Published: Nov. 30, 2018

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2019 Nomination deadline: March 1, 2019

The honorific title College Professor of Distinction is reserved for scholars and artists of national and international distinction who are also recognized by their College peers as teachers and colleagues of exceptional talent.

Appointments to this honorary title shall be made from those holding the rank of Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. While there is no limit upon the number of College Professors of Distinction in the College at any one time, the expected level of accomplishment in all three areas of service, teaching, and research or creative work will likely limit the number of honorees to approximately 10% of the eligible Professors.

A. Criteria

A candidate for designation as College Professor of Distinction shall be judged by the
following criteria:

1.    The candidate must be recognized nationally or internationally as a distinguished scholar or artist of exceptional quality. They should enjoy evidence of national recognition for their position in their discipline beyond individual testimonials, such as by prestigious lectureships, elected positions, awards, and honors.

2.    The candidate should exhibit evidence of superior accomplishment as a teacher and mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students, and should exhibit enthusiasm for teaching through their activities as a teacher-scholar.

3.    The candidate should exhibit a record of superior service to their discipline, their department, and their College and University.

4.    The candidate should exhibit a strong record in each domain, but a record that overall can be judged to be exceptional.

As a rule of thumb, a successful nominee is one who can be argued is in the top 10% of the professoriate in the College when all four criteria are considered. The chair may wish to have a confidential discussion with a dean before proceeding if there is any question as to the appropriateness of the nomination.

B. Nomination and Selection Procedure

1.    Candidates must be nominated by at least two members of the Professorial rank of the College, each of whom should write a separate letter of nomination. Nomination letters should be directed to the chair of the candidate’s department (or associate chair, if the chair is the nominee). The College strongly encourages nominations that are made without the knowledge of the nominee.

2.    A letter supporting the nomination must come from the chair (or associate chair) of the candidate’s department. Accompanying this letter should be a confidential list of names and contact information for ten senior scholars at institutions other than CU-Boulder who might be asked by the Dean to be external reviewers should the candidate be selected for nomination.

The chair’s letter must use data available to the chair (web-based databases, FRPA, annual merit reviews, etc) to build a case for the nominee. Each of the four criteria above needs to be explicitly addressed, particularly those components of the nominees record that are not fully represented or explained in the CV. The chair’s letter will typically be several pages long.

3.    A file consisting of a current curriculum vita, at least two letters of nomination, the chair’s letter in support of the nomination, and the list of potential reviewers shall be submitted by the chair of the candidate’s department to the Deans Office by March 1. It is desirable that this stage of nomination be confidential, and without the knowledge of the candidate.

4.    A Professor of Distinction Selection Committee, appointed by the Dean and consisting of current Professors of Distinction, shall review nominations and recommend to the Dean a subset of nominees for full review.

5.    The full review will include letters from external reviewers, who will be contacted by the Selection Committee, with a deadline of approximately August 1 for return of letters.

6.    Nomination dossiers and external letters shall be reviewed by members of the Professor of Distinction Selection Committee. By vote, the Committee shall make a recommendation to the Dean. Typically, 0.5% of the faculty shall be recommended annually.

7.    Candidates whose nominations have received full review by the Committee may be considered more than once during a three year period. Previously nominated candidates whose files did not receive full review by the Personnel Committee may not be nominated again for at least three years..

C. Conditions and Honors

1.    Selected candidates shall be authorized to use the honorific title “College Professor of Distinction” during the remainder of their career in the College.

2.    A monetary award of $10,000 will be provided for each selected candidate and transferred to a department established account for use by the recipient in support of their research/teaching program in accordance with University policy and procedures.

3.    Each College Professor of Distinction shall present a public lecture to the faculty of the College and attend a reception in their honor in the inaugural year of their appointment.

4.    The College shall suitably honor and feature its Distinguished Fellows, including a public display of the roster of current College Professors of Distinction.

  • Approved by ASC Fall 2004
  • Approved by Provost Phil DiStefano, September 2004