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Zero-Dollar ($0) Appointments

This policy authorizes the use of Zero-Dollar ($0) appointments within the Division of Extension. All programs and areas will use the policy to evaluate and seek approval when requesting $0 appointments. The purpose of this policy is to standardize the process for evaluating $0 appointments across the Division.


$0 appointment:

This is a temporary non-employee appointment, used to provide an official affiliation and identification with Extension without pay. This does not designate an employee/employer relationship. Zero-dollar appointments will generally be Honorary Associate/Honorary Fellow appointments (Z90NN) unless through evaluation with Extension HR, another is decided to be more appropriate. (An appropriate business title should be given for the individual). It is a designation that grants the individual access to similar technologies that an employee has (e.g., Office 365, NetID, Microsoft Suite licenses, virtual meeting platforms - See Extension IT Service Eligibility Matrix for specific services). The individual will have liability coverage. Trainings required per UW-Madison policy and criminal background checks are not required (But need will be evaluated through this process). It is term-limited (one-year max) and needs to be revisited on an annual basis (before June 30th of each year). Typical uses within Extension will be for county support staff (county employees that support the extension mission), AmeriCorps Members, a non-Extension employee with an appointment in another school/college/division/campus that directly contributes to Extension events and activities, or specific work projects others are assisting with.

Person of Interest record:

A designation for a non-employee and is typically used for emeritus.


This policy applies to any unit within Extension.

Policy Details

The process to evaluate and approve the use of a $0 appointment is as follows:

  1. When a program is evaluating the need for a volunteer or other individual and drafting a position description, under current procedures, they seek approval of the position description by Extension HR.
  2. If a program needs the volunteer or other individual to access software, use a computer, have a account, or other atypical situation, they will bring this forward to Extension HR for discussion.
  3. Extension HR will evaluate with the program what type of appointment (e.g., volunteer, zero-dollar appointment, person of interest) would work best for the situation.
  4. Extension HR will consult with Educational Technology Support, Policy Advisor, or other impacted programs if there are specific technological needs or the proposed position will not follow normal procedures (e.g., no training, no background check, needs office space).
    1. This consultation will determine if there are any other conditions of appointment that will be required or waived, such as specific trainings or a criminal background check.
  5. If after these consultations, it is determined that a zero-dollar appointment is the preferred appointment option, the program or area will seek approval from their Institute Directors or Assistant Deans.
    1. After approval by the Institute Director or Assistant Dean, Extension HR will seek final decision by Associate Dean for Policy, Operations, and Stakeholder Engagement.
  6. Extension HR will inform the program or area of approval and draft the zero-dollar appointment letter. Extension HR will be responsible for retaining documentation.


Request a Zero Dollar Appointment

Additional Considerations

Multi-Factor Authentication

  • Zero-dollar appointments are required to use Duo Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) when logging in with their UW-Madison NetID. After activating their NetID, they are required to enroll in Duo-MFA and to register a device before you can access any applications or services that require a NetID login.
  • Extension HR strongly recommends the use of smartphones for Duo-MFA. For information that will walk you through setting up Duo-MFA for first time use with a smartphone or tablet, visit MFA-Duo - First Time Setup for Smartphone or Tablet.
  • The option to register a token/fob is available, however, they will need to obtain a token/fob before they can register it, and will not be able to log in until they have a token. Please email to request a token. Provide your name, mailing address, and a phone number.
  • Zero-dollar appointments that do not have a token/fob and do not use a device can call the DoIT Help Desk to request temporary passcodes.

Required Training

  • Zero-dollar appointments are required to complete the annual Cybersecurity Awareness Training by the UW-Madison deadline of each year (typically 12/31).
  • Failure to complete the required training will result in the termination of their appointment until the required training is completed. 

Service Eligibility

  • Zero-dollar appointments have access to certain UW-Madison IT Services. These are listed on DoIT - Extension IT Service Eligibility Matrix.
  • Note that access to services will change over time and will be determined by UW-Madison licensing.

Related UW–Madison or Extension Policies

UW-Madison Integrated Specialist Zero-Dollar Appointments

Off-Campus Integrated Specialist NetID

Emeritus (POI 21)

Related UW–Madison or Extension Documents, Web Pages, or Other Resources

[Link for document 102207 is unavailable at this time]

DoIT - Extension IT Service Eligibility Matrix

Policy Administration

Approval Authority

Associate Dean for Policy, Operation, and Stakeholder Engagement

Policy Manager

Division of Extension Human Resources Director

Policy Contact(s)

Policy Contacts
Policy Advisor
HR Manager
HR Manager

Rebecca Diebel

Michele Curran

Nathaniel Shay




Policy History


Effective Date


Date Issued


End Date


Next Review


Revised Dates


5/3/2023 - Added additional considerations around Duo MFA, required training, and service eligibility.

6/22/2023 - Revised following conversion of some POIs to zero-dollar appointments.

Reviewed Dates

KeywordsAmeriCorps County Support Staff NetID   Doc ID127280
OwnerNathaniel S.GroupExtension Handbook
Created2023-04-13 16:59:38Updated2024-01-12 13:42:09
SitesExtension Handbook
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