University Professors


The University of Toronto owes much of its reputation and stature to the quality of its eminent professors. The University recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge through the designation of University Professor. Under the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments, the number of such appointments should not exceed two per cent of the tenured faculty. Its very exclusivity stands to underline the highly prestigious nature of the University Professor designation. Each fall, the Provost issues a call for nominations for University Professors.

Relevant Policy

Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments

Selection Procedures for University Professors

  1. The nomination process shall be an open one with requests for nominations from the University community as well as from Principals, Deans, Directors, and Chairs.
  2. A nominee shall have demonstrated unusual scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field or fields of knowledge.
  3. A nomination must be supported by at least six signatures from at least two departments within the University. In addition, the nomination must be accompanied by letters from at least two, but no more than five, scholars of international standing in the nominee’s field from outside the University. The letter of nomination should include an explanation of why these particular scholars were chosen referees. These referees should be asked to comment not only on the impact, but also on the specific nature of the candidate’s most influential contributions, and to address their responses directly to the Provost as Chair of the Selection Committee.
  4. Nominations shall be accompanied by a full up-to-date curriculum vitae and a short, non-technical description of the nominee’s research contributions.
  5. The nominations shall be received by the Provost who will be Chair of the Selection Committee.
  6. Upon a decision by the Selection Committee, nominations may be held active for up to three years. Nominators will be asked to provide an updated curriculum vitae in each year that the application is under consideration.
  7. No candidate may be nominated a second time until at least two years have elapsed since the last consideration by the Committee.
  8. The Selection Committee shall be composed of six internal University of Toronto members and two members from other universities. The membership of the Committee shall be made up of distinguished scholars and shall be as broadly based as possible.
  9. The Selection Committee will be appointed by the President; the Provost will report the membership to the Academic Board.
  10. The Selection Committee will narrow down the applications from the initial documentation and then call for reports on each nominee from such additional outside referees such as they feel are warranted. The final selection will be made by consensus after all the documentation has been considered.
  11. The number of active University Professors shall be at the discretion of the Committee, but should remain in the vicinity of 1% and should not exceed 2% of the tenured faculty.
  12. A modest research stipend shall be paid to each University Professor for the first five years of the designation.
  13. A University Professor will retain the title of University Professor Emeritus on retirement, but no stipend will be applicable.
  14. After the decision of the Selection Committee and acceptance of the nominations by the President, the Provost, on behalf of the President, shall recommend the appointments to the Academic Board in closed session together with a written statement outlining the accomplishments of each nominee. The Academic Board will retain its right of veto.
  15. University Professor shall receive special recognition at Convocation and should play a visible role in the formal affairs of the University.