Distinguished University Professor

The Distinguished University Professor title is awarded permanently to no more than three exceptional faculty per year.

Three faculty members have been named Distinguished University Professor, the highest faculty honor at The Ohio State University. Following the recommendation of Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron, the Board of Trustees formally conferred this honor on Nov. 21, 2019 to three exceptional individuals:

Frederick Luis Aldama profile picture

Frederick Luis Aldama

Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor
Department of English


Professor Aldama’s work is changing the landscape in the fields of LatinX Studies, Comic Studies and Narrative Theory.

Image of Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, PhD

Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska

Lowber B. Strange Designated Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering

Professor Grejner-Brzezinska’s work has made a significant impact on advancing research in the application of Global Positioning Systems and Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

Portrait of Deborah J. Merritt

Deborah Merritt

John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hosteller Chair in Law
Moritz College of Law


Professor Merritt has produced path-breaking scholarship in three areas of the law: Constitutional Theory, Equality and Legal Education and the Legal Profession.

This permanent, honorific title includes automatic membership in the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. In addition, the Office of Academic Affairs designates a one-time cash award of $30,000 to be used for scholarly work. To date, only 60 other faculty members have held the Distinguished University Professor title.

This program has a rigorous selection process that begins each August. The Office of Academic Affairs sends a call for nominations to recommend faculty for this honor. Department chairs, school directors or faculty awards committees forward their nominations to their college deans. Deans develop a college review process, solicit support letters nationally and internationally and forward their final nomination decisions to our office.

Selection committees are chosen from among the members of the President and Provost’s Advisory Committee. This year’s committee included:

  • David Weinberg, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Astronomy and Committee Convener;
  • Ann Hamilton, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Art;
  • Tina Henkin, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Microbiology; and
  • Yasuko Rikihisa, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Veterinary Biosciences.

Nominations                    Previous Winners