Office of the Provost

Distinguished University Professor
Criteria and Nomination Guidelines & Principles

Deadline for submissions, excluding external support materials: nomination period is closed.

Guidelines and Criteria for Nominations


Appointment to the rank of a Distinguished University Professor is the highest honor the University of Toledo can bestow on a faculty member. Those named Distinguished University Professor have earned national and/or international recognition and distinction for educational, artistic and/or scholarly contributions that have been transformative in their field. They have been judged by their peers to be exemplary in teaching and education, in scholarly or creative contribution, and in service to their profession and their community. The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Professor is unlimited and the title may be retained even after a faculty member has retired from the University.

 Nomination Process & Selection

  • Nominations for Distinguished University Professor must be made to the Office of the Provost by the date set by that office each year.
  • Nominations must be complete and include all elements on the Checklist in order to be considered: Cover Letter, CV, and two (no more than three) External Letters of Support.  Internal letters of support are also welcomed but not required.  Internal letters are limited to a total of three.
  • Nominations are submitted by using the online application below.
  • Nominations must be made by tenured members of the University faculty. Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • Nominations will be considered by the Academic Honors Committee, which will forward its recommendations to the Provost. A majority vote of the Committee is necessary to move a nomination forward. The Provost will make the final determination of awards.

Guidelines & Criteria

A Distinguished University Professor must demonstrate, over the course of her or his career, high excellence in the three traditional areas of faculty activity: Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. The Nomination Letter, supported by the CV and External Letters, should set forth the argument for the nominee by addressing the following criteria:

1)      Teaching

Faculty who have been excellent teachers have shown evidence of having made a difference in the lives and careers of their students. Excellent teachers impact students over the course of their careers. Excellent teachers are mindful of the importance of their teaching and devote significant portions of their professional time and effort to it. Teaching excellence can be evidenced by the success of students in future endeavors in the field, by the receipt of teaching awards, by testimony from students, former students, or peers, and by sustained creativity and attention to the art and practice of teaching. For a nominee to be judged Excellent in this category it must be clear that both the effort and the results of the nominee’s teaching efforts place them far above the average among their peers.

 2)      Scholarship & Professional Contribution

 Faculty who are excellent scholars and professionals have shown evidence of having made a significant impact on their field through the generation and dissemination of new knowledge or the advancement of professional practice. Excellent scholars & professionals are highly dedicated to their field or profession and have made original contributions that are recognized by their peers nationally and/or internationally. Evidence of scholarly or professional excellence can be evidenced by their collection of scholarly or creative works, the breadth of dissemination of those works and their impact on the field, professional awards or fellowships, significant extramural support for their work through outside grants & awards, and the testimony of notable professionals in the field as to the nominee’s contributions. For a nominee to be judged Excellent in this category the impact of that person’s professional work should be significant in depth and breadth and should clearly place the nominee in the upper echelons of her or his chosen field.

3)    Professional Service

Faculty who have demonstrated excellent professional service have served in prominent, documentable positions at the highest levels of their chosen field. This includes high office, with significant responsibilities, in national or international scholarly or professional societies and organizations. It can include service on national peer-review boards where membership on such boards is reserved for the mostly highly recognized experts. It can include editorship of a major field journal, or editorship of a book series for a top publisher. Service can also be through community engagement, where such service has been recognized to have a significant impact on the effected community. Excellence in this area should also include service over time – a faculty member excellent in professional service should have a record of significant contributions (service to professional organizations, editorial boards, peer reviewer work, etc.) for a number of years. For a nominee to be judged Excellent in this category, service should be recognized in documentable ways at the highest levels and should have contributed measurably and significantly to the communities served.

Distinguished University Professor Nomination Checklist - print out, complete form and upload with other materials to the online nomination form.

Upload all nominations and accompanying materials electronically to
Distinguished University Professor Nomination Form - nomination period is closed.

Distinguished University Professor Appointment Principles


  1. The Distinguished University Professors will be nominated by faculty and/or chairs and will be required to meet the criteria established by the Academic Honors Committee for academic excellence in the areas of education, research and service. The criteria, supporting documents needed and deadlines for submission of nominations will be posted on the Provost’s website, under the Academic Honors Committee link.

  2. The election of a new Distinguished University Professor will be by majority vote of the members of the Academic Honors Committee attending the annual meeting at which nominations are discussed and voted upon.

  3. The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Professor is unlimited and the title may be retained even after a faculty member has retired from the University.  

  4. The title of Distinguished University Professor is separate from and not included on a certificate granting emeritus/emerita status if the faculty member also is chosen for this recognition.

  5. The Distinguished University Professor award may be used for salary, professional development and/or academic work. 
Last Updated: 12/11/20