Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost invites nominations for Distinguished Professor

The University of Southern Maine is pleased to recognize outstanding faculty members who serve our community through exemplary scholarship, innovative teaching, mentoring relationships with other faculty members, and dedication to their discipline.

The title “USM Distinguished Professor” is among the highest honors accorded tenured full professors at the University of Southern Maine. Such professors have achieved national and international recognition for their scholarship, teaching, and service. Selection as a USM Distinguished Professor rewards sustained individual excellence over a period of time and serves as a metric for an engaged professorate serving the people of Maine.

Nominations may be made by an individual or a group and must begin at the department level. Departments will forward their nomination packets, including at least two external letters of recommendation, to the College Dean by December 31. The College Dean, with a committee representative of that college will screen all nominations and forward two recommendations to the Office of the Provost by February 28 for consideration by the sitting Distinguished Professors and Distinguished Professors Emeriti.

The Provost, in consultation with the President, and on the recommendation of the Distinguished Professors will appoint the new Distinguished Professor.


Selection Criteria:

The title “Distinguished Professor” is reserved for USM faculty members who have already achieved the rank of Professor. Individuals selected to serve as Distinguished Professors have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative work and instructional leadership across a broad disciplinary or interdisciplinary range. In this context, leadership may refer to such observable qualities as:

  • Extensive publication in scholarly and/or other peer reviewed venues;
  • Extensive body of creative work bringing national recognition;
  • Peer and professional recognition of scholarship through the bestowal of awards and grants;
  • Frequent citation of scholarly work by others directly in the disciplinary field (or related fields);
  • Noteworthy service to a professional organization or publication;
  • Peer recognition of excellence and innovation in teaching;
  • A documented record of mentoring emerging teachers or scholars at USM or elsewhere and
  • Outstanding public service clearly aligned with and growing out of a professional base of knowledge.


Nominations are due from Departments to the College Deans by December 31.