Bascom Professorships are symbols of the University’s emphasis on high quality instruction and research. The coveted awards are for UW–Madison faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding quality, significance, and productivity in their research or creative work, along with high quality and programmatically valuable teaching and service. Named Bascom Professorships couple the name of the distinguished scholar and former University President, John Bascom, with the last names of the donors who contributed funds to support the professorships (ex. Smith-Bascom Professorship). While some Bascom Professorships are open to all faculty, many are designated for a particular school, college, division, or discipline by the donor.
Annual award allocations may be used for books, computers, research assistants, travel, and other support of teaching and scholarly activities. Some recipients also receive an annual $5,000 temporary base adjustment to their salary as funds allow. Most, but not all, appointments are for five years and are renewable upon recommendation of the department chair and dean. Funding to support the appointments is held at the UW Foundation.
These professorships are managed by the Office of the Provost.