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Distinguished Professor Nomination Guidelines

Academic Affairs
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Distinguished Professor Nomination Guidelines

Introductory Note:  These City College Distinguished Professor Nomination Guidelines set forth the process to be used internally in City College for the nomination of faculty members for the title of distinguished professor.  The Distinguished Professor Guidelines issued by the City University of New York (most recently, revised June 26, 2017) address primarily the process to be followed after an individual has been recommended by a college for appointment as distinguished professor; the CUNY Guidelines are silent as to the process to be followed internally at the colleges.  These City College Distinguished Professor Nomination Guidelines do not supersede the bylaws or policies of the CUNY Board of Trustees or the PSC/CUNY collective bargaining agreement, but rather must be interpreted and applied in a manner that does not conflict with those sources of authority.

  1. Candidates for distinguished professor shall be nominated at the department level by submission to the department chair1 of at least two letters of nomination from tenured full professors in the department or a cognate discipline at CCNY.  The candidate may not be one of the nominators.
  2. A professor wishing to proceed to be considered for appointment as a distinguished professor (DP) shall prepare and submit to the department chair a curriculum vitae substantially in the format required by the College for promotion applications; the DP dossier shall include the full professional record rather than just the most recent five years and also a narrative statement no more than four pages in length that details past research achievements and future research objectives.
  3. The department chair, in consultation with the divisional or school dean, shall establish a three-person Advisory Panel, each of whom has expertise in the candidate’s research specialty and at least one of whom is a CUNY distinguished professor. (The provost may grant an exception to this last requirement where it is impractical.) The Advisory Panel shall elect a chair from among its members for the purpose of communicating decisions and writing an evaluation based on both external letters and internal judgments.
  4. The panel shall first check the candidate’s eligibility (no concurrent administrative appointments, no prior nominations within three years), screen the dossier described in point 2, and determine if external letters of evaluation shall be solicited.  A negative decision may be appealed to the department chair.
  5. If the panel decides to go forward, the members and the candidate shall each identify referees consistent with the procedure set forth for tenure and promotion in the College’s Policies and Guidelines for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion (2015 revision, or any superseding procedure adopted by the College). That is, the candidate and the panel shall each develop confidential lists of referees, configured in number and balance to yield a goal of 10 or more letters; at least 60% of the solicitations shall be drawn from the panel’s list.  Each list shall include information illustrated in the attached table; coauthors are prohibited.  Whereas the candidate may include persons known from conferences, review committees, and the like, the panel shall choose referees who have no evident professional relationship to the candidate.  The candidate will also have the option to suggest exclusions from consideration because of professional or personal conflicts.  The department chair and divisional or school dean shall jointly select and solicit letters from persons on this list; a sample letter is attached.
  6. The panel shall have the additional role of reviewing the letters received and providing a written evaluation report on the candidate to the department chair. The evaluation along with the letters will become a part of the decision package for evaluation at higher levels.
  7. Upon receipt of the Advisory Panel report, the nomination shall proceed to consideration by the full professors in the home department.  If recommended, the nomination shall proceed to the school or divisional Personnel and Budget Committee.  A negative decision by the full professors in the home department may be appealed to the school or divisional Personnel and Budget Committee.
  8. If recommended by the School/Divisional Personnel and Budget Committee, the nomination shall proceed simultaneously to the College P&B (Review Committee) and to the Faculty Committee on Personnel Matters, which shall issue an independent recommendation to the President.  If not recommended by the School/Divisional Personnel and Budget Committee, the nomination is not subject to appeal.

This policy was approved by President Vincent Boudreau on June 27, 2019 with an effective date of September 1, 2019.  In the case that referee letters have been received before the deans and chairs are notified of the new policy, those cases will go forward as originally initiated.

1 In the event that the department chair is not a full professor, the department’s members of faculty rank shall elect a tenured full professor in the department to replace the department chair in this process; all references herein to department chair shall include said person.