Distinguished Professor


A Distinguished Professorship is awarded for exemplary performance in research and/or creative activities as reflected by a national or international reputation in the nominee's discipline.


Nominees should hold the rank of professor and should have served for at least five years prior to current year on the Iowa State University faculty. Recipients must be Iowa State employees at the time of the University Awards Ceremony.

Nature of award:

$7,650 addition to base salary, plus title of Distinguished Professor for remainder of career at Iowa State.

Number of awards:



A Distinguished Professor above all else must have accomplishments in research, and/or creative activities that have had a significant impact on, or improved the quality of, their discipline. In addition a Distinguished Professor must have demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility: (1) teaching and advising, (2) extension/professional practice, or (3) institutional service. 

Selection Process:

Nominations should be made to the appropriate college awards committee. Each college may make one nomination, plus one additional nomination for each 100 faculty members. No nominations will be allowed for fractions of 100 faculty. Based on 2020 figures for tenured and tenure-track faculty members, the following numbers of nominations are allowed:

  • Agriculture and Life Sciences (3 nominations)
  • Ivy College of Business (1 nomination)
  • Design (1 nomination)
  • Engineering (3 nominations)
  • Human Sciences (2 nominations)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences (5 nominations)
  • Library (1 nomination)
  • Veterinary Medicine (2 nominations)
  • Total Nominations = 18

The Distinguished Professor Nomination Review Committee is appointed by the Senior Vice President and Provost following procedures established by the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate Committee on Committees nominates faculty to the Senior Vice President and Provost for membership on the Distinguished Professor Nomination Review Committee. Faculty at the rank of Professor and/or Distinguished Professor will be nominated for seven positions, one representing each college. The Senior Vice President and Provost will appoint three additional members. All members will serve three year, staggered terms. The Distinguished Professor Nomination Review Committee receives nominations for Distinguished Professor from colleges, meets at least once, and makes recommendations to the Senior Vice President and Provost.

Selection committees may recommend that outstanding but unsuccessful award nominations be carried forward for one or, in exceptional cases, two years. Such nominations could be updated if the nominator so chooses, but this is not required. In such cases, the nominators should be notified. Not more than 25% of the unsuccessful nominations may be carried forward.

Guidelines for Submitting Nominations for Distinguished Professorships

  1. Completed nomination cover page for faculty: 
  2. Nomination statement of no more than three (3) pages that includes the following:
    • Reasons why nominee deserves to be named Distinguished Professor
    • Specific examples of distinguished activities including publications, citations, and scholarly recognitions and awards as appropriate to the discipline
    • Explicitly identify the nominee's demonstrated outstanding performance in at least one other area of faculty responsibility: (1) teaching/advising, (2) professional practice, or (3) institutional service.
  3. Three (3) external letters of support from distinguished experts in the nominee's field who can speak to the nominee's work and impact in the discipline. Include a 100-word biography of the expert and explain their relationship to the nominee.
  4. Current PRS
  5. Updated curriculum vita of no more than twenty-five (25) pages
  6. When the file is prepared, nominators must submit their nominations to their college by the college deadline. When the college is ready to submit their nominations, the college awards coordinator must upload the nominations to the appropriate college folder on CyBox. If you do not have access to your college's folder on CyBox, please contact Megan Petersonmeganmp@iastate.edu.

Nominations are reviewed by the college before submission to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost. Award recipients and their nominator, department chair, dean, or supervisor are notified by May 1. Colleges receive feedback on unsuccessful nominations by July 1.



Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost deadline:

February 10

College deadlines

For questions about award eligibility, contact: 
Dawn Bratsch-Prince
Associate Provost for Faculty, 

For questions about award submission, contact: 
Megan Peterson


Distinguished Professor recipients