Distinguished Faculty Scholars

Nature of Award

Distinguished Faculty Scholars are tenured professors whose body of scholarship and current level of scholarly achievement warrant distinction with the university community. The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research (CESR) and the Faculty Research Committee select up to three Distinguished Faculty Scholars annually. Once named a Distinguished Faculty Scholar, recipients maintain the distinction for the remainder of their tenure at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Distinguished Faculty Scholars are formally recognized and awarded on the University website and at the annual Celebration of Excellence Dinner.

  1. Up to three Awards will be made each year.
  2. Each recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award will receive a recognition plaque and $5,000 for research support and/or professional development. In addition, recipients will be granted a 3-credit course release from their respective college dean (or, if negotiated, an equivalent cash amount to support research). These funds can be used to support any contractually appropriate activity agreed upon by the respective dean and faculty member. Such activities include, but are not limited to, reassigned time for research, 1/2 time research assistant, and/or travel for dissemination of research.
  3. Award winners will be announced in March 2024 and recipients will be honored at the 2024 Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activities in April. In addition, recipients may be invited to present a lecture, exhibition, or performance for their college or university community. These will typically be scheduled for the next academic year following the Award.
  4. Nominees who are not selected in their initial year of application may request that their applications remain under consideration for up to two additional years.  During this time, applicants may choose to update materials to reflect recent scholarly accomplishments but need not submit new nomination or reference letters unless desired.


  1. Nominees must be full–time, tenured faculty members who hold the rank of professor.
  2. Nominees must have at least eight academic years of service at Minnesota State Mankato prior to being nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.
  3. At a minimum, nominees must have national reputations in their fields. Where appropriate, they should have international reputations.
  4. No individual may receive the award more than once. Recipients will maintain the title associated with the Award for the duration of their tenure at Minnesota State Mankato.

Selection Process and Criteria

  1. The Faculty Research Committee will review nomination materials and select up to three Distinguished Faculty Scholars per year.
  2. The Awards will be based on outstanding professional achievements. The achievements may be artistic, historical, literary, philosophical, scientific, or technical.
  3. Wide recognition by the academic community beyond Minnesota State Mankato is essential.
  4. The Award will usually be based on a body of achievement rather than a particular piece of research, creative work, or other achievement.
  5. A substantial part of the achievement must have been accomplished as a faculty member of Minnesota State Mankato.
  6. Selection criteria in order of importance to the committee:
    • Quality of the nominee's scholarly or creative achievements, with emphasis on originality, imagination, and innovation. (Unique renditions, adaptations and updates to scholarly works will be weighted as appropriate.)
    • Impact on the nominee's discipline or field of study. (For example, impact factors of journals and citation indexes will be weighted as appropriate.)
    • National and international scholarly reputation.
    • Contribution to undergraduate and/or graduate education.
    • Contributions to the university, profession, and wider community.

To nominate a faculty member, download and fill out the 2024 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Guidelines form.

All required nomination materials must be submitted electronically to Dr. Aaron Hoy, Director of the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research, ML 88g, no later than 4:30 pm January 12, 2024. For further information, contact Dr. Aaron Hoy at aaron.hoy@mnsu.edu or x1038.