University Distinguished Professors Group: Guidelines for Appointment

The title of University Distinguished Professor is a lifetime title that represents the highest honor Kansas State University can bestow on its faculty, an award that recognizes those making outstanding contributions to teaching, research, and service to their professions and communities.

University Distinguished Professors are appointed following a University-wide competition held by the Provost. Notification of the competition is made to all faculty by the Provost in the Fall. A copy of the most recent memorandum from the Provost is listed below:

Memorandum from April C. Mason, Provost and Senior Vice President, to all faculty calling for nominations to the title of University Distinguished Professor

Nominations for the 2015 university distinguished professors

August 18, 2015

TO:Faculty, Department Heads, Division/School Directors, and Deans
FROM:April C. Mason, Provost and Senior Vice President
RE:Nominations for the 2015 University Distinguished Professors

I announce the call for nominations for the title of university distinguished professor for appointment in 2015. This opportunity, coordinated through the office of the provost in conjunction with the university distinguished professors group, will consider new appointments to this title for 2015. In addition to this distinguished title, each appointee shall receive an enhancement of $10,000 added to their base salaries with funds provided through my office.

Overview:

This article describes the general process for nominations and review of candidates associated with selection of university distinguished professors and the role of the university distinguished professor group in the selection process. The review of nominations will be conducted by the group, with additional review and input provided by a group of selected university distinguished professors from other Big 12 universities. The selection of the external Big 12 university distinguished professors, who will provide review and input of those nominated, will be made by me in my role as provost. I will select the university distinguished professor appointees from the slate of nominees recommended by the university distinguished professor group in conjunction with input from the external university distinguished professors and in consultation with the Dean's Council.

Nominations and qualifications:

Eligibility for appointment at this rank is restricted to tenured faculty with the rank of Full Professor on full-time appointment at the University. The qualifications for this honor are:

  • The individual must have made an outstanding impact on his or her field.
  • This impact is recognized as continuing.
  • This excellence has been recognized in important ways, including, but not limited to:
    • Receipt of personal honors from professional societies or
    • Selection as a Kansas State University Distinguished Graduate Faculty member or Coffman Distinguished Teaching Scholar or
    • Receipt of other awards of national or international stature recognizing continuing distinguished personal contributions to research, teaching or other areas of scholarship as defined by Boyer.

Nominations of outstanding faculty, who meet all three of these criteria, for the title of University Distinguished Professor can be made to the Provost by any tenured Kansas State University faculty member. A hard copy original of the nomination package, with original signatures, and a PDF file containing the entire nomination package (including support letters from the Dean and Department Head/Director) should be submitted to Gail Zeak (gaill@ksu.edu), in the provost's office by Monday, Oct. 6. Late/incomplete nomination packages (including letters from department heads, directors and/or deans) will not be considered.

Nomination packages must contain the following material:

  • A letter of nomination that should be on department letterhead and no more than five pages in length. It must:
    • Identify and delineate the special reasons that justify selection of the nominee for the title of University Distinguished Professor. The letter should interpret, highlight (as necessary), and be complementary to the material included in the curriculum vitae, and not be a mere repetition of it.
    • Identify by name the national/international honors received by the nominee, the relative frequency/selectivity of the award(s) received, and the normal time in the career that such awards are received. A brief description of the types and sources of awards generally available in the field also may be included.
    • Describe the nominee's scholarship, achievements and contributions to his/her field in a manner understandable by a general academic audience. Nomination letters addressed primarily to other specialists in the nominee's field reduce the competitiveness of the nomination. (Most, if not all, of the principle reviewers of the nomination, whose expertise ranges from art to veterinary medicine, will be unfamiliar with the specifics of the nominee's field.)
  • A detailed curriculum vitae.
  • A list of at least four and no more than five eminent scholars outside Kansas State University with national and international recognition and expertise to speak directly to the outstanding qualifications of the nominee. The professional qualifications of each potential referee should be described, and a statement describing any personal or professional relationships between the referee and the nominee that may have existed in the past, or that may be in progress, must be stated. The standing of the referees in their field can affect the evaluation of the support letters. Do not include CVs for potential references in the nomination package. Complete current mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for each referee must also be provided. Nominators are expected to confirm that all of the suggested referees are willing to write a support letter if one is solicited from them by the Provost, as the lack of external support letters may reduce the competitiveness of a nomination. The Provost will not solicit letters from all of the individuals whose names are submitted as a part of the nomination. In consultation with the nominee's head/director or dean, the Provost may solicit reference letters from one or two individuals not included on the nominator's original list.)
  • Letters of support from the college dean, and either the department head or division/school director, except in support of a nomination of a head/director.
  • Materials not included in the above list will be discarded. Do not include books, reprints or similar items with the nomination materials.

Nominators of unsuccessful candidates will be contacted by the Provost's office prior to the submission of applications for the second and third years of a nominee's eligibility. At that time, the nominator may update the application, ask for the nomination to remain active with no update, or withdraw the application. The updated nomination may include any or all of the following:

  • A new letter of nomination to replace the old one OR a one page letter summarizing the major accomplishments of the nominee during the past year.
  • A new/updated curriculum vitae.
  • An additional recommended name for the list of eminent scholars outside Kansas State University who could review the application materials. As with the original list the nominator is expected to provide background information on the referee, contact details, and to ensure that the referee is willing to provide a letter, if requested, by the Provost's office.

Updated materials are to be submitted to the Provost as both a signed original and a PDF file. These materials are due to the Provost's office at the same time as new nominations are due.

Withdrawn nominations will not be considered during the current academic year's competition, but may be submitted again the following academic year to begin a new three-year cycle as though they were new nominations.

Continuing nominations whose nominators do not respond to the request from the Provost's office will be considered to have been withdrawn and will not be considered in the current year's selection process. If the nominator has left Kansas State University, then the nominee's department head/director or dean will be asked to provide a response or to identify an alternate nominator.

If a nominee is not selected as a university distinguished professor during the consecutive three-year period or if an application is withdrawn, a period of one year must pass before the Professor may be re-nominated whereupon a new consecutive three-year active period begins.

Please reference URL below for a more detailed description for the selection of University Distinguished Professors.

http://www.k-state.edu/provost/enrichment/udp/selection.html