According to the terms of the endowment, those elected to membership in the company of Distinguished Professors “will be chosen on the basis of outstanding artistic, literary, historical, or scientific achievements, or other worthy accomplishments attaining wide recognition.” To be considered for election, a faculty member must have tenure and a minimum of five years of service at Ohio University. While a positive assessment of effectiveness as a teacher is an essential requirement, the prime consideration is scholarly or creative contributions that have received substantial recognition beyond the Ohio University community.
The President announces the call for nominations in the fall, with a February 15 deadline. Nominations may be made by any current Ohio University faculty member and are welcomed from all departments, schools, and academic disciplines at Ohio University. A letter of nomination outlining the case for the candidate should be submitted, accompanied by up to 10 supporting letters primarily from leading external experts in the candidate’s field. Additional relevant supporting material also may be included. Nominations are submitted directly to the chair of the screening committee specified by the President in his announcement. For 2012, the screening committee chairman is Dr. Peter Jung, Physics and Astronomy.
The Distinguished Professors elect faculty as members who are deserving of this high recognition. A screening committee, consisting of the four most recent Distinguished Professors, reviews all the nominations and recommends a number of finalists (typically three) for additional consideration.
A meeting open to all active and retired Distinguished Professors is convened for the purpose of considering these finalists, as well as other nominees brought forward for discussion during the meeting. Both current and retired Distinguished Professors who have inspected the dossiers may participate fully in the evaluation process. A recommendation is forwarded to the President by April 1.
The President appoints and privately informs the new Distinguished Professor of his/her selection in writing, with the public announcement made at the Spring Graduate Commencement Ceremony.