University Distinguished Professor Award

The University Distinguished Professor Award is designed to encourage, reward, and publicly acknowledge sustained excellence in Teaching, Research and Creative Activity, and Professional Service, by members of the University’s faculty. The award recognizes excellence in all three areas of faculty performance and in the integration of the three areas into a coherent career thread.

Award Criteria

The primary criteria will be the impact and significance of the candidate’s work in the three areas, and some degree of integration among them. The candidate must demonstrate a sustained record of excellence and distinction in teaching, research and creative activity, and professional service. Please refer to individual teaching, professional service and research and creative activity awards for examples of accomplishments that might be included as evidence.


Any full-time teaching faculty is eligible to be nominated for the award. Administrators with faculty rank are ineligible for faculty awards (i.e., receives a Contract for Faculty Ranked Administrators). Previous award winners of this award (under any of its previous names) are not eligible to apply again. Recipients of the Distinguished Professor award are not eligible to receive other awards in the same year. The award recipient must be under contract at KSU when the award is presented.

Award Amount

Each award consists of $15,000 plus a $5,000 professional development fund.

Number and Frequency of Awards

Up to one (1) award may be presented annually, selected based on the qualifications of nominees.

Nomination Procedures

Each college is responsible for creating the process by which their nominees are chosen. College deans or their designees submit nominations. There are no limits on the number of nominees each college can submit. The selection committee can reactivate nominations submitted for 2 years after the original submission.

Nominations packets should include:

  • A completed Cover Sheet with signatures;

  • A 5-page summary statement by the nominee highlighting professional achievements related to the award criteria. The summary must be created using 12-point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins;

  • A condensed curriculum vitae (3 pages);

  • A support letter from the nominee’s academic home chair; jointly appointed faculty may submit a joint letter from both chairs or two separate letters;

  • Three external letters in support of the nomination by people who are not affiliated with the university, in addition to the chair’s letter (please note KSU deans are not eligible to provide a letter);

  • Any other appendix materials useful to build the case;

  • All materials must be compiled into a single pdf file;

  • The packet must not exceed 20 pages. The Cover Sheet does not count toward the 20-page limit.

Evaluation Criteria and Procedures

The selection committee will look for originality, creativity and productivity and for an outstanding body of professional activity that has gained national and/or international recognition. Particular attention will be paid to the extent to which Teaching, Research and Creative Activity, and Professional Service are integrated in the work of the candidate.

Nominations will be evaluated by a university committee including one member from each of the degree granting colleges, and the Executive Director for Faculty Development and Recognition. Since members serving on this committee may not be experts in the nominee's field, it is important that nominations be submitted in language understandable to faculty in other disciplines.

Submission Procedure

To submit a nomination, the college dean or their representative should:

  1. Prepare each nomination application as a separate file, ensuring the correct cover page for the award is attached as the first page of the file.

  2. Click on the name of your college below to access the OneDrive folder where you will upload the nomination packet(s) for your college.
    (If access is denied, please contact CETL at or 470-578-6410.)

  3. Click on the Upload button at the top of the page in OneDrive to upload each nomination file.

The college dean and each nominee will receive a confirmation email for their nomination within the next business day.