Procedures for Awarding Distinguished and Named Professorships and Faculty Scholars

These procedures supplement the policy on distinguished and named professorships and faculty scholars (vi.c.1). please refer to the policy for contact information and applicable definitions.

Effective date: October 1, 2015

I. Approval of Designations

A. Distinguished Professor

  1. The applicable primary committee and/or area committee reviews the candidate’s credentials, as detailed in the candidate’s full CV, and at least five letters of support# from esteemed colleagues from distinct, distinguished universities and programs outside of Purdue university (for example, AAU member universities, recognized top 10 programs in the field, leading international universities), or esteemed colleagues (e.g. Nobel laureates, National Academy members or holding similar distinctions) from other institutions, and any additional documentation, and votes on his or her suitability for a Distinguished Professorship. The candidate’s CV should highlight awards and Fellowship status in the candidate’s professional societies as well as other notable activities and accomplishments.
  2. If the committee(s) recommend(s) approval, the Dean (West Lafayette) or the Chancellor (regional campuses) writes a memo to the Provost with the results of the vote and informs the Provost of the names of five Distinguished Professors to serve as a special committee tasked with evaluating whether the candidate should receive the distinction. The list should include at least one member from outside the candidate’s college/school. No Provost approval of the appointed committee is needed, however, Provost approval to move forward in the process is required.
  3. After the Provost approves continued consideration of the candidate for a Distinguished Professorship, the Dean or Chancellor convenes the committee. The special committee is tasked with evaluating the candidate’s credentials, including any additional outside letters deemed necessary.
  4. If, after examination and deliberation, the committee votes to recommend the candidate, a letter signed by all committee members outlining their support is sent to the Dean or Chancellor. Letters of endorsement solicited from well-known national and international peers (Step 3) should be attached to the committee’s endorsement letter.
  5. The Dean or Chancellor sends a cover memo to the Provost along with the entire document package from the Distinguished Professor committee, a completed President’s Office Form 36 (Nomination for Promotion), a two- to three-page condensed vita and a full vita*
  6. The Provost reviews the materials and, if appropriate, recommends approval to the President. If the President approves, the signed document is forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The Provost’s Office will inform the Dean or Chancellor about the progress of the nomination package.

B. Named Professor

  1. The process for awarding a Named Professorship is a college/school-level process. If the named position is being used in recruiting, the process should be expedited and the Provost’s Office must be informed early, preferably prior to or soon after the candidate’s visit. It is expected that Named Professor cases will be supported by letters of support as detailed above for Distinguished Professor cases. These letters could be the ones solicited for the hiring process but must, by and large, adhere to the guidelines stated earlier noting that letter writers should be made aware of the guidelines for named professors at Purdue: “The purpose of a Named Professorship is to attract and retain top quality faculty. While it is expected that recipients of Named Professorships are individuals of high accomplishment, faculty with the rank of assistant, associate or full professor may hold a Named Professorship.”
  2. The Dean (West Lafayette) or Chancellor (regional campuses) sends to the Provost a document package containing a memo outlining the review team’s recommendation, a two- to three-page condensed curriculum vita, a full vita and letters of support. Approval from the Provost completes the process for assistant or associate professors.
  3. For all candidates at the professor rank, the Provost reviews the materials and, if appropriate, recommends approval to the President. If the President approves, the signed document is forwarded to the Board of Trustees for approv

C. Named Term Professor

  1. For candidates at all eligible ranks (assistant, associate and full professor), the approval process outlined in Named Professors 1-2 above applies
  2. No approval beyond the Provost is required.

D. University Faculty Scholar

  1. Each college/school on the West Lafayette campus establishes procedures for nominating and approving University Faculty Scholars. Such processes must include consideration of significant faculty input.
  2. Recommendations are sent to the Provost for approval.

# Alternatively, letters can be requested by the distinguished professor panel.

* All CVs should be formatted in a professional manner.

II. Discretionary Allocations and Salary Supplements

A. Discretionary Allocations — New Designations

Minimum levels of Discretionary Allocations for all new designations of Distinguished Professors, Named Professors, Named Term Professors and University Faculty Scholars are listed below. Each vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean determines the maximum Discretionary Allocations by classification for his/her unit, as well as the limits for accumulating funding from year to year. Minimum funding levels are as follows:

  • Distinguished Professors: The initial minimum annual Discretionary Allocation should be $20,000, including the PRF Distinguished Professor Salary Allocation. The Discretionary Allocation is continued each year subject to satisfactory performance reviews (see section III on Faculty Reviews).
  • Named Professors and Named Term Professors: The initial minimum annual Discretionary Allocation should be $10,000. The allocation is continued each year subject to satisfactory performance reviews (see section III on Faculty Reviews).
  • University Faculty Scholars: An annual allocation of $10,000 for the five-year award period is provided under the program for University Faculty Scholars and may be subject to satisfactory performance reviews (see section III on Faculty Reviews).

If endowment distributions are insufficient to support the Discretionary Allocation, other allowable funds may be used at the discretion of the vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean.


B. Discretionary Allocations — Existing Designations

Funding arrangements may be continued for Distinguished Professors and Named University Professors designated prior to policy VI.C.1’s Date Issued (see policy header). At the option of the vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean, the funding levels set within these procedures may be used. The minimum Discretionary Allocation for Named University Professors is the same as for Named Professors. The Discretionary Allocation for University Faculty Scholars remains at $10,000 per year.


C. Salary Supplements

1. Levels

The level of the Salary Supplement for a faculty member is determined by the vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean. If the recipient is a vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean, the Provost or Chancellor makes the determination. The annual supplement must be within the following limits:

  • Distinguished Professors: Up to the equivalent of one-ninth of the base academic year salary or up to the equivalent of one-twelfth of the base fiscal year salary (base salary excludes the PRF Distinguished Professor Salary Allocation). The PRF Distinguished Professor Salary Allocation is considered part of the Salary Supplement and counts toward the maximum allowable payment.
  • Named University Professors, Named Professors and Named Term Professors: Up to the equivalent of one-ninth of the base academic year salary or up to the equivalent of one-twelfth of the base fiscal year salary.
  • University Faculty Scholar – Up to $5,000, not to exceed the equivalent of one-ninth of the base academic year salary or up to the equivalent of one-twelfth of the base fiscal year salary. This allows up to one half of the University Faculty Scholar Discretionary Allocation to be used as a Salary Supplement.

Salary Supplements are determined annually effective with the beginning of each fiscal year. On the West Lafayette campus, supplements are submitted with the unit’s annual operating budget and reviewed and approved by the vice president, vice provost or dean. On the regional campuses, supplements are reviewed by the vice chancellor or dean and submitted with the unit’s annual operating budget to the Chancellor for approval. Salary Supplements may be considered outside of the annual budget process only in the case of a new appointment that begins other than at the start of the fiscal year or academic year.

2. Payments

Salary Supplements are paid in ten equal installments for academic year faculty and 12 equal installments for fiscal year faculty. Payments are made via the normal payroll process and included in the regularly scheduled paychecks. The payments are classified as taxable compensation and subject to normal employment and income taxes. As Salary Supplements are not considered part of base compensation, retirement plan contributions are not made on these amounts. In addition, other benefits that are normally calculated on the base salary are not earned on the Salary Supplement.

It should be clearly communicated to the recipients of Salary Supplements that they are nonrecurring, and thus, subject to annual review and performance (see section III on Faculty Reviews). The basis for benefits and taxability of these payments also should be communicated to recipients.

III. Faculty Reviews

Each vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor and dean establishes a review process for Distinguished Professors, Named University Professors and Named Professors to assess whether performance and contributions to the mission and vision of the college/school merits continuation of the Salary Supplement and/or the Discretionary Allocation. This process should allow for Salary Supplements and/or Discretionary Allocations to be increased or decreased when performance warrants such action. The review is conducted on a recurring cycle to occur at least once every five years. This process of periodic review may be applied to faculty members holding these designations at the original issue of policy VI.C.1. However, the Discretionary Allocations set prior to the issue date are not affected. A similar review may be conducted for Named Term Professors and University Faculty Scholars at the discretion of the vice president, vice provost, vice chancellor or dean.

History and updates

July 1, 2014: As part of the revisions to the policy on Distinguished, Named and Scholar Designations for Faculty (VI.C.1), these procedures were established as a separate document from the policy. Named Term Professors were added as applicable throughout. In Section II.C.1, the one-tenth of base salary maximum for academic year faculty was changed to one-ninth, and in March 2015 in section II.C.2. payments for academic year faculty were corrected from nine to ten equal installments.

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