Honorific Professorships

Topic: Appointments, Tenure and Promotion, Awards and Honours
Approval Authority: Senate
Approval Date: 22 April 1982
Effective Date: 22 April 1982; amendments effective 1 July 2019
Last Revised: Policy: 27 June 2019; Procedures: 12 June 2019
  1. Purpose
    1. This policy outlines the definitions and criteria related to the University’s Honorific Professorships, the University Professorship and the Distinguished Research Professorship.
  2. Scope and Application
    1. This policy applies to the Honorific Professorships, the University Professorship and the Distinguished Research Professorship.
  3. Policy
    1. Honours
      1. University Professor:  The University Professorship is awarded to a member of the faculty whom the University recognizes for his or her participation in University life and/or contribution to the University as a community, as well as appropriate levels of scholarship and teaching success.
      2. University Professor Emeritus/a:  Upon retirement, a University Professor will be named University Professor Emeritus/a.
      3. Distinguished Research Professor:  A Distinguished Research Professorship is awarded to a member of the faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the University through Research.
      4. Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus/a: Upon retirement, a Distinguished Research Professor will be named Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus/a.
      5. Emeritus/a:  The status of Emeritus/a will be conferred on all retiring full-time faculty members and professional librarians with the expectation of continued involvement in the intellectual life of the University.
    2. Criteria
      1. University Professor: A University Professor will be a long-serving tenured faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to participation in University life and/or contribution to the University as a community, as well as appropriate levels of scholarship and teaching success. Such achievement fulfills the following requirements:
        1. significant long-term contribution to the development or growth of the University or of its parts;
        2. significant participation in the collegium through mentorship, service and/or governance;
        3. sustained impact over time on the University’s teaching mission;
        4. recognition as a scholar.
      2. Distinguished Research Professor: The Distinguished Research Professor will have demonstrated scholarly achievement by sustained publication or other recognized and accepted demonstrations of sustained authoritative contributions to scholarship. Such achievement fulfils the following requirements:
        1. includes sustained and continuing contributions to the field or fields of scholarship involved;
        2. the work is of excellent quality;
        3. the work has made a major impact on the discipline or field of study involved;
        4. the work is recognized within and appreciated beyond the University;
        5. the nominee will have an international reputation in the field of study involved.
      3. Members of any committee under the purview of Senate which has policy or adjudicative responsibility for these honours, such as the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate Committee on Awards, are not eligible for nomination to either University Professor or Distinguished Research Professor during the academic year(s) in which they sit on those committees.
    3. Relationship to Tenure Stream
      1. There is no implied relationship between honorific professorships and the ranking of the tenure stream of the University.
    4. Term and Number of Awards
      1. Normally, no more than two appointments shall be made in each of the University Professor and Distinguished Research Professor category in a year.
      2. At any one time there shall be no more than twenty-five active University Professors and twenty-five active Distinguished Research Professors.
      3. These honours once bestowed shall be in effect until death, voluntary resignation of the title, or termination of full-time status by retirement by the respective incumbents, at which time they will adopt the style “Emeritus/a.”
  4. Roles and Responsibilities
    1. The Senate Committee on Awards is responsible for selecting the recipients of the Honorific Professorships, following the assessment of nominations, and shall inform the President and report to Senate for information on the award of the honours.
  5. Review
    1. This policy shall be reviewed every five years.
  6. Procedures for Nomination
    1. University Professor
      1. Nominations for the University Professors will be solicited regularly from all Faculties by the Senate Committee on Awards.
      2. Nominations may be made by all tenured faculty members, who shall provide a complete nomination file, including:
        1. the nominee’s c.v.
        2. a detailed letter of nomination explaining how the candidate’s achievements conform to the general criteria
        3. three letters of support from those in a position to comment on the nominee’s achievements and contributions.
      3. The committee shall, in confidence, provide a complete copy of the file to the Dean of the nominee’s home Faculty and shall invite the Dean to provide a confidential letter of commentary on the nomination.
      4. Nominators will be advised of the committee’s decision after the deliberations. Files of those not selected will be held for three years for reconsideration by the committee, provided the nominee remains active at the University. Nominators may choose to revise or update the nomination file in subsequent years.
    2. Distinguished Research Professor
      1. Nominations for the Distinguished Research Professors will be solicited regularly from all Faculties by the Senate Committee on Awards.
      2. Nominations may be made by all tenured faculty members, who shall provide a complete nomination file, including:
        1. the nominee’s c.v.
        2. a detailed letter of nomination explaining how the candidate’s achievements conform to the general criteria;
        3. three letters of support from those in a position to comment on the nominee’s achievements and contributions, two of which will be from individuals external to the University who must be at arm’s length from the nominee. The individuals providing external letters of support are asked to include in their letters a statement as to their relationship, if any, with the nominee.
      3. The committee may make additional inquiries as it sees fit.
      4. The committee shall, in confidence, provide a complete copy of the file to the Dean of the nominee’s home Faculty and shall invite the Dean to provide a confidential letter of commentary on the nomination.
      5. When the committee is considering nominations for Distinguished Research Professor, it shall invite the Vice-President Research and Innovation, and the Vice-President Academic & Provost to attend.
      6. Nominators will be advised of the committee’s decision after the deliberations. Files of those not selected will be held for three years for reconsideration by the committee, provided the nominee remains active at the University. Nominators may choose to revise or update the nomination file in subsequent years.
    3. After assessment of nominations, the Senate Committee on Awards shall inform the President and report to Senate for information on the award of the honours.
Legislative History: Approved by Senate 1982/04/22; Date Effective: 1982/04/22. Revised and Amended by Senate: 1983/02/25; 1989/05/25; 1990/11/22; 1992/03/26; 2004/11/25; 2008/09/25; 2010/01/28; 2013/06/27; 2019/06/27. Procedures revised and amended by the Awards Committee: 2017/09/28; 2018/11/22; 2019/06/12.
Date of Next Review: 30 June 2024