Alumni Distinguished Professors

Alumni Distinguished Professors embody Virginia Tech's land-grant mission through extraordinary accomplishments and substantive scholarly contributions across all three of Virginia Tech’s core mission areas. 

The Alumni Distinguished Professorship (ADP) is a preeminent faculty appointment, reserved by the Board of Visitors for recognition of faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary accomplishments and academic citizenship through substantive scholarly contributions across all three of Virginia Tech’s core mission areas of teaching, research or creative activity, and engagement. 

 

Current Alumni Distinguished Professors

Jackie Bixler, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Jackie Bixler, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Jackie Bixler, Foreign Languages and Literature
Rosemary Blieszner, Human Development and Family Science
Rosemary Blieszner, Human Development and Family Science

Bud Brown, Mathematics

 Bud Brown, Mathematics
Bud Brown, Mathematics
Art Keown, Pamplin College of Business
Art Keown, Pamplin College of Business

Gary Downey, Science and Technology in Society

Gary Downey, Science and Technology in Society
Gary Downey, Science and Technology in Society

Tom Gardner, English

Tom Gardner, English
Tom Gardner, English

Scott Geller, Psychology

Scott Geller, Psychology
Scott Geller, Psychology

Lucinda Roy, English

Lucinda Roy, English
Lucinda Roy, English

Y.A. Liu, Chemical Engineering

Y.A. Liu, Chemical Engineering
Y.A. Liu, Chemical Engineering

John Seiler, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

John Seiler, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
John Seiler, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

About Alumni Distinguished Professorships

The Alumni Distinguished Professorship (ADP) is a preeminent faculty appointment, reserved by the Board of Visitors for recognition of faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary accomplishments and academic citizenship through substantive scholarly contributions across all three of Virginia Tech’s core mission areas of teaching, research or creative activity, and engagement. The provost determines the number of Alumni Distinguished Professors in consultation with the president and the Alumni Association. There is no quota by college or department.

While no minimum number of years of service is required for eligibility, the selection committee places strong emphasis on the magnitude, character, and quality of each nominee’s scholarly accomplishments as they contribute to the global land-grant mission of the university. Nominees must have well-established outstanding records of substantive scholarly accomplishment in teaching, research or creative activities, and engagement at Virginia Tech.

Each Alumni Distinguished Professor shall continue making scholarly contributions in teaching, research or creative activities, and engagement at the same high level evident at the time of appointment. This includes continued contributions to the department and college and may include contributions to other departments, colleges, and units, subject to the professor’s interests and the ability of the department head or chair and college dean to accommodate such latitude. Alumni Distinguished Professors may also elect, in a given term, to divert energies from the usual activities or responsibilities to other valued scholarly pursuits appropriate to this university-level appointment.

Alumni Distinguished Professors embody the university’s land-grant mission in their scholarly work and are also crucial faculty ambassadors within and beyond the university community. As such, they may be called upon from time to time, individually and as a group, to share their scholarship with university alumni or other interested groups, as well as to render special service or to offer particular advice to the university at large.

Each Alumni Distinguished Professor receives a base salary supplement from the endowment established by the Alumni Association and operating funds for scholarly support, as available, from eminent scholar programs.

Given the high level of performance expected of this select group of faculty members, university and college administrators are cognizant of the particular needs of each individual Alumni Distinguished Professor for appropriate support personnel and sufficient space, within acknowledged fiscal and physical constraints.

Each academic year the provost, in consultation with the president and the Alumni Association, determines if there will be one or more appointments to the Alumni Distinguished Professor rank and, if so, issues a call to the academic deans for nominations. The deans, in turn, invite nominations from academic departments. Screening procedures at departmental and collegiate levels involve appropriate personnel or executive committees. Nominations dossiers include a current curriculum vitae, letters of nomination

from both the departmental and collegiate screening committees, letters of support, and other evidence attesting to the quality of the nominee’s scholarly contributions.

The provost appoints an Alumni Distinguished Professor Selection Committee that includes two current Alumni Distinguished Professors, one current University Distinguished Professor, and one faculty member recommended by the Commission on Faculty Affairs. The committee reviews the nominations and makes a recommendation to the provost. The provost’s subsequent recommendation is sent through the president to the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association for its review and recommendation. The president makes the final recommendation to the Board of Visitors for its approval.

The Board of Visitors confers upon an individual the rank of Alumni Distinguished Professor for a period of 10 years; the appointment may be renewed.

An ADP may request renewal of his or her appointment at the end of the initial, or any subsequent, 10-year appointment period. A current curriculum vitae and five-page personal statement of accomplishments during the appointment term is requested by the office of the provost and reviewed by two current ADPs. The reviewing ADPs each make a recommendation regarding reappointment to the provost, who then forwards a recommendation to the president and Alumni Association for consideration. Final reappointment recommendations are made to the Board of Visitors for its approval. Renewed appointments are also for a period of 10 years.