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University Academic Affairs

Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professorships

Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professorships recognize sustained and exceptional service to the university, to the academic profession, to the state or nation, or to the broader community by a faculty member at the full professorial rank. Service to the university includes contributions to the department, the faculty, the campus, the academic programs, the undergraduate colleges, or the students and is demonstrated by contributions to important committees or other activities in support of the academic or administrative functioning of the university, the academic development of students, or student life programs. 

  • Service to the academic profession includes significant participation in professional or scholarly associations, service on editorial boards and other review bodies, and participation on the committees of national organizations and granting agencies. 

  • Additional service contributions include involvement in state and national advisory committees and other projects sponsored by government agencies or other special groups or commissions that serve the public good, and through the application of the faculty member’s expertise to solving international, national, state, county, or local challenges. In this context, service also may include extraordinary contributions to teaching and learning beyond the individual classroom, such as work that results in broad advances in pedagogy, instructional innovation of externally recognized impact and dissemination, or the creation of externally documented academic excellence in departments or programs at Rutgers. 

It is most appropriate for a land-grant university to recognize faculty who are engaged so effectively in service to our society. Currently, there is no professorial title available to recognize extraordinary service contributions. In order to be designated as a Distinguished Service Professor, the faculty member must demonstrate, over the course of a career, service substantially over and above that which constitutes the expected service of faculty at the full professorial rank. Service at the level of this Distinguished Professorship must have made a recognized exceptional impact such that it has brought appropriately documented acclaim to the individual. Accordingly, the Distinguished Service Professorship exists to provide special recognition for extraordinary achievement. The Board of Governors will award the Distinguished Service Professorship. It is anticipated that this designation will be made to only a few faculty. 

The primary benefit of the professorship is the honor that is associated with this title, considered to be among the highest recognition of service given to faculty at Rutgers. There is no monetary award associated directly with the title per se, however, this recognition is a significant sign of the prestige and status that the institution and the academic schools are conferring on the candidate. 

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  • Approval for Distinguished Service Professorships is a multi-step process. 

    • The dean, after consultation with the department chair or unit director, will discuss the feasibility of the specific candidacy with their provost and chancellor. If there is uniform agreement that consideration of a Distinguished Service Professorship is strongly justified, the dean will forward a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (Attn: Dr. Angela Mullis, with the candidate’s CV, a letter of support from the department chair, and a memo from the chancellor/provost/dean confirming their support. The LOI is only the first step, which may not lead to further advancement to a full nomination unless the case has the potential to be exceptionally competitive institution-wide given the stringent criteria and the exceedingly limited conferment of this title. 

    • The Office of the EVPAA will review the LOI and advance only those nominations that meet the extremely high standards for the professorship and, if it does, will decide when the candidacy should proceed to the next stage of nomination. The dean will then be notified of the plans for nomination and asked to discuss with the appropriate department chair a list of external referees to comment on the service record of the official nominee. The dean will submit the list of referees to the Office of the EVPAA (Attn: Dr. Angela Mullis, 

    • The Office of the EVPAA will draft the solicitation letter on behalf of the nominee. A minimum of seven letters are required, and they should be objective in their evaluation of the nominee’s service as being of high impact and content, of a sustained and extraordinary level, and speak to the exceptional nature of the honor being considered. If the external letters enthusiastically champion the nomination, the Office of the EVPAA will submit the package to a Distinguished Professorship Peer Review Committee. If the letters do not sufficiently and unanimously support candidacy and elaborate on the depth and breadth of the stature, extraordinary service, and impacts of the faculty, the package will not be advanced further to the committee. Should the packet be deemed competitive by the committee at that level, the EVPAA will submit a written recommendation to the president whose endorsement will enable the case to be referred to the Committee for Academic and Student Affairs of the Board of Governors for formal consideration. 

    • The deadline for initial LOI nominations will typically be September 15 of each year. Candidates that receive a positive review at all levels and advance will be presented to the Board of Governors for their approval at the June board meeting for each year. 

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  • Amirahmadi, Hooshang 
    Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy 

    Bonilla-Santiago, Gloria 
    Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Arts and Sciences–Camden 

    Bunch, Charlotte 
    Department of Women's and Gender Studies, School of Arts and Sciences 

    Dubin, Jon C. 
    Rutgers Law School 

    Gates, Alex 
    Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences–Newark 

    Komisaruk, Barry R. 
    Department of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences–Newark 

    Loeb, Peter 
    Department of Economics, School of Arts and Sciences–Newark 

    Rabinowitz, Samuel 
    Department of Management and Organizational Behavior, School of Business–Camden 

    Robson, Mark G.  
    Department of Plant Biology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences 

    Sadovnik, Alan 
    School of Public Affairs and Administration