Nominees must have the rank of full professor. Nominations of outstanding women, minorities and members of other groups historically underrepresented in their disciplines are encouraged.
Nominees must be recognized nationally and internationally for scholarly achievement in their field of study and/or creative endeavors, for having broad scholarly interests and originality as scholars, for superior teaching skills and for excellence as a mentor to graduate students and junior colleagues
Number of Awards
The number of Distinguished University Professorships awarded varies each year. Each professorship carries an annual salary supplement of $5,000 and an annual research stipend of $5,000.
Source of Nominations
Nominations may be submitted by deans, directors, department/program heads, promotion or award committees, or individual faculty members. The dean of the nominee’s school/college must provide a letter of support if the nomination is submitted by someone other than the dean.
A committee of distinguished senior faculty from different disciplines and academic units, chaired by the Dean of the Graduate School, reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Provost. Upon the recommendation of the Provost, the Board of Regents approves these appointments in May. Awards will be formally presented at a ceremony during the fall term.
The nomination deadline is 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 8, 2021.
For more information contact:
Honors and Awards
Rackham Graduate School
Telephone: (734) 615-0255
As described below, a nomination dossier must include a cover sheet with contact information, a nominating letter, and curriculum vitae. Incomplete nomination dossiers cannot be reviewed. The Graduate School will add to each nomination dossier a dissertation committee service report and the Registrar’s Teaching Evaluation “Instructor Report” that tabulates quantitative data only.
The online nomination dossier may be set up by a U-M faculty or staff member. Others may be given login access to the site as needed. The nomination system may be accessed as often as needed in order to complete the nomination dossier. All materials must be uploaded in Adobe PDF format.
Complete the online cover sheet with all information requested for both the nominee and the nominator—not the administrator who may have initiated the dossier.
Letter of Nomination
As committee members represent a range of disciplines and may not be familiar with the nominee’s field, describe the nominee’s contributions in a way that conveys their significance to those not acquainted with the field. Given the number of highly accomplished senior faculty with national reputations for academic excellence, the letter should explain the particular distinction that makes the nominee exceptionally qualified for this honor. The letter should include an explanation of the most significant external awards to help the committee assess the nominee’s stature in the field. The letter may incorporate quotations from former and current students, peers and faculty, including from letters solicited for tenure review, that describe the significance of the nominee’s scholarly and research achievements, teaching and mentoring excellence, service contributions and other impact measures outside the classroom.
The letter may be no longer than 2,000 words. A new letter may be submitted for re-nominations or an addendum may be submitted to update the dossier.
Letters should cover the areas below; those that do not will disadvantage the nominee:
- An assessment of the range and overall importance of the nominee’s research, scholarly or creative endeavors and accomplishments so that readers can understand the scope and value of his/her professional work. The committee is especially interested in evidence of contributions that have transformed a discipline or field of study or launched a new field of study.
- Evidence of substantial recognition nationally and internationally among peers and scholars for the impact of the research or scholarship, including an explanation of the most significant external awards to help the committee assess the nominee’s stature in the field. This should include prior recognition within the University and by professional associations, national academies, or other groups with knowledge of the nominee’s contributions. The committee is especially interested in recognition that extends beyond a nominee’s immediate field of expertise.
- Evidence of outstanding contributions as an educator. This should include having education as a high priority during the nominee’s career; engagement in curriculum development and improvement; recognition as an accomplished teacher; and engagement with graduate students and junior colleagues to further their scholarship and careers.
- Evidence of extraordinary service and collegiality within the University community and engagement with professional associations, societies, or other national institutions. This may include successful service in formal or informal administrative or leadership roles.
- Attention to activities indicative of the nominee’s breadth of interest and engagement (e.g., interdisciplinary efforts or involvement with public, nonprofit, or entrepreneurial activity) and depth of knowledge in related fields.
Provide the nominee’s current c.v.
Dean’s Support Form
If the nomination is submitted by someone other than the dean of the nominee’s school or college, a letter of support from the dean must be provided. Please complete this Dean’s Support Form, obtain signatures, and upload as a PDF in these situations. This form is also provided within the nomination system.