Distinguished University Professor

The Office of Academic Affairs awards the permanent, honorific title of Distinguished University Professor on a competitive basis to full professors who have truly exceptional records in teaching, in research, scholarly or creative work, and in service. One to three appointments may be awarded annually to faculty members who have been at Ohio State for at least five years; Ohio Eminent Scholars are not eligible for this award. Distinguished University Professors automatically become members of the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. In addition, recipients are awarded a $30,000 one-time grant to support their academic work and are expected to maintain a regular program of teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service.  

Department chairs may submit nominations of one or more of their faculty members to the dean of the college. In colleges that do not have departments, faculty awards committees should submit nominations. The nomination letter should provide a detailed rationale for the nomination, including impact, e.g., whether the nominee changed the thinking in the discipline. The letter must be accompanied by documentation (no more than five pages) of accomplishments in teaching, in research, scholarly or creative work, and in service, as well as a current CV. In addition, the nomination letter should include norms of the discipline, e.g., numbers of graduate students, funding history, etc. It should also explain the significance and competitiveness of any national or international honors, awards, or Academy memberships.

Nominators should not seek external evaluations of the nominee’s work. Deans will establish a screening process to review nominations within their colleges and to decide which nomination(s) will be fully documented with three external evaluations. Colleges may submit one new or updated nomination. Colleges with more than 250 faculty members (Engineering; Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Medicine; and each of the divisions of Arts and Sciences) may submit two new or updated nominations.


Print this page and assemble nomination materials in order below. Gather materials into one nomination pdf.

  • Cover letter from Dean or Dean’s designee
  • Nominator’s letter and documentation of accomplishments
  • Three external evaluation letters
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae

All above-mentioned documents are gathered into one pdf. Submit nomination PDF via e-mail by Friday, February 1, 2020, to Jo'Vanna Zanders at zanders.3@osu.edu. Please type “Distinguished University Professor” into the subject line of the e-mail.

Award Winners