Nomination Guidelines – LSA Professorships 2013-14

Dear Colleagues:

The deadlines for first-stage nominations to the Executive Committee of those colleagues proposed for Arthur F. Thurnau, Collegiate, and Distinguished University Professorships have now been set.  The deadline for first-stage Thurnau nominations is Monday, October 7, 2013.  First-stage nominations for Collegiate and Distinguished University Professorships are due on Monday, December 2, 2013. Details about each nomination process are given below.  

Arthur F. Thurnau Professorships
Deadline for First-Stage Nominations - October 7, 2013

Each year the Provost’s office selects a group of tenured faculty as Thurnau Professors for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.  In order to be selected as a Thurnau Professor, it is necessary to have a sustained record of excellence in undergraduate education as demonstrated by meeting one or more of the following criteria, but not limited to them:  a strong commitment to students and to teaching and learning; excellence in teaching, as evidenced particularly by other teaching awards and also the use of effective teaching strategies and notable methods of assessing student learning; innovations in teaching and learning; a strong commitment to working effectively with a diverse student body; a demonstrable impact on students’ intellectual and/or artistic development and on their lives. Find more details on the award and the nomination process.

In addition to the appointment title, Thurnau Professors receive $20,000 over the first three years of their appointment to be spent on the enhancement of their teaching activities.  Thereafter, Thurnau Professorships are treated as Collegiate Professorships, renewable every five years based on a continuing commitment to undergraduate education, and carrying annual stipends of $3,000 toward salary and $5,000 toward research.  Because of these enhancements to the Thurnau Professorships, which began in 2008, the College Executive Committee must be involved in the selection of those nominees forwarded to the Provost.

Each LSA unit may nominate one tenured faculty member for a Thurnau Professorship each year.  First-stage nominations to the College Executive Committee must include the following materials:

  • A letter from the nominator, normally the Chair or Director, that addresses how the nominee has achieved a sustained record of excellence in undergraduate education by meeting one or more of the selection criteria, but not limited to them.  Please include any information about the nominee’s teaching responsibilities outside of the normal venue in which he or she teaches (e.g., mentoring and advising, GSI training, supervising honors theses, work on curricular reform, etc.).  Please consider the information at the Provost’s website above before preparing this letter.
  • A list of undergraduate courses taught in the past eight terms.  For each course, please provide the course number, title, syllabus (and/or website), number of students enrolled, and summarized student evaluations – a table with Q1/Q2/Q3/Q4 going back 4 years.
  • A current and dated curriculum vitae.

Submit to:  Mandy Harrison, LSA Divisional Affairs, Room 2150  LSA by October 7, 2013.

After the Executive Committee has reviewed the nominations, the Dean’s Office will notify units promptly as to which nominations should be developed for submission to the Provost’s Office following the Provost’s guidelines.  Please deliver your completed nomination to the Dean’s Office (attention Mandy Harrison, Room 2150 LSA) for my signature on the cover sheet by November 25, 2013.  We will deliver your nomination to CRLT by December 2, 2013.

The Executive Committee and I believe that the list of Thurnau Professors should reflect the diversity of faculty in the College.  Please consider this carefully in deciding on your proposed nominations.

Collegiate Professorships
Deadline for First-Stage Nominations - December 2, 2013

A Collegiate Professorship is one of the highest honors the College has available for active faculty members who warrant the distinctive recognition that a named professorship carries, and I urge you to nominate your outstanding colleagues.  Nominations will go to the Executive Committee, which makes the selection.  Each Collegiate Professorship carries a unique name selected by the candidate, in consultation with the College, along with annual $3,000 salary and $5,000 research supplements.

Collegiate Professorships should be offered to colleagues who are exemplars of our aspirations for excellence in all areas of our intellectual life together.  Nominees should be outstanding in scholarship, as well as both undergraduate and graduate teaching, and be among those who provide significant leadership in the unit, the College, or the University.  The Executive Committee and I believe that the list of Collegiate Professors should reflect the diversity of faculty in the College.  Please consider carefully the effect your proposed nominations will have on that.

I invite each unit of the College to submit one nomination.  For each nomination at this stage, please include the nominee’s most recent curriculum vitae and a detailed description of the candidate’s accomplishments in scholarship, teaching, and service.  Based on this information, the Executive Committee will select a second group of nominees for whom you will be asked to develop complete dossiers, including outside letters, by a later deadline.  In late spring 2014, final selections for the professorships will be made from this select group with full dossiers.

Although your nomination at this stage need not be as detailed as at the next, the probability that your nominee will advance to the second-stage is influenced by the detail in your initial description of his or her career.  Your nomination needs to be comprehensive; it should include information about the nominee’s scholarship, teaching, and service, and be detailed enough to convey to the Executive Committee the benchmarks by which you and your colleagues have found the nominee worthy of this honor.  For example, you need to provide a careful interpretation of the candidate’s curriculum vitae, explaining why the record of publication, grant funding, outside recognition (including awards from within the University, but outside the College), etc. place the nominee among the most distinguished in your unit.  You also need to explain the impact of the nominee’s research work on his or her field.

Many nominees fail to make it to the second-round because the first-round nomination contains insufficient detail on their teaching and service.  Some detailed explanation of the nominee’s teaching record, including measures of the quantity and quality of teaching, is very useful.  Your nomination should also include some detail on the nominee’s provision of service to your unit or others across the College and University.

If you would like to submit the name of a person you have nominated in the past year or two, please consider revising the previous nomination along the lines above (if necessary).  Alternately, you can advise us to use the information already submitted.

Submit to:  Mandy Harrison, LSA Divisional Affairs, Room 2150 LSA by December 2, 2013.
Distinguished University Professorships
Deadline for First-Stage Nominations - December 2, 2013

A Distinguished University Professorship is one of the highest honors awarded by the University to recognize exceptional scholarly and/or creative achievement, national and international reputation, and superior teaching skills.  Each Distinguished University Professorship carries a special name selected by the candidate in consultation with the College, along with annual $5,000 salary and $5,000 research supplements.  Candidates for these positions must have all the qualifications of those mentioned above for Collegiate Professors.  In fact, it is rare that a candidate for a Distinguished University Professorship is not already in some form of collegiate or endowed chair. In addition, candidates for these professorships must have achieved substantial external recognition.  In recent years, for example, most of those awarded these chairs have been members of national academies, and/or recipients of widely recognized external professional awards.

The Rackham Graduate School administers Distinguished University Professor nominations and has developed an on-line submittal process.  For a nomination to be considered, however, there must be a supporting letter provided by the relevant Dean.  I now invite each unit of the College to submit nominations (using the same documentation required for the first round of Collegiate Professorships) for screening by the LSA Executive Committee.

Submit to:  Mandy Harrison, LSA Divisional Affairs, Room 2150 LSA by December 2, 2013.

Those units whose candidates are selected will then be asked to provide a more fully documented recommendation via the on-line Rackham website.  Rackham’s deadline is March 5, 2014.

Please consider which of your faculty you wish to nominate, paying particular attention to those who hold Collegiate or endowed professorships, and be prepared to provide documentation appropriate to positions of great distinction for which the competition will surely be keen.  In addition to the information required for Collegiate Professorship nominations, the DUP nomination requires a detailed explanation of the external honors and awards that qualify a candidate for this honor.  Here, again, it is important to understand that the selection committee for these professorships believes that the recipients should reflect the full diversity of the University’s faculty.  Please consider carefully the effect your proposed nominations will have on that.

Please find detailed information on the Rackham website.

Please contact Mandy Harrison (734.615.0659) if you have questions.

Thank you!

Susan A. Gelman
Heinz Werner Distinguished University Professor
Professor of Psychology
Interim Dean, College of Literature, Science and the Arts
University of Michigan

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