Hewitt receives President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service

Hewitt honored with President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service

Elizabeth Hewitt Award Winner

Visionary leadership and dedication

Elizabeth Hewitt, professor and director of undergraduate studies in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of English, has been selected for the 2024 President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service.

Hewitt's leadership qualities are exemplified through her roles within the University Senate and as the College of Arts and Sciences director of undergraduate studies. Her commitment to fairness and equity has guided her tenure as chair of the senate’s Faculty Compensation and Benefits Committee (FCBC), noted her nominators. Along with her proven track record in curriculum development and implementation, Hewitt has gained recognition and respect across the university for strategic vision, integrity and a strong commitment to advancing departmental and university-wide objectives.

“Beth is a distinguished example of a colleague who brings to this work not only an abiding commitment to equity but also the wisdom and expertise of all of her other roles,” wrote Department of English Chair Susan Williams in her nomination.

A member of the senate from 2007 to 2010 and again from 2020 to the present, Hewitt played a pivotal role as FCBC chair in addressing faculty salary disparities. While continuing to serve in the senate, Hewitt extended her leadership role and impact by joining the Provost’s Task Force on Faculty Compensation.

Hewitt is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee and was instrumental at the department level in successfully implementing Ohio State’s new General Education curriculum. The English department's curriculum touches more than 45% of Ohio State’s first-year undergraduates. Hewitt’s leadership in this area directly impacts evolving students’ needs and enhances the quality and relevance of undergraduate education.

As Director of Undergraduate Studies, Hewitt led a comprehensive overhaul of the English major following the department's 2021 program review. This revision aligned with departmental and university-wide objectives, streamlining specializations, reducing credits to match peer institutions and other university departments, and offering increased flexibility for students in completing survey courses. These actions are indicative of her proven track record in driving educational innovation.

On these leadership committees, Beth is a straight talker, using her formidable analytic abilities to help find a path to consensus on issues that could be fatally divisive within the department. As rational as she is when approaching such issues, she cares passionately about the institution and its students,” wrote College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English Robyn Warhol in her nomination.

Hewitt joined the Ohio State faculty in 1999. She received the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, Mid-Career Faculty Excellence Award, and the Paul W. Brown Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching. She was twice named English Undergraduate Organization Undergraduate Professor of the Year.

Outside the university, Hewitt has provided significant service to the field of 19th-century American literary studies. She is on the editorial boards of four major journals and served as president of the Charles Brockden Brown Society. She is the author of two books: Speculative Fictions: Explaining the Economy in the Early United States and Correspondence and American Literature, 1770-1865. Additionally, she is the co-editor of two volumes in the Collected Writings of Charles Brockden Brown series, Edgar Allan Poe: A Case Study in Critical Controversy, and numerous essays and reviews.

"Dr. Hewitt’s remarkable dedication to equity and expertise in faculty compensation has significantly advanced our university's commitment to fair treatment and support for all faculty members,” stated Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Karla Zadnik. “Her visionary leadership in curriculum development ensures a transformative learning experience for our students, leaving a lasting impact on their academic journey.”

Senior leadership surprised Hewitt with the news of her selection during a virtual meeting on March 25. Joining the celebration were Zadnik, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Patrick Louchouarn, Vice Provost for Academic Policy and Faculty Resources Helen Malone, College of Arts and Science Dean David Horn, Dean of Arts and Humanities Dana Renga, and Williams.

The President and Provost's Award for Distinguished Faculty Service recognizes faculty members for their contributions to the development and implementation of university policies and programs through non-administrative roles while continuing to teach and pursue scholarship. The award annually recognizes up to three tenure-track, clinical or research faculty members who have been at Ohio State for at least five years. The Office of Academic Affairs awards recipients a $3,000 cash award and an increase of $1,200 to their base salary. 

Hewitt and other 2024 faculty award winners will be recognized on April 30 during the annual Faculty Awards Celebration.