University Professorships

The title of University Professor is bestowed on faculty at the University of Georgia who have made a significant impact on the university in addition to fulfilling their normal academic responsibilities. The impact may be in the areas of policy development, teaching, curricular change, innovative programs or academic leadership. The honor recognizes individuals whose actions as change-agents (whether through their research or their service at the university, in the community, through their professional organizations, or by other means) have improved the quality with which the university serves its missions.

For a comprehensive list of University Professors, please click here.

2023-2024 Recipients

Keith Langston

Keith Langston
Professor and Head of the Department of Linguistics and Professor of Germanic and Slavic studies, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Paula Lemons

Paula Lemons
Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences


The Award

A maximum of two University Professors will be named each year. The person(s) so named shall receive a permanent increase of $10,000 in salary added to the merit raise in the year of appointment. In addition, the awardee(s) shall receive a yearly academic support account of $5,000 as long as she or he holds the position. University Professors will be reviewed and renewed at the discretion of the president every five years. The five-year review process will be initiated within each school or college as designed by the dean; at a minimum, the dean will submit a written recommendation and a copy of the University Professor’s curriculum vitae to the Office of Faculty Affairs.


The candidate must hold the rank of professor and have been on the faculty of the University of Georgia for 10 years. Upon appointment as University Professor, the faculty member must not hold, or must relinquish, the Regents’ Professorship, Distinguished Research Professorship or GRA Eminent Scholar title.

Selection Committee

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost shall appoint a Special Professorship Selection Committee consisting of six faculty serving staggered three-year terms.


Each year, the committee will review the nominations submitted by the deans. In addition to these nominations, the provost and president have the discretion to make nominations. The committee shall review each candidate's nomination packet, which should contain the following:

  1. Candidate's curriculum vitae
  2. Supporting letter (3 pages maximum) from thier dean or department head that addresses the qualifications of the candidate in relation to the criteria found in the description of the award (see above)
  3. Supporting letter from candidate

If the supporting letter is prepared by the department head rather than the dean, a brief letter indicating approval of the dean must be included in the nomination packet. Alternatively, the dean may co-sign the letter from the department head to confirm their support of the nomination. 

A maximum of two candidates per year may be recommended from the pool of nominees. The committee's recommendation shall be sent to the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. 

Nominations shall be retained in the Office of the Provost for up to three years and presented to next year's committee. Opportunity to provide updates will be granted prior to the next review. 

Submission of Nominations

Deans' offices should submit nomination packets as single PDFs (one PDF per nominee), through the school/college "course" site in eLC. The deadline is Wednesday, October 23, 2024.

Questions regarding University Professorships should be directed to:

Sherri Bennett
Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost 
(706) 542-0383