Distinguished University Professor

Guidelines (updated in July 2015)

  • Senior scholars of the University may receive the title of Distinguished University Professor in recognition of unusual scholarly achievement at the University, pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge and a solid teaching record. The number of such distinctions should be no more than 20 regular tenured faculty. Exceptionally, a clinical professor who is particularly active in the supervision of graduate and postdoctoral students and who has significantly contributed to the University's visibility may be considered. This number would not include persons who retain the title after retirement. The significance of the title, as well as the quality of its holders as role models, is recognized at official University functions.
  • A Selection Committee appointed by the President will consist of six senior members of the teaching staff of the University of Ottawa and two senior members of the teaching staff of other universities. The Vice-President Academic and Provost will chair the Selection Committee. The nomination of individuals to be considered for the title of Distinguished University Professor will be an open process.
  • The Vice-President Academic and Provost, on behalf of the Selection Committee, will recommend by consensus the nominees to the President and to the Joint Committee of the Senate and the Board of Governors. Such recommendations will be accompanied by a written statement outlining the accomplishments of each nominee.

Selection procedure

  1. The nomination process will be open, with requests for nominations coming from all members of the University community. A candidate may not apply on his own behalf. Members of the Selection Committee may not submit nominations.
  2. Nominees must have well represented and acted as ambassadors of the University's mission, vision and values in the various aspects of their career at the University of Ottawa. They must also have demonstrated:
    • remarkable scholarly achievement at the University;
    • pre-eminence in a particular field or fields of knowledge;
    • a solid teaching record.
  3. Nominations (one unbound original) will be addressed to the Vice-President Academic and Provost, the chair of the Selection Committee, by the deadline, and must include:
    • a nomination proposal of no more than three pages, signed by six professors from at least two academic units of the University, justifying the nomination and their choice and specifically addressing those three points outlined in 2. The proposal will also be signed by the community members who nominated the candidate, if they are not professors;
    • four external letters of recommendation addressed directly to the attention of the Vice-President Academic and Provost and signed by scholars of international standing in the nominee’s field, preferably scholars who have never collaborated with the nominee;
    • a condensed and up-to-date curriculum vitae outlining the nominee’s body of work and highlighting his ten most significant scholarly publications;
    • a short non-technical description of the nominee’s contribution to his field of expertise and teaching.
  4. The Selection Committee will consist of six internal University of Ottawa members and two members from other universities. The membership of the committee will be made up of distinguished scholars and will be as broadly based as possible.
  5. The Selection Committee will be appointed by the Joint Committee of the Senate and the Board of Governors on the recommendation of the President.
  6. The Selection Committee will narrow down the initial applications. It may request reports on each nominee from such additional outside referees as it believes are warranted. The final selection will be made by consensus after all documentation has been considered.
  7. The Vice-President Academic and Provost, on behalf of the Selection Committee, will present the recommendations for the title of Distinguished University Professor to the President and to the Joint Committee of the Senate and the Board of Governors for consideration.
  8. Nominations may be held active for up to three years. Nominators are responsible for providing an updated dossier in each year that the application is under consideration.
  9. No candidate may be nominated a second time until at least two years have elapsed since the last consideration by the Selection Committee.
  10. The number of full-time Distinguished University Professors will be no more than 20.
  11. A modest fund for research will be provided to each Distinguished University Professor for the first five years of the designation.
  12. A Distinguished University Professor will retain the title on retirement.
  13. Distinguished University Professors will receive special recognition at convocation and, given their status as role models within the institution, should play a visible role in the formal affairs of the University.
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