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Dear Colleagues, 
You are invited and strongly encouraged to nominate outstanding faculty members for one of the College of Arts and Sciences’ distinguished professorships for excellence in undergraduate teaching. These include: 
Term Professorships 
  • Bowman and Gordon Gray Term Professorships, effective July 1, 2024 
  • Bowman and Gordon Gray Term Professorship, effective July 1, 2025 
  • Zachary Smith Term Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, effective July 1, 2025 
More details about each professorship, including the criteria and nomination process, are provided below. The deadline for all nominations is Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.
Should you have questions about the nomination process, please contact your senior associate dean.  



James W.C. White
Craver Family Dean
College of Arts and Sciences



Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professorships are five-year term professorships that recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching by Carolina’s outstanding scholars. They also are intended to help retain the best teachers and scholars in the College and to support and enhance undergraduate teaching. These awards are made possible by the generosity of the late Mr. Bowman Gray Jr. and Mr. Gordon Gray, former president of the University, as well as other members of the Gray families. The selection will be made by former Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professors. Former Bowman and Gordon Gray professors are eligible for nomination 10 years after the end of a previous term, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. 

Terms for the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professorships 

  • Gray Professorship terms are effective on July 1, 2024 or July 1, 2025, for five years, and are not renewable.
  • During the effective period, each recipient will receive:
    • a $10,000 annual stipend
    • a $5,000 annual research/teaching fund to support activities as a Gray Professor
    • a semester’s leave at full pay to advance the faculty member’s research and teaching after the first year in the professorship. The timing of this leave must be approved by the Dean’s Office and the professor’s department chair. 
Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professorships represent the best in undergraduate teaching at the University and will be awarded for four years in the areas of the arts, humanities and social sciences. This term professorship recognizes tenured faculty who are making exceptional contributions to undergraduate education at UNC-Chapel Hill. It also is intended to support and expand undergraduate research opportunities across the College.  
This year, one professorship will be selected from the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities and one from the Division of Social Sciences.  
Terms for the Zachary Smith Distinguished Professorship 
  • The Smith Professorship term is effective on July 1, 2025, for four years, and is not renewable. Former recipients can be nominated again 10 years after the professorship has ended.
  • During the effective period, the recipient will receive:
    • a $6,000 annual salary stipend
    • a $5,000 annual project fund (uses include but are not limited to: incorporating a research component into an existing course; creating one or more new courses to teach research methodologies; traveling with undergraduate students to professional meetings; and developing programs to increase the number of mentors for undergraduates through collaborations with faculty colleagues, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, alumni and members of the community). 
  • Recipients will carry a normal teaching load.  
  • Each recipient is expected to discuss annual projects at events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, and, on occasion, with members of the University administration and Board of Trustees.    
Eligibility and Nomination Process for Bowman and Gordon Gray and Zachary Smith Professorships
  • Nominees must be tenured professors in the College.   
  • Faculty who currently hold a distinguished term professorship may be nominated, but, if selected, must relinquish the term appointment prior to the effective date of the new professorship.
  • Faculty who already hold a permanent distinguished professorship are ineligible.   
  • Nominees must be teaching at least one undergraduate course during the current academic year. Please check this requirement carefully before submitting a nomination.
  • Previously unsuccessful nominations will not automatically be reconsidered; re-nominations are encouraged and should include new and current supporting documentation.
  • Nominations should be sent in the form of a single PDF document attached to an email to Anne Belote in the Dean’s Office at The deadline for nominations for all professorships is Wednesday, October 17, 2023
  • Nominations may be made by department or curricula chairs on behalf of their units OR by individual faculty in the College.   
  • A chair normally may send forward only one nomination for each type of professorship, chosen among recommendations from a chair-appointed committee charged with evaluating all eligible faculty in the unit and submitting recommendations to the chair. If a chair finds that the qualifications of recommended faculty are so comparable that a second nomination is justified, they may submit candidates in ranked order.
  • Individual faculty may nominate a department chair, another colleague or themselves; these nominations should be limited to one per nominator and should be made in cooperation with the unit’s nomination committee when appropriate.   
Nominations must include the following items in this order: 
  • A nomination letter that explains the significance of the nominee’s scholarly and teaching achievements and is comprehensible to members of an interdisciplinary selection committee that may not include specialists in the nominee’s field. Letter writers are encouraged to embrace an expansive definition of scholarship and teaching, including mentoring and public or engaged work, as outlined in the candidate’s departmental promotion and tenure documents. Notes of retention will also be taken into consideration.
  • a current and full curriculum vitae   
  • a statement of teaching philosophy
  • a statement of mentoring philosophy
  • a list of courses taught to undergraduates for the past six regular semesters
  • a summary of teaching evaluations for two undergraduate courses taught in the past three years (can include peer and student evaluations).
Professorship selection committee members will examine the nominations and observe the nominees’ teaching during classroom visits. After a full review, the committee will make recommendations to the Dean, who will announce the appointments.
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