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The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

Distinguished Professor Guidelines



Last updated on 1/18/2019

The CUNY Policy On Distinguished Professors

Goals of the Policy

The title of Distinguished Professor is conferred on an individual by the University Board of Trustees in recognition of exceptional scholarly achievement. The purpose of these appointments is to recruit new faculty or retain existing faculty whose appointments enrich the University, especially when candidates require special incentives to influence their decision to accept an offer or to remain within the University. These appointments are expected to contribute to CUNY’s commitment to recruit and retain an excellent faculty representing a rich diversity of gender and ethnicity.

Criteria for Distinguished Professorship Appointments

CUNY Distinguished Professors should comprise a small number of exceptional individuals. That number is currently limited to 250 under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The primary purpose of the awards is to recruit or retain outstanding faculty. Distinguished Professorships are reserved for faculty with records of exceptional performance by national and international standards of excellence in their profession. There must be substantial evidence of this exceptional performance, including significant quantities of high-quality work in areas of importance in their disciplines. In addition to superb scholarship, Distinguished Professors are expected to participate in appropriate teaching and service roles in their colleges. However, this honor is granted solely in recognition of the quality and impact of a nominee’s scholarship.

Nominations from colleges are expected to represent a balance between the number of Distinguished Professors recruited from outside the University relative to those appointed from internal CUNY candidates. Since Distinguished Professor appointments are not provided solely to recognize past performance, there must be evidence that their quality of performance will continue.

A.  College Process for Initial Appointment

  1. In consultation with the Dean and Provost, the President will nominate appropriate candidates. Self- or peer-nomination is not appropriate for this appointment type.

  2. Early identification of appropriate external reviewers is vital to this process. As soon as possible after Presidential nomination, please submit a list of twenty (20) prospective evaluators to the Provost for consideration. Please see the CUNY Checklist for Distinguished Professor Nominations for a discussion of the Letters from External Reviewers for specifics on the qualifications of reviewers.

  3. In gathering your supporting materials, please reference the CUNY Checklist for Distinguished Professor Nominations. Both hard and digital copies of materials are required for initial appointments.

  4. The nomination and supporting materials are sent to the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs for solicitation of external review letters.

  5. Materials undergo review via the standard Personnel and Budget Committee process for Full Professors (i.e., School P&B, College P&B, Provost, President).

  6. The President makes the determination to recommend the nomination to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost.


B.  College Process for Review and Reappointment of Distinguished Professors
The College must review the performance of all Distinguished Professors at the end of every five years, following the initial appointment to the title of Distinguished Professor.

  1. In the Spring of the Distinguished Professor’s fourth year of appointment, the Distinguished Professor will be notified in writing of the impending review in the fall term of the fifth year.

  2. By the first work day of October of the fifth year of appointment, the Distinguished Professor prepares review materials, using the Baruch Distinguished Professor Review Form as a guide, for consideration via the standard Personnel and Budget review process for Full Professors. For reappointments, only digital copies are required.

  3. In conferral with Provost, the President will submit the completed and signed Distinguished Professor Review Form, along with supporting materials, to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, by April 1st of the fifth year of appointment.


C.  Appointment Letters
Following approval notification from the University, appointment letters are written and sent by the College President to the Distinguished Professor.