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The title of University Distinguished Professor is the highest achievement a faculty member can earn, and demonstrates the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University. University Distinguished Professors are preeminent authorities in their academic disciplines and their accomplishments are exemplified by outstanding teaching, research, mentoring and service.


  • Award winners will be named University Distinguished Professors, but will also keep their current titles and ranks; i.e., Professor of ‘Academic Department.’
  • The University Distinguished Professor honorific title is bestowed in perpetuity, as long as the faculty member remains in good standing.
  • A bursary fund is provided to new University Distinguished Professors.
  • One A&M parking tag is provided as a supplement to an existing paid parking permit.

Selection Committee Makeup

The University Distinguished Professor Award Selection Committee is composed of six University Distinguished Professors serving staggered two-year terms. The members of the award committee must be from six different colleges or schools, and any member must not be reappointed for two years after their term is finished. The provost and the Executive Committee of Distinguished Professors will each select three members for the awards committee, all subject to approval by the provost.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of Distinguished Professors consists of nine Distinguished Professors. Each year, three are elected for a three year term.

The current Executive Committee members are:

  • B. Don Russell, Electrical & Computer Engineering (emeritus) — (current chair)
  • Catherine Eckel, Economics — current vice-chair (2024)
  • John Gadysz, Chemistry (emeritus)
  • J.N. Reddy, Mechanical Engineering (2024)
  • Joerg Steiner, Veterinary Small Animal Clinical Sciences (2024)
  • Olga Kocharovskaya, Physics & Astronomy (2025)
  • Richard Golsan, The Bush School (2025)
  • Dorothy Shippen, Biochemistry and Biophysics (2026)
  • Steve Maren, Psychological & Brain Sciences (2026)
  • Huyen Pham, School of Law (2025)
  • Kirk Winemiller, Ecology & Conservation Biology (2025)

Executive Committee Bylaws