Curators' Distinguished Professor Five-Year Review


Curators’ Distinguished Professorships are reserved for outstanding faculty with established reputations for research and/or teaching. According to Collected Rule and Regulation 320.070, Academic Appointments, “All candidates selected for a Curators’ Distinguished Professor appointment after January 2005 will be appointed for a period of five years. Each five-year appointment may be renewed at the discretion of the Chancellor. There is no limit to the number of extensions as Curators’ Distinguished Professor may be granted.” Recipients receive a $15,000 annual stipend while they hold the position, $5,000 of which is available for professional expenses associated with research, teaching, or creative activities.


The following are a set of guidelines to be used by the four UM System universities in evaluating Curators’ Professors for renewal every five years. These guidelines should represent minimum standards, and do not prohibit the universities for instituting additional requirements, reviews, etc.

1. Sustained Excellence:
Curators’ Professors are selected based on their demonstrated excellence in research or, in the case of Curators’ Teaching Professors, teaching and learning. These accomplishments are detailed in an executive summary, internal and external nomination letters, the nominee’s CV, and other supplemental materials (i.e., Academic Analytics). These original materials should serve as a foundation for the review. In general, it should be considered whether the faculty member has maintained a high level of excellence on par with when they were originally nominated and approved. Some normal fluctuation in productivity over time may be appropriate, but a theme of continued excellence should be clearly evident in the review.

2. Service to the University:
The Collected Rules and Regulations state that Curators’ Professors “should be fully integrated in the department, with such departmental responsibilities as may be determined by the chair and the appointee. However, each Curators’ Distinguished Professor is a resource for the entire University and should be expected to contribute to the entire University,” including other departments, colleges, and UM universities. As part of the 5-year assessment, evidence that the Curators’ Professor has engaged in these kinds of activities should be evident in the candidate’s materials.

3. Commensurate Productivity and Excellence
As stated in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Curators’ Professorships are five-year appointments that come with additional responsibilities, and such appointments are not necessarily intended to run the full duration of a faculty member’s career. In reviewing a Curators’ Professor eligibility for an additional five-years, the universities should evaluate the performance of said faculty relative to more recent appointments.

Timeline and Process

All renewals of Curators’ Distinguished Professors will be reviewed at the June Board of Curators meeting as an informational item during the closed session of the Academic, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development Committee.

The checklist and all of the materials will need to be submitted as one PDF file to 

  • Timeline
  • Review Checklist
  • Approval Memo



Review Checklist

Approval Memo