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Guidelines for Appointment & Promotion to Professor of Practice (Non-Credit)
Division of Extension Guidelines for Appointment to Professor of Practice (Non-Credit) and for Promotion from Outreach Specialist to Professor of Practice.
The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for the Division of Extension (Extension) to use for 1) appointments to a Professor of Practice (Non-Credit) title and 2) promotion from the Outreach Specialist title to the Professor of Practice title. Within the context of these guidelines, “instruction” or “teaching” is understood to include non-credit instruction and planned, sequential education provided through community-learning experiences extended over a set time. “Learners” are understood to include students in non-credit programs and life-long learners who participate in outreach programs.
B. Professor of Practice Title Review
The Professor of Practice (Non-Credit) title is intended for a non-tenure track, qualified outreach academic staff member who has established themselves by demonstrating expertise, holding distinguished leadership positions, and/or accruing professional achievements in their field. These professionals, though accomplished in their areas of expertise, may not have traditional academic backgrounds or appropriate terminal degrees to lead instruction. They are expected to provide instruction directly related to their area of specialization that substantively benefits from their perspective as a practitioner. They are expected to undertake duties similar to those outlined in section C. Outreach professionals may not have terminal degrees but should demonstrate specialized expertise relative to engaged scholarship within an applied disciplinary area.
Employees appointed or promoted into the Professor of Practice title are considered academic staff; therefore, UW-Madison Academic Staff Policies and Procedures apply to these appointments. Professors of Practice are represented by the academic staff governance and have representation in the Academic Staff Assembly with the governance rights afforded them through Wisconsin State Statutes 36.09 (4m). A Professor of Practice appointment does not entail tenure or protections similar to those provided by tenure.
The Professor of Practice title is not intended to replace other titles such as Outreach Specialist or Teaching Faculty, nor is it intended that those holding other titles will be automatically or systematically transferred to the Professor of Practice title.
C. Appointment Responsibilities
The duties of a Professor of Practice will include most of, but not be limited to, the following:
- Develops and designs instructional curriculum and activities, independently or in collaboration with faculty, staff or external stakeholders, for educational experiences in areas directly related to the individual’s expertise and experience.
- Advises learners on academic research or learning outcomes, or perspectives within a specialized discipline.
- Facilitates the delivery of instructional experiences and assesses achievement of learning outcomes. May supervise others in the facilitation of instruction materials.
- Develops, presents and serves as a subject matter and/or applied practice expert for unit activities.
- Maintain the unit’s relationship with external and industry stakeholders. Facilitates and builds new connections between academia, industry and external stakeholders.
Fixed-term terminal positions may do some subset of these duties.
D. Appointment Process and Authority
The dean of the Division of Extension, or their designee, has the authority to approve new appointments for the Professor of Practice title. All letters of appointment will be approved using standard division Human Resources practices, and will have position requirements and duties consistent with section C and follow existing UW-Madison Academic Staff policies.
E. Mentoring of Professors of Practice
A mentor shall be established by the unit director when a Professor of Practice is newly appointed from outside UW-Madison Division of Extension. The purpose of this mentorship is to orient them to the academic or Extension environment, encourage professional development, suggest resources when needed to further instructional and service aims, assist in removing barriers when they are encountered, advocate for the Professor of Practice when needed, and ensure that reasonable progress is made in their careers. The mentor is expected to support the professor for a minimum of two years after appointment.
F. Performance Review and Reappointment
Professors of Practice are appointed with the expectation that they will work toward the goals broadly outlined in this document. Professors of Practice are expected to demonstrate a commitment to curriculum development appropriate for learners in their disciplinary area, efficacy in advising learners within their specialized discipline, effectiveness in learning environments demonstrated by instruments such as evaluations, and a meaningful presence in their field.
Performance reviews of Professors of Practice, whether terminal or renewable, must be completed annually in accordance with policies applicable to UW-Madison Academic Staff. Actions regarding non-renewal, layoff, or termination follow the UW-Madison Academic Staff Policies and Procedures that apply to these appointments.
G. Promotion from Outreach Specialist to Professor of Practice
Outreach specialists may see the responsibilities of their position evolve in such a way as to align more closely with the professor of practice title. Those individuals are encouraged to contact their supervisor about potential options.