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Distinguished RanksACA-39

Policy Statement


Faculty members who have reached a high level of distinction in their professions may be designated Distinguished Professors and/or may be given named chairs within departments. Prior to 1967, the ranks of Distinguished Service Professor, Research Professor, and University Professor were utilized for this purpose.

(Board of Trustees, June 12, 1953; and subsequent actions)

In the fall of each year nominations for distinguished ranks, and supporting documentation, are solicited from all members of the faculty by the Office of the President. The qualifications of nominees are examined by a committee which reports and makes recommendations to the President. The newly designated holders of distinguished rank are announced in the spring of each year.

(Administrative Practice)


WHEREAS, there has existed confusion between those faculty members who have named chairs or professorships through endowments and those who have been elected to the specific rank of Distinguished Professor by University-wide procedures; and

WHEREAS, Distinguished Professors are University-wide appointments; and

WHEREAS, the present system of complex titles proves misleading in some cases;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the committee name be changed to “Distinguished Professorship committee”;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that titles henceforth be “Distinguished Professor,” dropping any field or disciplinary designation from the title;

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that all current distinguished Professorship titles will be updated to reflect this change.

(Board of Trustees, January 23, 1998)


Resolution of the Trustees of Indiana University Authorizing the Creation of a Trustee Professorship.

WHEREAS, there is a need for a titled professorship for the highest-level administrators who return to teaching;

AND WHEREAS, this position would recognize contributions to the University and provide an appropriate position and title when these individuals return to faculty status;

NOW, THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED that the Board of Trustee create a Trustee Professorship, and direct the President of the University to develop terms and provisions related to the position. Said provisions may vary from time to time.

Provisions of the Trustee Professorship:

  1. The President of the University or the Trustees may initiate recommendations for Trustee Professorships.

  2. Trustee Professorships require the approval of the Board of Trustees.

  3. Trustee Professorships are University-wide positions.

  4. Trustee Professorships are for a five-year renewable term. The Trustees retain the authority to rescind this title and its privileges at any time.

  5. Trustee Professors are to be engaged in teaching and research. Trustee Professors are expected to engage in some teaching for each semester in residence. With the concurrence of the appropriate dean, Trustee Professors may teach in departments, schools or campuses other than their home departments, schools and campuses.

  6. Trustee Professors shall also undertake special assignments, as identified by the President of the University or by the Trustees. Such special assignments might include chairing a high-level search committee or assisting the Indiana University Foundation in a specific fund-raising effort.

  7. Trustee Professors shall receive a supplement of $25,000 per year in addition to their academic salary, if any, with the final amount to be determined by the Trustees. This supplement will be provided only when it is consistent with the 18/20 Retirement Plan.

(Board of Trustees, May 4, 2001)

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