Distinguished Professors

University Distinguished Ranks Committee

A distinguished professorship is the most prestigious academic rank at Indiana University. Nominations are evaluated by the University Distinguished Ranks Committee, which recommends appointments to the president and the trustees. The committee scrutinizes each nomination very carefully and offers the following guidelines on the preparation of nominations.

The purpose of the dossier is to demonstrate that the nominee meets the criteria for selection that he or she has built a career and continues on a trajectory of exceptional accomplishment in their area of scholarship or artistic creativity. Evidence of such accomplishment will differ depending upon the field, but generally should include:

  • A record of publications, including evidence of the significance and impact of those publications (e.g., reviews, citations, quality of journals)
  • Representation of works in national and international exhibitions, shows, and museums
  • Performance of works by internationally known performers and orchestras or in major concert series
  • Prestigious lectureships and visiting professorships and participation in high-level national and international conferences, symposia, and meetings
  • Recognition by national and international professional organizations in the form of awards, medals, honorary degrees, and other honors
  • Membership and leadership positions in professional organizations and honorary academic societies
  • Evidence that the nominee’s students have themselves gone on to achieve regional, national, or international recognition in the same (or a related) area

It is important to remember that the dossier should not merely include lists of the nominee’s accomplishments or awards but should rather demonstrate the national and international impact of the nominee’s body of work on his or her discipline, other fields, practice, and/or public policy. As a result, if the importance of an activity, accomplishment, or honor is not obvious, the dossier should include an explanation so those outside the field can appreciate its significance.