.
  9. Other activities as may be assigned or as its members deem appropriate.

Communications and Membership Committee
This committee is responsible for membership activities, and for internal and external communications, including the following:

  1. Retaining current PLATO members and recruiting new ones.
  2. Recruiting volunteers to staff the Expo booth and the membership table at Previews, the Annual Luncheon, and other locations as appropriate.
  3. Publication of the Persimmon, the PLATO website, and other internal communications, in cooperation with UW-DCS.
  4. Advising the Board on other essential or useful communications.
  5. Developing promotional material and distributing this material to community organizations.
  6. Recruiting members to speak about PLATO to community groups.

Special Events and Activities Committee
This committee is responsible for planning lectures, travel programs, and social events, including the following:

  1. Arranging for lectures and other special events.
  2. Developing, planning, and publicizing educational or social trips.
  3. Planning social events , including the Annual Luncheon.

Organizational Documents

Meeting Times and Locations

Board of Directors
Meetings take place every third Friday of each month
9:30 a.m.
21 N. Park Street, 7th floor (map)

Curriculum Committee
Meetings take place the first Friday of each month
1:30 p.m.
21 N. Park Street, 7th floor (map)
For more information, contact either of the commitee co-chairs: Lauren Blough ( or Harold Green (

Communications and Membership Committee
There are no regularly scheduled meeting times. To find out information about the next meeting, please contact the committee chair: Greg Bell(

Special Events Commitee
There are no regularly scheduled meeting times. To find out information about the next meeting, please contact either of the committee co-chairs: Mary Boyd ( or Linda Bunger (