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Guidelines for Distinguished & Endowed Professorships

Qualifications for Distinguished Professors

The title of Distinguished Professor may be awarded to full professors with the following qualifications: 

  1. Outstanding research, teaching, and/or public service contributions that are widely recognized nationally, and/or internationally, as appropriate.
  2. Extraordinary level of productivity and impact in his/her field of study that goes well beyond the existing high expectations for full professors on campus.
  3.  A level of productivity and impact that has been demonstrated for an extended period of time.
  4. Pre-eminence in his/her field of study.
  5. Recognition by professional organizations for outstanding contributions to the field (e.g., receipt of national awards).
  6. A person who would be a major loss to the University if he/she were to leave and would impact on the University's national and international reputation.
  7. A person considered to be a role model for faculty and students.

Qualifications for Endowed Professors

Qualifications of faculty members for Endowed Professorships would coincide with those for a Distinguished Professorship with the following modifications and additions:

  1. Although it is expected that an Endowed Professor would typically be at the full professor level, a donor may want to support faculty at other levels as well and, hence, the endowed chair criteria will include at what level the appointment will be considered.  Item 2 of the Distinguished Professor qualifications above would then be modified accordingly.
  2. The criteria that are set forth by the benefactor of the endowed chair should be in concert with academic freedom.
  3. In addition to the qualifications set forth for a Distinguished Professor, the appointment to an endowed chair carries with it the expectation of continuing outstanding productivity and leadership.

Procedures for Nominating Distinguished Professors

  1. Nominations are initiated by a Department.  In the case of an external candidate, the Department Personnel Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean and must follow standard screening procedures associated with promotion.  In any event, the nomination is accompanied by a full dossier of relevant material, a curriculum vita, departmental letter of nomination, letters of support, and other evidence supporting the nomination.
  2. The nomination is forwarded to the Dean for a recommendation.
  3. The Dean then forwards a recommendation to the Provost.
  4. When the Provost and Chancellor concur, the nomination is forwarded to the President's Office for consideration.  When the President concurs, the recommendation is forwarded to the Board of Trustees.

Procedures for Nominating Endowed (Named) Professors

  1. Nominations are initiated by a Department.  In the case of an external candidate, the Department Personnel Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean and must follow standard screening procedures associated with promotion.  In any event, the nomination is accompanied by a full dossier of relevant material, a curriculum vita, departmental letter of nomination, letters of support, and other evidence supporting the nomination.
  2. The nomination is forwarded to the Dean for a recommendation.
  3. The Dean then forwards a recommendation to the Provost.  When the Provost and Chancellor concur, the nomination is forwarded to the President's Office for consideration.  When the President concurs, the recommendation is forwarded to the Board of Trustees.