Faculty Policies


UMB Policy on Distinguished University Faculty

Faculty   |   Approved May 11, 2020

Responsible VP/AVP

Roger Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA

Applies to Faculty

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

Award Description

The title of Distinguished University Professor (DUP) is the highest appointment bestowed on a faculty member. It is a recognition not just of excellence, but of impact and significant contribution to the nominee’s field, knowledge, profession, and/or practice.


The nominee should be a current member of our faculty. Except in very special circumstances, the nominee should hold the rank of Professor. Distinguished University Professors will have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their scholarly and/or creative achievements. They also will have a demonstrated breadth of interest through their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In addition, they will have brought distinction to the University of Maryland, Baltimore as a result of those activities. As such, it demands nomination materials that exhibit evidence of impact and support far beyond that expected for promotions to Professor.

Nomination and Selection Process

Nominations must be made by October 15, using the online nomination form. Any faculty member, chair, or dean, who holds the rank of Professor, may make a nomination during the nomination period. Nominations will be accepted between September 10 and October 15. Following submission of the nomination, a nomination packet must be submitted to the Provost by December 1 (in PDF format). The announcement of deadlines regarding the inaugural year shall be handled separately.

Nominations and their materials are to be kept confidential to the extent possible, including from the nominee.

The Selection Committee is appointed by the Provost and consists of at least five (5) members from diverse disciplines, three of which should be faculty members who hold the rank of professor. Each year, the Committee reviews all nominations, past and present, and decides which are sufficiently distinguished for current consideration. After concluding its deliberations, the Selection Committee will discuss its recommendations with the Provost. The Provost will transmit the final recommendations to the President. The President has sole discretion in selecting the awardee(s). The President’s decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Nominations should include:

A letter of nomination, usually from the nominee’s Chair, Dean, or faculty member who holds the rank of professor, should be a one to two-page statement describing the nominee's achievements and the reasons why the University's highest academic honor is warranted. The letter of nomination should follow guidelines similar to those used in letters by Deans and Chairs for a Promotion and Tenure packet, but to a level appropriate for the appointment to Distinguished University Professor (DUP). In particular, the letter should contain:

  • An indication of the quality of the journals and presses in which the candidate has published, hindex and citation count, performance venue and/or review source.
  • Description of impact the nominee has had on his or her field, and national and/or international reach.
  • Clarification, for someone not in the candidate’s immediate area, of the prestige and selectivity of the awards won by the candidate. This applies also to election to fellowship (or other rank) in professional societies as well as selection for editorial responsibilities.
  • The nominee's most recent curriculum vitae.
  • The names of three (3) University of Maryland Baltimore faculty members who support the nomination.
  • A brief description of the outside referees' (external evaluator) credentials and detailed duediligence report of relationship to the nominee.
  •  Letters from three to five (3-5) external referees.
  • Letters from Dean and/or Chair. If the Chair served as the nominator, a letter of support for the nomination from the Dean is required.

Each school may establish a process to screen nominations from their faculty and chair and to secure approval by the dean of that school before nominations are submitted to campus. Regardless of the level of screening done by the school, each nomination packet must at a minimum include all of the materials listed above. Screening at the school level is in no way a substitute for or an addition to the University’s selection process outlined above.

Remuneration and Honorarium

The awarding of the title of Distinguished University Professor does not carry with it any form of remuneration or honorarium from the University. Each school, however, may elect to offer remuneration or an honorarium, from its own resources, to any member of its faculty who is awarded the title.

Finality of Decisions:

A decision by the Selection Committee to recommend or not recommend a DUP title is final and not appealable. 3 A decision by the President to award or not award a DUP title is final and not appealable.

The title of Distinguished University Professor is honorary and may be awarded or rescinded at the discretion of the President. Once the title is awarded, the faculty member can use it during the remainder of their career at the University of Maryland Baltimore, unless it is rescinded.

Fill out my online form.