Call for Nominations and Applications

The Board of Trustees Professorships were established in 2007 to recognize tenured professors who have:

  • Achieved a consistent record of excellence in teaching, scholarship or artistry, service and outreach, and academic leadership.
  • Earned a national or international reputation for professional achievements.
  • Been deemed likely to make continued and substantial contributions in higher education.

Up to two professorships can be awarded each academic year. The 2019 awards will be made at the Faculty Awards Recognition Ceremony in April 2019. Recipients receive a stipend of $10,000, which is renewable annually during the five-year term of appointment.

Your assistance in submitting nominations for this distinguished award is greatly appreciated. All nominations must include the candidate's qualifications in accordance with the criteria below. In considering the qualifications of nominees, special emphasis will be placed upon those who are renowned scholars or artists who have engaged students in their research and/or other professional activities.

Letters of nomination will be accepted through Friday, October 5, 2018. Professors who have been nominated will be contacted for application materials.

Application portfolios, including a complete letter of nomination addressing all criteria, should be sent electronically to Joan Parrish at jparrish1@niu.edu no later than Friday, November 9, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Joan Parrish at jparrish1@niu.edu or 815-753-9400.

The call for nominations will be published in the fall, and awards will be conferred in the spring semester. A letter of intent to nominate is acceptable by the nomination deadline. A complete letter of nomination addressing all criteria below must be submitted with the applicant’s portfolio by the application due date. The application process calls for a rigorous review of the candidates’ portfolio, which should include the following:

  • Letter of nomination (addressing all criteria).
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • An essay (not to exceed 1,000 words) from the candidate outlining her/his qualifications and contributions to the engagement of students in her/his program of scholarship or artistry.
  • A letter of support for the nomination from the chair of the department or a senior faculty member currently employed at NIU.
  • A letter of support for the nomination from the dean of the college with attention to the specific criteria of the award.
  • The names, titles and contact information of five external reviewers who can attest to the candidate’s national or international reputation and the impact of the candidate’s scholarship or artistry, teaching and service within his/her discipline and higher education. Please indicate your affiliation with the external reviewer. At least two external reviewers should not have a close personal connection with the candidate.
  • The names and contact information of a mix of five former and current students. This mix of students should include three students from the past three years, and is limited to one student who has served or is currently serving as a teaching or graduate assistant to the nominee.

Please note: All candidates must have a letter of nomination and two letters of support. For candidates nominated by their dean or chair, please secure a letter of support from a senior faculty member currently employed at NIU in lieu of the letter of support that would ordinarily have been provided by that dean or chair.

The committee will request further evidence in support of the nomination that may include additional information from current students and alumni, colleagues inside and outside of the university, administrators, and others in a position to know how the candidate meets the award criteria.

Candidates must agree to the release of responses to the standardized question indicated in section II, item 14 of NIU's Academic Policies and Procedures: My overall rating of the instructor’s effectiveness in meeting the course’s stated goal and objectives is: Outstanding = 5, Very Good = 4, Average = 3, Below Average = 2, Inadequate = 1.

Those who have previously served as Board of Trustees Professors may apply for another term following the application process above with the following exceptions:

  • An essay (not to exceed 1,000 words) from the candidate outlining her/his qualifications and contributions to the engagement of students in her/his program of scholarship or artistry with specific focus on the last five years.
  • The names, titles and contact information of five external reviewers who can attest to the candidate’s national or international reputation and the impact of the candidate’s scholarship or artistry, teaching and service within his/her discipline and higher education, with a specific focus on the last five years. Please indicate your affiliation with the external reviewer. At least two external reviewers should not have a close personal connection with the candidate. At least three reviewers must not have served as external reviewers in the first application process.

Recipients must be tenured, hold the rank of professor and have:

  • Received national or international recognition for the impact of her/his scholarship or artistry within her/his professional community and be among those who have achieved the highest stature within her/his discipline.
  • Demonstrated a record of exceptional commitment to students both inside and outside of the classroom, excellence in teaching, the use of the most effective instructional methods and technologies, the application of rigorous standards for students’ attainment of learning outcomes, and, particularly, the engagement of students in her/his program of scholarship or artistry.
  • Provided significant service to the university and leadership in setting high standards for educational programs and student performance.
  • Led the development and/or implementation of the educational, policy, and/or research or artistic agendas at the national or international level.
  • Made significant contributions to advance the reputation and mission of the university and to improve the condition of the community at large.
  • Deliver the Board of Trustees Professorship lecture.
  • Participate in workshops for the professional development of junior faculty.
  • Participate in activities that advance the university’s reputation and mission. These could include interacting with trustees, donors, alumni and other constituencies; participating in strategic planning initiatives and special projects; mentoring students and faculty; and working on interdisciplinary projects.
  • Maintain an active program of teaching, scholarship or artistry, and service.
  • Submit a report detailing activities and accomplishments during the award period.

The Board of Trustees Professorship Selection Committee is chaired by the executive vice president and provost. The committee’s recommendations are forwarded by the provost to the president, who consults with the members of the Board of Trustees on the selection of the recipients. If the committee determines that no candidates meet the criteria for the award in any given year, no award will be made.

The Board of Trustees Professorship Selection Committee is appointed by the executive vice president and provost. Individuals appointed to the committee cannot be candidates for the award, nor have submitted a nomination for the award in the year of appointment to the committee. The committee is composed of the following:

  • Executive vice president and provost, chair.
  • Vice president for Research and Innovation Partnerships.
  • Current or past senior research advisor.
  • Representative of the Distinguished or Presidential Research Professors.
  • Representative of the Distinguished or Presidential Teaching Professors.
  • President of the Student Association or designee.
  • President of the Faculty Senate or designee.
  • Representative of the NIU Alumni Association.
  • Representative(s) of the Board of Trustees Professors.