For Faculty

Mellon-Morgridge Professorships

The College of Letters & Science invites nominations and self-nominations for two Mellon-Morgridge Professorships, beginning as soon as Spring semester, 2016-17.

Mellon-Morgridge Professorships afford exceptional scholar-teachers time and resources to collaborate in building a sustainable initiative designed to stimulate undergraduate student interest in the humanities. Recipients of these professorships will design and offer upper division course constellations that create durable paths through the humanities, organized around crucial problems or questions. Topics need not focus explicitly on the present, and may include, for example, inequality, migration, privacy, health, or energy, among many others. Proposals may offer course ideas that integrate project-based learning, out-of-classroom experiences, or research training. A central purpose of the initiative is to expose more students throughout the University to the vibrancy of humanistic inquiry. To this end, prospective candidates may look to the interest-group model employed by FIGS, which is an exceptionally successful dimension of the first-year experience at UW-Madison.

Mellon-Morgridge professors, with the support of program staff, will be expected to develop at least two distinct course constellations, that is, combinations of courses (only one of which they will teach) that reveal distinct, yet interrelated approaches to a problem or question. After the initial five years of direct support through the rotating professorships, faculty who no longer hold funded positions within the program will be encouraged to keep their courses and interest groups active with the expectation that the courses will be taught at least every other year, so long as they continue to be relevant and attract students. When faculty members who no longer hold one of the professorships continue to offer interest group courses, funds will be available for out-of-classroom experiences (as is the case with the FIGs) to ensure that the courses can continue to accomplish their goals.

Mellon-Morgridge Professors will be supported by a 50% PA, receive 1/9th summer salary (or equivalent course release), and technological and other support.

Nominations and self-nominations for these professorships, to be submitted via email to Beth Hart ( by November 1, 2016. Nominations should include the candidate’s curriculum vitae, a vision statement for the Mellon-Morgridge Undergraduate Humanities Initiative, evidence of teaching excellence (whether evaluations or examples of successful, innovative teaching efforts), and a letter of support from the tenure home department.

Questions about the Mellon-Morgridge Undergraduate Humanities Initiative and nominations for the professorships may be directed to L&S Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, Susan Zaeske (