I saw this in a university website.
A professor is "Below the Line" in his introduction on his bio page.

Bruno Olshausen
Below the Line, Professor

It sounds negative...but I'm sure it really means something else.

Here's the link

  • Have you tried to look it up? I've found this when I googled it.
    – fev
    Jun 7 at 10:57
  • Looks like untenured. Jun 7 at 12:38

The definition of "affiliate" in the academic world (University of Washington)

Affiliate Appointments
An Affiliate appointment requires qualifications comparable to those required for appointment to the corresponding rank or title. It recognizes the professional contribution of an individual whose principal employment responsibilities lie outside the colleges or schools of the University. Affiliate appointments are annual; the question of their renewal shall be considered each year by the faculty of the department (or undepartmentalized college or school) in which they are held. Affiliate appointments are typically unpaid appointments, but are eligible for pay based on the needs of the unit/department.

From the information provided by user fev, "below the line" can be taken as "affiliate" (Below the Line, Associate Professor)

Duncan Callaway is an Associate Professor of Energy and Resources with an affiliate (i.e. "below the line") appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

According to that "below the line" is equivalent to "affiliate".

However, there is a possible alternative to the use of this expression in academia.

(UCB) “Below the line” appointment: term used at UCB to indicate a faculty member’s joint appointment (even if UCB provides partial salary support) does not confer voting rights, but does provide the right to serve as advisors to graduate students in the joint department; it is anticipated that if UCB is the home campus, the joint appointment at UCSF will always be considered “below the line”; i.e., that there will not be voting rights conferred.

As this professor (Bruno Olshausen, Below the Line, Professor) is from UCB, this latter variant meaning is possibly that which is applicable, but nothing is less sure. As "from 1996-2005 he was on the faculty in the Center for Neuroscience at UC Davis, and in 2005 he moved to UC Berkeley" (see part of the biography below), there is probably a matter of "home campus" and "host campus" involved, and this would tend to confirm this latter possibility.

Biography Professor Bruno Olshausen is a Professor in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the School of Optometry, and has a below-the-line affiliated appointment in EECS. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology. He did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University and at the Center for Biological and Computational Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1996-2005 he was on the faculty in the Center for Neuroscience at UC Davis, and in 2005 he moved to UC Berkeley.[…]

Asking for information by means of the following email would most certainly provide a conclusive answer.

Contact Information:      baolshausen@berkeley.edu

  • 1
    Good answer. I searched on both Google and our sister site, academia.stackexchange.com (without success). It seems like Below-the-line affiliate is a unique definition at Berkeley. See history.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/affiliated .
    – rajah9
    Jun 7 at 14:11

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