70 Op. Att'y Gen. 140 (1981)
 
70 OAG 140  141  142  143

OPINION NO. OAG 35-81,

Wisconsin Attorney General Opinions

12 August 1981

Clinical Practice Plan,
University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine;
Open Meetings;
Physicians And Surgeons;
University;

The Clinical Practice Plan Committee,
Departmental Practice Plan Committees and
University of Wisconsin Clinical Practice
Association, which are components of the
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Clinical Practice Plan, are "governmental
bodies" as defined in sec. 19.82(1), Stats.,
and subject to the open meetings law.

 
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JAMES E. DOYLE, JR.,
District Attorney Dane County

You request my opinion whether the Clinical
Practice Plan Committee, the Departmental
Practice Plan Committees and the University
of Wisconsin Clinical Practice Association,
which are components of the University of
Wisconsin School of Medicine Clinical
Practice Plan, are "governmental bodies"
as defined in sec. 19.82(1), Stats., and
therefore subject to the provisions
of Sections 19.81-19.98, Stats.

I am of the opinion that the answer is yes
to both portions of your question.

You have enclosed a copy of the "University
of Wisconsin School of Medicine Clinical
Practice Plan" which describes the purpose,
function and operation of the plan and its
component groups.

I have reviewed the copy of the Clinical
Practice Plan which you forwarded and agree
with your statement of its content:

The Clinical Practice Plan is a method by
which income . . . [generated] by medical
school members in their clinical
practices is distributed.

It has another stated purpose of providing
financial support for the development
of the clinical departments and
the School of Medicine.

It operates largely as a self-governing
organization.

The Plan is closely associated with, and tied
into, a public agency, the University of
Wisconsin Medical School.

Membership in the Plan is required of all
full time members of the Medical School
faculty who have clinical practice . .
responsibilities and are based
in Dane County.

The determination as to whether other faculty
members shall participate in the plan is made
by the Department Chairman and the Dean.

The Chairman of the Department serves as the
Chairman of the Departmental Practice Plan
Association and of the Departmental
Practice Plan Committee.

The Departmental Practice Plan Committee
must provide semi-annual financial
reports to the Dean.

 
70 OAG 140  141  142  143

The Plan required the approval of the
University Administration and the
Board of Regents.

Any major revision of the Plan requires
the approval of the Board of Regents.

The committees and associations, referred to
above, meet from time to time to conduct the
Plan's business.

Section 19.82(1), Stats., provides:

     "Governmental body" means a state or
     local agency, board, commission,
     committee, council, department or public
     body corporate and politic created by
     constitution, statute, ordinance,
     rule or order; a governmental or
     quasi-governmental corporation; or a
     formally constituted subunit of any of
     the foregoing, but excludes any such
     body or committee or subunit of such
     body which is formed for or meeting for
     the purpose of collective bargaining
     under subch. IV or V of ch. 111.

In my opinion the University Clinical
Practice Association (UCPA) is a subunit of
the University of Wisconsin School of
Medicine; the Departmental Plan Committees
(DPC) and Departmental Practice Plan
Associations (DPPA) are subunits of their
respective departments or of UCPA.

The Clinical Practice Plan Committee (CPPC)
which consists of the chairman, acting
chairman or his designee of each DPPA and the
dean of the School of Medicine or his
designee is a subunit of the School of
Medicine, the UCPA, or in itself constitutes
a separate governmental body.

The approval of the Plan by the Board of
Regents was by resolution which is equivalent
to a "rule" within the meaning of that term
as used in Section 19.82(1), Stats.

The Legislature clearly intended that law to
apply to departments and subunits of the
University of Wisconsin System institution.
Section 19.84(5), Stats., provides:

     "Departments and their subunits in any
     university of Wisconsin system
     institution or campus are exempt from
     the requirements of subsections 19.84(1)
     to 19.84(4) but shall provide meeting
     notice which is reasonably likely to
     apprise interested persons, and news
     media who have filed written requests
     for such notice."

Also see 66 Op. Att'y Gen. 60 (1977).

The plan appears to be, in part, an
implementation of the various powers
of the Board of Regents, the president
of the University of Wisconsin System,
the chancellor and the faculty of each
institution with respect to institutional
governance.

See sections 36.09, 36.11, 36.13, 36.15,
36.23, 36.25(12), 36.25(13), Stats.

 
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BCL:RJV
 
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