January 24, 2018

Randy Roberts named 150th Anniversary Professor

David A. Reingold, Jay Akridge, Peter Hollenbeck, Randy Roberts, and R. Douglas Hurt (From left) David A. Reingold, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of Liberal Arts; Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity; Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs; Randy Roberts, distinguished professor of history; and R. Douglas Hurt, professor and head of the Department of History. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

Randy Roberts, a distinguished professor of history, has been named a 150th Anniversary Professor by the Office of the Provost in recognition of his exceptional teaching and mentorship at Purdue.  

The Office of the Provost will name 10 faculty with this new designation, which coincides with the upcoming 150th anniversary of Purdue. Faculty who receive this distinction also will receive an annual discretionary allocation of $25,000.

“Through their deep commitment to teaching and learning, the 150th Anniversary Professors have directly contributed to Purdue’s reputation for excellence,” says Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity.

Roberts is an award-winning author and historian who is renowned for his combination of historical discourse and free discussion in the classroom. He is a mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students, some of whom have gone on to become history professors.

Roberts was named the Indiana Professor of the Year. He has won Purdue’s Morrill Award and the Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching. He earned the College of Liberal Arts Kenneth Kofmehl Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and is a two-time winner of Liberal Arts’ Teacher of the Year Award. He is a founding member of the Teaching Academy.

“[Roberts] teaches the political history of the U.S., but he always makes sure that there is a more comprehensive understanding of society and culture as students get to know the personalities and institutions advancing political events,” said department colleague Stacy Holden. “He is able to motivate students who in the past struggled to excel in a classroom.” 

The principal criteria for selection as a 150th Anniversary Professor included:

* Development or transformation of courses and/or curricula.

* Receipt of Purdue teaching awards at the department/school, college and university level (i.e., Murphy Award or election to the Teaching Academy).

* History of outstanding teaching evaluations from faculty peers, students and/or alumni.

Other considerations included mentoring and contributing to the academic, career and personal development of students within and outside the classroom, as evidenced by one or more the following:

* History of outstanding mentoring evaluations from faculty peers, students or alumni

* Receipt of unit, college or university awards for student mentoring.

* Sustained involvement as an advisor or mentor to student organizations (e.g., academic clubs, university clubs, club sports, student initiatives).

The 150th Anniversary Professors were selected by a committee of 13 senior faculty who are distinguished and named professors, winners of the Murphy Award, and members of the Teaching Academy. The inaugural 150th Anniversary Professorships will be funded by the Provost’s Office until donors are found to endow these named professorships.

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