Regents Professorship

Established in 1965 by the Board of Regents to recognize the national and international prominence of faculty members, the Regents Professorship is the highest honor the University of Minnesota bestows on its faculty. It recognizes faculty who have made exceptional contributions to the University through teaching, research, scholarship, or creative work, and contributions to the public good. The maximum number of Regents Professors is 30.

From the inception of the Regents Professorship program, the University of Minnesota Foundation has underwritten a stipend for each Regents Professor. The stipend is currently $50,000 annually, with $20,000 dedicated to a salary augmentation and $30,000 dedicated to a discretionary research fund. This is an indication of the importance the University of Minnesota Foundation attaches to the program.

Note, if a faculty member is a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair and then subsequently is appointed a Regents Professor, they would keep the McKnight title but would not continue to receive the McKnight funding. They would receive the Regents Professor funding only.


Must be a University of Minnesota full professor.


Any person(s). It is not appropriate for faculty members to nominate themselves or to self-apply.

Selection Process

Once the nomination dossiers have been submitted, the Regents Professorship Selection Advisory Committee will evaluate them, meet and discuss the nominees, and then make their recommendation to the president. The president will then forward a recommendation to the Board of Regents (BOR) for consideration, typically at its June meeting. After approval by the BOR, the president will notify the newly appointed Regents Professors, who will be presented with medallions at a September BOR meeting.

Nomination Dossier

It is important that the nomination dossier tells a complete and compelling story of the nominee. Toward that effort, make sure that the dossier demonstrates the nominee’s:

  • Scholarly or other creative or artistic achievement (Letters from professional peers and/or recognized scholars in the field will carry significant weight).
  • Teaching and advising (Letters from former students and others who can speak to accomplishments in this area. Raw evaluative data should not be included; instead the nominator may wish to summarize accomplishments in the nominating letter).
  • Professionally related service inside and outside the University (Contributions to professional organizations, learned societies, and to the community should be documented).

Format of Nomination Dossiers

The five documents described below should be submitted as a single PDF in the following order:

  1. Letter from Nominator
  2. Supporting Letters
  3. Qualifications of Persons Writing Supporting Letters
  4. Nominee's Curriculum Vitae
  5. Contact Information

Letter from Nominator: A minimum of three pages, but not to exceed five pages. The letter should tell the story of the nominee’s accomplishments and the impact of those  accomplishments upon the University and the national and international communities. The letter should thoroughly address three areas of central importance in the selection of Regents Professors: evidence of scholarly or other creative or artistic achievement; teaching and advising; and, professionally related service inside and outside of the University. The letter must be dated and signed. 

Supporting Letters: A minimum of eight letters, but no more than ten, from the nominee's peers in and outside the University and the nominee's students. Keeping in mind the relationship between the letter writer and the nominee, it is important that the nominator ask the support letter writers to specifically address the nominee’s accomplishments and/or achievements in the three areas of central importance (as listed above) but to ensure that all of the letters do not address the same thing. Nominators are strongly encouraged to solicit letters of support from referees who can address the nominee's national and international stature. Letters must be dated and signed.

Qualifications of Persons Writing Supporting Letters: A single document listing a brief bio (including qualifications) of the nominator and each individual writing a letter of support. Bios should not be more than 100 words per individual.

Nominee's Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information: A document with the contact information of the nominee, nominator(s), persons writing supporting letters, and person to contact if there are questions about the nomination (if not nominator). Include email address, phone number (for nominee include work, home, and cell phone), and mailing address (if University employee, use University mailing address. For nominees, include both University mailing address and home address).

Nomination Submission

Submit nominations to the Regents Professor Selection Advisory Committee, c/o Erin Heath, director, University Awards and Honors, at [email protected].

Nominations must be submitted as a single PDF file with the email subject line "Nomination Submission for the Regents Professorship."

Note that a nomination can be considered for two consecutive years. You may use the same file or update it, but in either case, you will need to resubmit it by the posted deadline.

Resources and Helpful Links

Additional Information

If you have any questions about the nominating process, contact Erin Heath, director, University Awards and Honors, at [email protected].