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Presidential Professorships

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Presidential Professorships

The Presidential Professorships were established to recognize those faculty members who excel in all of their professional activities and who relate those activities to the students they teach and mentor. The number of Professorships awarded annually is based on current availability of funds. 

The Professorship is awarded for a four-year term. Assistant and Associate Professors receive a salary increase of $5,000 per year and Professors receive $10,000 per year, starting in the subsequent fiscal year. To be eligible for funding in any given year, a faculty member must be considered as a full-time continuing member of the University. Salaries will be reduced by the award amount after the four-year term. Recipients retain the Presidential Professor title permanently.

Nominations are due to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost by November 16, 2020 through the Faculty Awards and Honors Packets Dropbox.




Nominees must be full-time, regular or non-regular faculty members. The faculty member must have been an OU employee during the period for which the outstanding contributions are being recognized; previous accomplishments at other institutions, if applicable, may be used in support of a continued outstanding performance in the area of the specific award. The nominee must have excelled in at least two of the three areas below. Recipients of the David L. Boren Professorship, David Ross Boyd Professorship, George Lynn Cross Research Professorship, and the Regents’ Professorship are not eligible for a Presidential Professorship.

i. Teaching

The nominee shall have demonstrated leadership in modernizing and improving the undergraduate/graduate/professional/clinical instructional enterprise, including (i) the effectiveness of undergraduate (lower and upper division) and/or graduate, and/or professional courses developed and taught by the nominee, and (ii) the extent of the nominee's involvement with undergraduate/graduate/professional students and/or clinical residents and fellows in research/mentoring/advising within the academic discipline. In addition, the nominee must have actively participated in student-centered activities such as, but not limited to, OU's Undergraduate/Graduate Research Day, Stewart Wolf Day, REU and/or FYRE programs, freshmen Gateway courses, professional clerkships, mentorship of honors student theses, and sponsorship of academic clubs.

ii. Research and Creative/Scholarly Activity

The nominee shall have demonstrated significant involvement of graduate/ undergraduate/professional students and/or clinical residents and fellows in the nominee's research and creative scholarly activities. This should be supported by measurable peer-reviewed outcomes including the quality and quantity of theses and dissertations supervised, professional degrees/certifications issued publications co-authored with students, and performances/exhibits that involve significant student participation. For the Health Sciences Center, attention will be given to the ways in which a nominee may have an impact through team science and interdisciplinary/interprofessional scholarship.

iii. University/Professional Service and Public Outreach

The nominee must have contributed significantly to, and positively impacted, departmental/college/center/university committees and/or public outreach programs. A faculty member's contributions to the general community include professional service that may be specific to a discipline (e.g., clinical practice and excellence in outcomes such as quality and patient experience, service as a journal editor, conference organizer, or in leadership positions in professional organizations), as well as impactful activities that benefit university-community interactions (e.g., teacher training and service learning projects). Such activities enhance achievements in teaching and research. Successful nominees shall have demonstrated exceptional performance in activities that enhance the university's role and standing in the community.



The President in conjunction with the Senior Vice President and Provost of the Norman Campus and the Senior Vice President and Provost of the Health Sciences Center will:

  • review the number of vacant Presidential Professorships, 
  • hold three vacancies each year for recruitment and retention of qualified faculty, and 
  • issue a call for nominations by September 15. 

The solicitations will be posted on the appropriate campus website, for access by nominators and faculty on all campuses.


Nominations may derive from department chairs or unit directors, elected members of departmental/unit Committee A, a department's/unit's approved nomination committee, Center leaders, or a group of faculty who are familiar with the nominee's qualifications for the award. The nominating entity will be responsible for assembling the nomination packets, including supporting documentation.

Nominations will be forwarded to the respective dean of the college for review and endorsement. An optional letter from the dean, if included, will focus on evaluatory comments regarding the quality and significance of the nominee's impact on the broader OU mission. The dean's letter will not count toward the page limit below. The dean will submit all the recommendations and supporting documentation to the respective Senior Vice President and Provost by November 2. 

Supporting Documentation

Nomination materials must include the following, not to exceed 25 pages combined:

  • A nomination letter (no more than three single-spaced pages) describing the nominee's impact on the scholarly and overall professional development of the students they teach and mentor;
  • A customized complete vita of the nominee that contains the relevant information pertaining to the accomplishments being cited for the award consideration;
  • A short biographical sketch (about 100 words) highlighting the nominee's most significant accomplishments and written for a general audience.    

In addition, the following must be included but will not count toward the 25-page limit:

  • Up to a total of five support letters from students (former or current) and professional colleagues (internal and/or external to OU) who can speak to the nominee's influence on students. These letters should, collectively, address as many of the relevant award criteria that the writer(s) can speak to.
  • The nominee's Summary Reports of Annual Evaluations for the previous three years, or since beginning at the University if the nominee has been at the University less than three years.

The following sequence should be followed. Begin page numbering with the letter of nomination:

  1. Faculty Awards and Honors Cover Page

  2. One-page index that identifies the following materials. 

  3. Letter of nomination

  4. A short biography (about 100 words)  

  5. Curriculum vitae (customized)

  6. Up to five letters of support (not including the Dean's letter)

  7. Summary reports of annual evaluations

  8.  Dean's letter (optional)

Any other supporting materials submitted will be removed from the dossier.


All materials listed above should be submitted as a single combined PDF from the appropriate Dean's Office to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost via the Faculty Awards and Honors Packets Dropbox.


Separate selection committees will be constituted on the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses. 

The Presidential Professorship selection committees on both campuses shall consider only the formal nominations. The committees may seek additional data about the nominees from supplemental sources, as appropriate.

The committees’ selections for the Presidential Professors must be forwarded by February 1 to the President along with all nominations and all substantiating materials pertaining to all nominees.  The President will make recommendations to the Board of Regents.

The final selection of the recipients will be made by the Board of Regents.


The final selections will be announced for Norman Campus at the annual Faculty Award Ceremony and for the Health Sciences Center at the Spring General Faculty Meeting. 


The Professorship is awarded for a four-year term.  Assistant and Associate Professors receive $5,000 per year and Professors receive $10,000 per year.  To be eligible for funding in any given year, a faculty member must be considered as a full-time continuing member of the University. Salaries will be reduced by the award amount at the conclusion of the four-year term.

Decisions regarding merit increases in base faculty salary in the academic year will be made independently of faculty status as a Presidential Professor.

Presidential Professors will be given the option each year of receiving the professorship funding as:

  • a (taxable) salary supplement plus associated fringe benefits paid in two installments, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester, or as a summer salary, or
  • a faculty development grant within their departmental 122-7XXX account for use in travel, graduate student stipends, instructional enhancement, and research development, or
  •  a combination of (1) and (2). 


The Professorship is granted for a four-year term with the faculty member receiving the funding each year based on faculty rank. Recipients retain the Presidential Professor title permanently.


This award is hosted by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost. For questions about this award, please contact Grey Allman.