Criteria for a Named Professorship
in the College of Engineering

Appointment to a Named Professorship is a significant honor at the University of Delaware, and such appointments of current faculty are made in recognition of a sustained record of excellence in teaching, research, and service.  This record of achievement is expected to be considerably above the level required for promotion to full professor.  Elements consistent with appointment to a Named Professor include the following, with the clear expectation that an outstanding research record is required.  For candidates currently at the University of Delaware, sustained and valuable contributions to the growth and welfare of the organization are also expected.

  1. Recognition by peers as being in the top 10% of their research area.  This achievement could be documented by the receipt of national or international awards for research excellence, selection as a Fellow of technical societies, or election to the National Academy of Engineering.  This reputation should be documented by letters from both national and international leaders who themselves have received awards and are society fellows or Academy members.  The quality of the research should be quantified by a record of the citation of their published work by others.  If this method is not appropriate for the particular discipline, other metrics, suitably justified, can be employed.
  2. Extensive work as a departmental leader and role model for younger faculty.  A Named Professor is expected to have served his or her department in a variety of roles, and to have contributed effectively to the development of departmental programs.
  3. Excellence in educational activities.  A Named Professor is expected to have taught a variety of core classes, to be an effective teacher, and to have made key contributions to the department’s educational mission.

Candidates for Named Professorships who are not currently faculty members at the University of Delaware should meet the same research criterion as above, with the expectation that they will satisfy the other criteria in the future.

Procedure:   The Chair of the Committee of Named Professors is selected by majority vote of the Named Professors for a term of two years. The Committee Chair or the Dean may call meetings of the Committee of Named Professors, and the Dean, if a Named Professor, will be a member of the Committee.

All nominations for a Named Professorship will be considered by the Committee of the Named Professors. Nominations for a Named Professorship may be brought forward to the Committee Chair and the Dean at the same time by any Named Professor, the Dean or a Department Chair.  A two step procedure is to be followed. First, a preliminary nomination package is developed that includes, at a minimum, a detailed nomination letter by the nominator addressing the three criteria above, a full Curriculum Vitae and a list of publications. If the Committee of Named Professors believes that the nomination is likely to be successful, it will instruct the nominator to obtain evaluation letters from external senior leaders in the discipline of the candidate; the Committee may suggest individuals from whom to solicit such letters.  The evaluation letters are particularly important, as are evaluation letters from former students.  Each person asked to write such a letter will receive a copy of this document to be used as a basis for their letter. Every effort should be made to develop the nomination package without the candidate’s knowledge.

Each completed nomination package will be reviewed by the committee of Named Professors, who then forward the nomination package to the Dean together with the vote of the Committee and a recommendation. University policy is that named appointments are made by the President and Provost upon the recommendation of the Dean.  Appointments are contingent upon the availability of an endowed professorship, which are often restrictive in eligibility. Thus, not all those deemed worthy of a Named Professorship will be appointed until such time as an appropriate endowed position becomes available.


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