University at Albany

Guidelines for Nomination of Distinguished Service Professorship and Distinguished Teaching Professorship

I. Selection Criteria

  1. The nominee must be a Full Professor. For nomination to a Distinguished Service Professorship, the nominee must have been a Full Professor for at least five years (SUNY guidelines). There is no time-in-rank requirement for the Distinguished Teaching Professorship.
  2. The nominee must have completed at least ten years of full-time service within the SUNY system, of which at least three must have been at the University at Albany.
  3. A faculty member is expected to serve the University community in the three areas of teaching, research and service. Therefore, when evaluating a nominee for the Distinguished Teaching or Service Professorship, the Review Committee will be seeking evidence of distinction in the area of nomination, i.e., teaching or service, and continuing strong contribution in each of the other two areas.
  4. To be considered for the Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the nominee must already have received the Chancellor's or President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
  5. To be considered for the Distinguished Service Professorship, the nominee must already have received the President's Award for Excellence in Academic Service or have been chosen as a Collins Fellow.

Guidelines for the Nominator

  1. The nomination is to be confidential, i.e., the nominee is not to know about the nomination and, by definition, can not participate in the process. Therefore, the nominator must be prepared to serve as the "Case Manager" for the nominee, and be willing to supply information on the nominee as described below.

    The selection process is in two stages:

    When a nomination is received, preliminary credentials will be requested, including a current curriculum vita of the nominee and a letter of support from the nominator.

    For this review process, nominators of a candidate for the Distinguished Teaching Professorship must provide the Review Committee with the teaching evaluations of all courses taught by the nominee in the past three years.

    Nominators for the Distinguished Service Professorship must provide three letters from professional colleagues that "...demonstrate substantial distinguished service..." on the part of the candidate in accordance with the following SUNY Guidelines:

    At the local campus level and/or local community or regional level
    At the state-wide and/or nation-wide and/or international level.

  2. The Review Committee then will review all nominations and supporting credentials, and from that review process identify the strongest candidates for each of these Distinguished Professor ranks for the year.
    The nominators of these candidates then will be expected to provide the following:

    A detailed letter of nomination,

    The full credentials of the nominee, including data that spell out his/her teaching, service and scholarship in detail, in accordance with the criteria stated in the SUNY Guidelines,

    For the Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the nominator must provide the Review Committee with the nominee's complete teaching evaluations for the previous five years including comments from students and copies or summaries of grade distributions.

    If the nominee is primarily a teacher of graduate courses in which SIRF forms typically are not completed, the nominator must provide the Review Committee with detailed testimonials from 5 to 10 current and former students. Further, as is required by the SUNY guidelines, the nominator must demonstrate that the nominee contributed to curriculum development and the broader educational programs of the university.

    For the Distinguished Service Professorship, there should be a file of 5–10 letters from professional colleagues testifying in detail to the service record of the nominee.

    If the nominator is an Adjunct Professor or a student, the Review Committee expects that s/he will work in concert with a full-time faculty member who is willing to serve as the Case Manager and prepare the documents on behalf of the nominee. Certainly, a nomination from an Adjunct Professor or a student is as valid as any. However, it is also true that full-time faculty have access to more evaluative data about their colleagues than do Adjunct Professors or students, and typically share a larger network of the nominee's peers who can speak to his/her distinction of performance.

    From these nominations, the Review Committee will recommend up to two (the maximum allocated to the Albany campus each year) faculty for each of these Distinguished Professor ranks to the Provost.


The process will commence in October with an invitation to the faculty to submit nominations to the President's Office. Nominations will be due by COB, Friday, November 17. The schedule from then on will be approximately as follows:

11/18–12/1 The Review Committee will review the nominations, identify the strongest, and request the complete credentials of those nominees from the respective nominators.

12/1–1/1 The Review Committee will review the nominations and forward its recommendations to the Provost. The Provost then will make her recommendations to the President, and the President will determine the final nominations to SUNY System Administration.

1/1–1/15 The individual nomination packets will be prepared for submittal in accordance with the System Administration guidelines, and will be submitted when called for by System Administration.