Call for Nominations: University and Distinguished Professors

Tommy Trojan

To: USC Faculty

From: Charles F. Zukoski, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Date: September 12, 2022

The highest academic honors our university bestows are the University and Distinguished professorships, and we reserve these distinctions for our colleagues who have brought special renown to USC through the excellence of their academic, research, and/or artistic accomplishments.

We would like to invite you to submit nominations for these positions. As you consider your faculty colleagues, we encourage you to adopt a comprehensive, holistic definition of excellence. The faculty we hope you will nominate have produced essential work that has enlightened our collective understanding and contributed to the advancement of society. We encourage you to consider exemplary scholars that represent the full diversity and scope of achievement at USC, including those who have created innovative programs, partnerships, and mentorship opportunities for the university and surrounding communities. As the diversity of our faculty has grown, we expect that to be reflected in the honors we bestow.

Your nominations should be submitted in a confidential memo to the dean of your school. In your memo, please summarize the reasons the nominee merits this recognition.

  • Briefly summarize the nominee’s special contribution as a University citizen.
  • Provide evidence of national and international stature, such as major prizes, medals, or membership in National Academies or other notable organizations.
  • Provide titles or other recognition given to those who have advanced the public conversation, policy, or practice, including in areas of marginalized communities.
  • The titles of University Professor and Distinguished Professor are of equal rank and dignity, but for University Professor nominations, we would like you to explain how the individual makes a significant interdisciplinary contribution and whether the faculty member holds a joint appointment.

If the information is available without contacting the nominee, enclose the individual’s CV, including publications, honors, and grants. Confidentiality is crucial to the nomination process. Nominees should not know they are under consideration, and nominators shouldn’t solicit letters of support from anyone.

Deans should forward all nominations received to Executive Vice Provost Elizabeth Graddy ( by November 1, 2022 accompanied by a memo containing the dean’s recommendations. A committee of current University and Distinguished Professors will then review the nominations and provide me with recommendations, and I will consult with President Folt, who will make the final selections.

We aspire that our highest honors should be reflective of our mission and our community, and we urge you to help us identify the professors we should celebrate. Thank you for your participation and for your work on behalf of our University.

A list of current and past Distinguished and University Professors can be found at: USC Faculty Distinctions.

cc: Office of the President
Academic Deans
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team
Academic Senate
Staff Assembly
GSG President
USG President