Distinguished Librarian Guidelines
Policies, Procedures, And Criteria
SCOPE OF THE PROGRAM
Distinguished Librarian is a prestigious tenured University rank that is awarded to 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. In extending its "Distinguished" ranks to the library faculty, the State University of New York recognizes the accomplishments of all its faculty; it also assumes national leadership within the academy by becoming the first university system to so encourage and foster the full potential of the faculty status of librarians. The Distinguished Librarian rank honors and promotes the achievement of personal excellence, groundbreaking professional progress, and wide-ranging benefit to the academic community. This rank parallels the Distinguished Professor rank in terms of expected level of accomplishment and the rarity in awarding the rank. The Distinguished Librarian rank is open to State-operated campuses of the State University.
NATURE OF THE PROGRAM
Rank and Status - Distinguished Librarian is a rank above Full Librarian. It is expected that a person appointed to the rank shall be accorded such support as is appropriate to her or his endeavors consistent with the resources of the campus. The campus catalogue shall list Distinguished Professors, Distinguished Service Professors, Distinguished Teaching Professors, and Distinguished Librarians at the head of the faculty list. Such persons shall be placed again in the faculty list and their rank shall be indicated.
Salary - Appointment to Distinguished Librarian by the Trustees is regarded as a promotion and will carry a salary increase above the mean salary for Full Librarians, to be determined by the campus President and the Chancellor. The increase will be funded from the campus budget through the normal process for funding promotions; it shall be built into the salary
Responsibility - The Distinguished Librarian rank carries with it extraordinary responsibility. Those appointed are expected to function as role models and devote appropriate service to the home campus, to the State University, and to the profession. Distinguished Librarians are expected to provide service to the State University, both ceremonial and professional, on campuses other than their own when requested to do so by the Chancellor.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
Campus Participation - Only State-operated campuses are eligible to make nominations. Campuses that cannot be included in this program may develop parallel programs for rewarding performance in librarianship similar to that described in the selection criteria for this rank.
Academic Rank - A candidate for Distinguished Librarian must have attained the rank of Full Librarian.
Length of Service - A candidate for appointment to the Distinguished Librarian rank must have completed at least five years of full-time service at the rank of Full Librarian on the campus that recommends the appointment and at least ten years of service within the State University of New York. Nominees should generally have had a longer career in librarianship than indicated by the minimum requirement. The Distinguished librarian rank should be awarded to librarians where there is reasonable expectation of continued activity. Posthumous nominations are ineligible for consideration.
PROCEDURES AT THE CAMPUS LEVEL
Nominations - Nominations for the Distinguished Librarian rank should arise according to procedures determined by the local campus President. They should be based upon sustained, continuing, and recognized excellence in librarianship significantly above and beyond those needed to attain the rank of Full Librarian. Self-nomination is not appropriate. The campus President should appoint a committee to screen nominations and provide a detailed evaluation of any prospective nominee the committee recommends to the President. The committee's deliberations and recommendation, if any, shall be kept strictly confidential. The President should review the recommendation and, if a decision is made to submit a nomination, it shall be done in the following manner:
A nomination is submitted to the Chancellor by a President with his or her endorsement of a librarian for the rank of Distinguished Librarian. Once a decision is made to submit a nomination, a nomination portfolio will be compiled. It will consist of the President’s letter of endorsement, a nomination abstract, the candidate’s curriculum vita, key campus nominating letters, and external letters of recommendation. The contents of these supporting documents are described below:
In these letters, the recommenders should: corroborate the candidate’s merit for appointment, describe the candidate’s stature in the discipline, catalog the candidate’s most important achievements, speak to the influence and impact of the candidate’s contribution on the discipline, (in laymen’s terms where possible) and explain the significance of the candidate’s awards and honors.
Each external letter of recommendation should be accompanied either by the author’s curriculum vitae or a brief description of the author’s disciplinary stature to provide review panelists a context for the recommendation submitted.
PROCEDURES AT THE SYSTEM LEVEL
Nominations for appointment to the rank of Distinguished Librarian will be evaluated by an ad hoc panel constituted specifically by the Chancellor to review the nomination. This panel will consist of four individuals: at least two referees external to SUNY and two additional referees, either also external to the State University or current holders of the Distinguished Librarian rank from other SUNY campuses. If at any point a negative appraisal arises, the campus President will be contacted to determine how the campus wishes to proceed. The ad hoc panel shall make its report to the Chancellor for review. The Chancellor shall then make recommendations to the Board of Trustees who shall make appointments as deemed appropriate.
Criteria for Selection - The scope of librarianship extends beyond the library's physical walls to the opening of limitless electronic networks and to the fostering of information literacy and skills in navigating the information universe. Through such endeavors, librarians create a new place and new roles for themselves in the academy. Librarians demonstrate unique talents and skills as faculty whopromote and facilitate access to information for the widest communityand assist all sectors of the community to make informed judgments about the nature and quality of the information they seek, find, and use.
The pathways to the rank of Distinguished Librarian are many and diverse. To attain the rank of Distinguished Librarian, a candidate must exhibit all of the following qualities and levels of accomplishments.
SUBMISSION OF NOMINATIONS
Nominations are to be submitted electronically to AWARDS@SUNY.EDU. Only the original nomination needs to be submitted. Copies of the candidate’s works, articles, reviews, etc. are not to be included as part of the portfolio. The campus must retain the original portfolio containing original signatures of the President, Chief Academic Officer, appropriate Dean and each scholar submitting a recommendation.
PROCEDURES AT THE UNIVERSITY-WIDE LEVEL
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF NOMINATIONS
Receipt of nominations will be acknowledged electronically to the campus President, and a copy of the acknowledgement will be sent to the President’s designee.
After review, nominees supported for this distinction will have their name forwarded to the Chancellor through the University Provost. The recommendation for appointment shall be sent to the Chancellor in the form of a resolution to the SUNY Board of Trustees. The Chancellor shall then make his recommendations to the Board of Trustees who shall make appointments as deemed appropriate. (The President’s letter of endorsement and transmittal may be the document that will be included in the Board resolution. It should be noted that the resolution is the only information the Trustees see in making their decisions.) Appointments become effective on the day, and at the time, the Trustees vote on the appointment.
Nominations being recommended for the Board of Trustees consideration will be voted upon by the Trustees as an “Action Agenda Item” during the open session of the Trustees meetings. It should be noted, however, that as promotions these appointments are personnel matters subject to discussion during the Executive Session of the Board’s meetings.
NOTIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT
On the day of Board action, the Associate Provost will notify the campus President or the President’s designee to confirm appointments made by the Trustees. Formal notification to the appointee will follow and will be conveyed by letter from the Chancellor, with a copy to the campus President. In addition, a news release will be prepared to publicize the appointments.
Questions regarding these procedures or appointments are to be directed to Dr. Robert Kraushaar, who can be reached by email.
It should be noted, however, that due to the confidential nature of the nominations, inquiries pertaining to specific candidates may only be discussed with the campus President or the President’s designee.
APPENDIX: NOMINATION PORTFOLIO