• Distinguished Academy

  • Distinguished Academy

  • Distinguished Academy

These are the Innovators and Leaders of Service, Instruction, and Research

The rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor was created by the Board of Trustees in 1963 with the first faculty member promoted to the rank in 1964. Since then 1,277 faculty have been honored in one of four specific categories: Distinguished Professorship, Distinguished Teaching Professorship, Distinguished Service Professorship, and Distinguished Librarian. SUNY’s Distinguished faculty include Nobel Laureates, National Academy members, a Fields Medalist, a Dirac Medalist, and National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners.   

It was the intent of the Board of Trustees that appointment to the Distinguished Faculty rank carries with it an extraordinary responsibility. Distinguished faculty are expected to function as role models and devote appropriate service to University-wide activities, both ceremonial and professional, such as offering lectures and seminars, informing curricular reform, improving the overall academic experience of students, mentoring junior faculty, and leading inquiry into issues of importance to SUNY and society.

In 2012, at the request of Chancellor Emerita Nancy L. Zimpher, the Board of Trustees officially created the SUNY Distinguished Academy, whose members include all active Distinguished faculty appointed by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The purpose of the Academy is to serve as a formal organization to leverage the collective contributions of its members to build and support academic excellence within the State University.

SUNY Distinguished Academy Fifth Year Anniversary Video

Who are the Distinguished Academy?

503 Distinguished Professorships

The Distinguished Professorship is conferred upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within a chosen field. This distinction is attained through significant contributions to the research literature or through artistic performance or achievement in the case of the arts. The candidate’s work must be of such character that the individual’s presence will tend to elevate the standards of scholarship of colleagues both within and beyond these persons’ academic fields.

353 Distinguished Service Professorships

The Distinguished Service Professorship honors and recognizes extraordinary service. Candidates must have demonstrated substantial distinguished service not only at the campus and the State University, but also at the community, regional and State levels. Further, many candidates for appointment have rendered influential service contributing at the national and international levels. Service must exceed the work generally considered to be a part of a candidate’s basic professional work and should include service that exceeds that for which professors are normally compensated. It must also extend over multiple years and, very importantly, must involve the application of intellectual skills drawing from the candidate’s scholarly and research interests to issues of public concern.

412 Distinguished Teaching Professorships

The Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes and honors mastery of teaching. For this prestigious tribute to be conferred, candidates must have demonstrated consistently superior mastery of teaching, outstanding service to students, and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth, and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements. Further, a faculty member must have attained and held the rank of full professor for five years, have completed at least three years of full-time teaching on the nominating campus, 10 years of full-time teaching in the System, and must have regularly carried a full-time teaching load as defined by the campus.

9 Distinguished Librarians

The Distinguished Librarian is conferred upon librarians whose contributions have been transformational in creating a new information environment by providing access to information, sharing or networking information resources, and fostering information literacy. The Distinguished Librarian rank honors and promotes the achievement of personal excellence, groundbreaking professional progress, and wide-ranging benefit to the academic community.