Skip to Content

Distinguished Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship


We will begin accepting nominations November 1, 2018.

Faculty at the University of Michigan (U-M) have historically made significant contributions to excellence through their commitments to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These contributions have been made through excellence in scholarly inquiry related to DEI, inclusive teaching and mentoring, as well as impactful service and engagement that has provided greater access and opportunity. The U-M Distinguished Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship (DDSTP) both honors and builds upon the University’s legacy of faculty commitment to and achievement in DEI. The DDSTP is an honorific designation for senior faculty who have throughout their careers demonstrated a commitment to the University’s ideals of DEI through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service and engagement. Like other U-M professorships (i.e., Thurnau, Collegiate, and Distinguished University Professorship), the DDSTP will be reserved for only the highest level of achievement.

It is envisioned that the DDSTP will be used in two ways: 1) to acknowledge outstanding senior U-M faculty who have been judged to have made significant contributions to DEI at the University of Michigan and/or beyond, and 2) to recruit outstanding senior faculty from other institutions who have been judged to have made significant contributions to DEI at other institution(s) and/or beyond.

In addition to recognizing individual achievement in the area of DEI, the DDSTP is also designed to create a community of faculty who have a set of overlapping scholarly, pedagogical, and service/engagement interests that will stimulate exciting new collaborations and synergies. This will be achieved by awarding a special fellow-in-residence status at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) for all DDSTP recipients.

Qualifications and Nominating Process

The DDSTP is open to all senior tenured instructional, clinical, and research faculty (associate or full professors) who are at least 12 years post-completion of their terminal degree, with a formal appointment in one of the schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus. These faculty must have outstanding portfolios with strong evidence of demonstrated achievement in promoting the values of DEI within their field and/or their university home(s). Candidates for DDSTPs must be nominated by the dean of their school or college. For faculty with budgeted appointments in multiple units, a nomination is only needed from one unit, however, a brief statement in support of the nomination from the other budgeted unit is highly recommended.

There will be separate selection processes for internal versus external candidates.

Internal Candidates

All complete nominations must be submitted through the NCID online portal by February 15, 2019. Complete nominations for internal candidates consist of: 

  1. A detailed statement of nomination from the Dean detailing the candidate’s qualifications for the DDSTP and the unit’s commitment to provide at least one semester leave for fellow in residence status at the NCID,
  2. the candidate’s CV, as well as
  3. at least 1, and no more than 3, letters of support from other faculty members in support of the nomination. Nominations will be evaluated by a selection committee coordinated by the Provost’s Office, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), and the NCID. 

The committee will select a set of recommended nominees to forward to the provost’s office, with final decisions made by the provost. The announcement of the new internal DDSTP’s will be announced publicly in early April 2019.

External Candidates

Given the length of senior faculty recruitment seasons across schools and colleges, a distinct process is in place for the nomination of external candidates. Deans may nominate external candidates through the NCID online portal by March 15, 2019. Complete nominations for external candidates consist of:

  1. a detailed statement of nomination from the Dean detailing the candidate’s qualifications for the DDSTP and the unit’s commitment to provide at least one semester leave for NCID fellow in residence status, as well as 
  2. the candidate’s CV.

A selection committee coordinated by the provost’s office; Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI); and the NCID will evaluate nominees. The committee will forward recommended nominees to the provost’s office, with the provost making the final selection decisions. Efforts will be made to provide the dean with the results of the selection process as soon as possible so as to positively influence the recruitment process. Nominees who are selected to be DDSTP can be notified as soon as the selection is made, but these outcomes would not be made public until early April 2019 when the internal DDSTP selections are also announced. The expectation is that external candidates will be as strong as the very best internal candidates. We anticipate approximately 5 external DDSTP awards each year.

Program Features

NCID Fellow Status. Individuals appointed as Distinguished Diversity & Social Transformation Professors will hold this appointment for five years (renewable). Further, they will be appointed as faculty fellows at NCID. In their roles as NCID fellows, they will interact with other DDST professors, other NCID faculty fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and students via structured (e.g., brown bags, workshops) and unstructured/informal activities designed to foment community and collaboration. They will also have at least one semester as a fellow-in-residence during which they will have no other teaching and administrative responsibilities at the University. As a fellow-in-residence, they will be required to articulate a set of goals related to their own scholarship, teaching, and/or service engagement that they plan to accomplish during that term. They also will have access to NCID’s administrative infrastructure and other center resources to support their activities as NCID faculty fellows.

Award for Research and Professional Development. The provost’s office will award each Distinguished Diversity & Social Transformation Professor $20,000 per year for their first five years as a DDST professor. These funds may be used to support a range of activities related to their scholarly and professional work (including summer salary). The award funds are non-renewable after the first five-year appointment; however, awardees are able to renew their DDSTP and their NCID faculty fellow status beyond the initial five-year funded period. These renewal appointments will also be for a five-year period.

Course Release as NCID Faculty Fellow. To support the candidates’ campus transition, including additional scholarly engagement and leadership related to their roles as DDST professors and NCID faculty fellows, the school/college submitting a nominee is expected to provide a one-half year leave from teaching and administrative duties (equal to 50% of required annual teaching effort) within their first two years of the DDSTP. This contribution should be in addition to any accrued sabbatical leave, administrative leave, and course release provided as a part of the faculty hiring and negotiation process typical to the school/college unit.