About OUR

OUR Distinguished Professors

The OUR Distinguished Professorships recognize tenured faculty who are making outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. They also foster a culture of undergraduate research on our campus, and support and expand undergraduate research opportunities in all disciplines.

The current  Distinguished Term Professors in Research and Undergraduate Education, awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences, are:

  • Beth Kurtz-Costes (Psychology and Neuroscience) Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2016-2020)
  • Richard Langston (German) Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Associate Professor in the Humanities (2014-2018)
  • Benjamin Meier (Public Policy) Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2016-2020)

  • Dorit Bar-On (Philosophy) Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2014-2015)
  • Drew Coleman (Geology) Jaroslav Folda Distinguished Term Associate Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2009-2013)
  • Jane Danielewicz (English and Comparative Literature) Richard Grant Hiskey Distinguished Term Associate Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2009-2013)
  • Beth Grabowski (Art) Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2012-2016)
  • Jacqueline Hagan (Sociology) Robert G. Parr Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2012-2016)
  • Gary Pielak (Chemistry) Glen H. Elder, Jr. Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2014-2015)
  • Donald M. Reid (History) Alan Feduccia Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2008-2012)
  • elin o’Hara slavick (Art) Glen H. Elder, Jr. Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education (2008-2012)

Every four years, new Distinguished Term Professorships in Research and Undergraduate Education (one in each of the four divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences) will be filled. The recipients will receive an annual stipend ($6,000) and an annual project fund of $5,000.

The project fund can be used to modify existing courses to add a research component, create one or more new courses to teach research methodologies, travel with undergraduate students to professional meetings, or collaborate with others to increase the number of mentors for undergraduate research projects, as well as defraying other expenses associated with expanding undergraduate research opportunities.

Recipients teach a normal load, but if they create and teach new courses, the home department will be compensated to enable the regular course offerings to continue. Recipients discuss their projects at an annual banquet sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research, and, on occasion, with members of the University administration and Board of Trustees.

  • Exceptional ability to fuse highly creative research, scholarship and/or artistic endeavor with an evolving pedagogical vision
  • Draws upon his or her research, scholarly curiosity and/or artistic talents to develop new courses, revise old courses, and expand the topics and questions he or she explores in the classroom
  • Displays an infectious passion for his or her discipline in guiding undergraduate student projects in both research-exposure and research-intensive courses and in helping students to develop analytical, research and/or artistic skills that they can use throughout their lives
  • Willingly mentors undergraduate summer research fellowship (SURF) students, independent study courses, and undergraduate honors theses
  • Helps undergraduate students to communicate their work to a broader audience through publications in professional journals, presentations at local and international symposia, performances, and/or artistic exhibitions
  • Encourages and supports undergraduate students to continue their research and artistic pursuits beyond Carolina by mentoring the students and supporting their applications for graduate school and professional careers
  • Has played a leadership role in departmental and campus curricular development and assessment
  • Has made influential contributions to education scholarship in his or her discipline


Nominations for the next appointments should include:

  1. The nominee’s current curriculum vitae
  2. A detailed explanation of the value and ongoing importance of the nominee’s mentoring of undergraduate research, scholarship and/or creative performance to her or his department, the university and profession. The nomination should be written in such a way as to be comprehensible to members of an interdisciplinary faculty review committee that may not include specialists in the nominee’s field
  3. The names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of three referees who are in a position to evaluate the nominee’s qualifications for their distinguished Term Chair and who have expressed a willingness to write on the nominee’s behalf. These referees may include colleagues from both UNC-Chapel Hill and other institutions. Official requests for letter from these referees will come from the chair of the college’s faculty review committee.

A faculty review committee will examine the nominations. The committee may request additional information from those candidates for whom reference letters are requested. After a full review, the committee will make recommendations to the Dean, who will announce the appointments.

Instructions for submitting nominations are provided by the College of Arts & Sciences. Please direct any questions about nominations to Alexis Cline in the Dean’s Office by email or at 919-962-3082.