Academic Policy  1405.13

Guidelines for University and Distinguished Professor Appointments

  1. Background
    The University of Arkansas (U of A or UA) acknowledges outstanding faculty through conferring the honorific titles of "University Professor" and "Distinguished Professor." Appointment as University Professor or Distinguished Professor is a high honor reserved for only the very best faculty at the U of A in recognition of sustained excellence in the performance of their duties, as outlined below. The appointments described in this document are strictly honorific and are not intended to be construed as academic or financial promotions.
    1. Substantive Criteria – University Professorship
      Appointment as University Professor is a special honor conferred only upon active faculty in recognition of an extended period of exemplary service in a spirit of collegiality to the University of Arkansas and a combination of service in their profession and to the public through their professional activities. In order to achieve this distinction, faculty members must, in addition to having an extended period of documented exemplary service to the University of Arkansas, have gained wide recognition at the national or international level for their sustained excellence in service, teaching, research or creative activity germane to their respective disciplines and academic roles while serving as a member of the faculty of the University of Arkansas.

      Eligibility for designation as University Professor is limited to active tenured faculty who hold the rank of Professor. Generally, a candidate is expected to have served in the rank of professor at the University of Arkansas for 10 years before nomination. Sitting administrators are not eligible to be nominated for appointment to University Professor. For the purpose of this policy individuals who have held, or are holding, positions that carry an administrative appointment that is greater than fifty percent (50%) are considered to be administrators and should be three years removed from that position before nomination.

    2. Substantive Criteria – Distinguished Professorship
      Appointment as Distinguished Professor at the University of Arkansas is a special distinction that is reserved for those individuals who are recognized nationally and/or international ly as intellectual leaders in their academic disciplines as a result of extraordinary accomplishments in research, teaching, published works, creative activities in the arts or endeavors of similar merit in other venues. Individuals may have gained such distinction at this university, another university or other venues.

      Appointment as Distinguished Professor shall only occur when clear indication exists that an individual so appointed will continue to provide exemplary academic and intellectual leadership and continue his or her professional activities in such a way as to maintain national and international recognition and a commensurate level of accomplishment.

      Eligibility for designation as Distinguished Professor is limited to active tenured faculty who hold the rank of Professor, the title University Professor, or incoming faculty who will be awarded tenure and who hold credentials of similar merit from another university or other venues.

  2. Policies and Timing
    Nominations for appointment to University and Distinguished Professor will follow the applicable policies in Board Policy 405.1 and Academic Policy 1405.11 as well as the established timeline for promotion identified in Academic Policy 1405.101.

    The tenured and tenure-track faculty of each school or college and each unit shall establish and include in the school and unit personnel documents, substantive criteria and procedures for use in considering nominees for University or Distinguished Professor within that school or college and unit. Unit criteria shall not be in conflict with, nor less rigorous than, the criteria for appointment as University or Distinguished Professor noted in this document. Unit criteria are subject to approval consistent with all revisions to school and unit personnel documents under University policy.

  3. Documentation/Dossier
    The candidate must complete the Faculty Review Checklist and provide supporting materials required by that document and any additional materials that may be required by the unit.

    The information supplied in the Faculty Review Checklist should be sufficiently detailed so that a candidate can be evaluated in terms of both sustained superior performance as outlined in the background section and the potential for continued superior performance.

  4. Process
    Unless specifically noted below , the process will follow the procedures outlined in Section III, B of Academic Policy 1405.11, "Evaluative Criteria, Procedures and General Standards for Initial Appointment, Successive Appointments, Annual and Post-tenure Review, Promotion and Tenure".
    1. Any UA faculty member holding the rank of Professor may nominate himself or herself for appointment as University or Distinguished Professor. Alternatively, any tenured or tenure - track member of the faculty or any department chair or head, college or school dean, the Provost, or the Chancellor, may nominate a Professor for appointment as University or Distinguished Professor. A letter of nomination must set forth the achievements of distinction that warrant the appointment and must be submitted to the nominee's chairperson.

    2. For faculty members with affiliations with multiple colleges, such nominations shall be considered in the department and college or school where the nominee has the greatest percentage of , or principal appointment. Faculty with appointments equally divided among two or more colleges or schools shall be considered by the college or school within which they hold tenure, but in t he course of such review the views of the other appointing schools or colleges shall be sought and considered.

    3. All tenured faculty in a unit are eligible to vote for individuals being considered for University or Distinguished Professor.

    4. Academic Policy Form 1405.10D, Nomination for Appointment to University Professor or Distinguished Professor must be completed.

    5. Nominations for appointment to Distinguished Professor for incoming faculty must follow the process prescribed in this document. However, the process may be expedited in the following manner:
      1. While the steps prescribed in policy 1405.101 must be followed , the timeline may be changed or expedited.

      2. Completion of the Faculty Review Checklist (policy 1405.11) is not required . However, appropriate documentation and justification, similar in scope and content of the Faculty Review Checklist, must be provided by the nominee and/or nominator for review.

      3. The requirement for external review letters requested from this campus (policy 1405.11) may be waived.

    6. At any point prior to the Chancellor's recommendation, the nominee may withdraw his/her name from further consideration.

  5. Continuing Appointment as University or Distinguished Professor
    Subject to all other applicable policies of the University of Arkansas, continuing appointment as a University or Distinguished Professor will be based on the annual and post tenure review provisions of Academic Policy 1405.11.

Reformatted for Web October 1, 2014
3/14/12