Council of Distinguished Professors

In 1980, all University and Named Distinguished Professors at KU and KUMC were organized as Council to discussion issues concerned with improving and promoting research and scholarly excellence at the University. The Council elects a six-person Steering Committee to serve as an intermediary between the University Administration and the Distinguished Professors. The Steering Committee meets annually with the Chancellor, the Provost, various Deans and Directors, as well as representatives from the Board of Regents, the Endowment Association, and other stakeholders to discuss issues of concern affecting graduate education, research infrastructure, and faculty recruitment and retention.

The 2016-2017 members of the Steering Committee are:

  • Victor Bailey (History)*
  • Chris Beard (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
  • Anne D. Hedeman (History of Art)
  • David Roediger (American Studies)
  • Paul Selden (Geology)
  • Barbara Timmermann (Pharmacy)
  • *Jorge Soberon (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) one year term while Victor Bailey is on sabbatical.

Annual Report to Kansas Board of Regents (.pdf)


Joint Council of Kansas Distinguished Professors

Over 100 active faculty at the three research universities of Kansas - Kansas State University, the University of Kansas, and Wichita State University - share the honor of being known as distinguished professors, the highest academic rank. Their remarkable research efforts and the publications and graduate teaching those efforts support earned them this special recognition. On their campuses and within the state's scholarly community, they are recognized as educational leaders who have achieved excellence as scholars and as researchers.

In 1997, the state's distinguished professors formed the Joint Council of Kansas Distinguished Professors. Given their leadership roles within the scholarly community, it seemed only fitting that they also work together as an unofficial group of advisors to their campus colleagues and to the state's policy makers. Meeting together, they explore ways in which they can advance research and scholarship, can help guide the state's higher education policies, and can encourage ongoing investment in the three research universities of Kansas.

Committed to research, scholarship, and excellence in teaching, the Joint Council has taken a position on 4 issues that will dramatically affect the future of higher education in Kansas and the quality of that education.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
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