With the desire to provide greater recognition of the exceptional level of distinguished research and scholarship taking place at Virginia Tech, particularly as faculty numbers continue to grow, the university will expand the rank of University Distinguished Professor by two in the coming year.  There are currently 15 faculty who hold the rank of University Distinguished Professor.

“As we reimagine Virginia Tech’s role as a modern land grant institution, the University Distinguished Professors are a wellspring of inspiration,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “I’m pleased we’re able to extend this honor to additional deserving individuals.”

The University Distinguished Professorship is a faculty rank bestowed by the university Board of Visitors upon members of the university faculty whose scholarly attainments have attracted national and/or international recognition, and who are making notable impacts advancing their particular field of knowledge.

The sole responsibility of the University Distinguished Professors is to continue their professional development at the same high level evident at the time of appointment. They are free to define the exact nature of their work after consultation with the dean of the college and the head or chair of the department.

At the same time they may freely decide to teach, when invited, in other departments or other university courses (e.g., honors colloquia). They may also elect, in a given term, to devote all of their energies to research, scholarship, or extension activities. Their principal responsibility is to serve the university well by giving their talents to the development and sharing of their competencies where, in their judgments, they are most effectively employed.

A call for nominations will be issued later this spring, with the full nomination and recommendation process occurring in the 2016-17 academic year.  New appointments will be considered by the Board of Visitors in March 2017 with appointments effective in April.  More information about this faculty rank and the nomination process can be found in the Faculty Handbook (Chapter 3.2.3).


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