2020 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 to three exceptional individuals:

picture of Janet Box-Steffensmeier

Janet Box-Steffensmeier

Vernal Riffe Professor of Political Science; Professor of Sociology
Department of  Political Science
College of Arts and Sciences


Professor Box-Steffensmeier pursues research and teaching interests in legislative politics, public opinion and voting behavior, as well as in methodology, including time series, event history, and network analysis.

picture of Susan Olesik

Susan Olesik

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Divisional dean, Natural and Mathematical Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Olesik’s research is focused on developing new analytical separation concepts that drive the field toward new levels of performance in speed to analysis and chromatographic efficiency.

picture of Roger Ratcliff

Roger Ratcliff

Professor, Department of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Ratcliff’s research in the field of cognitive psychology focuses on modeling rapid decision-making with applications in neuroscience, neuroeconomics, clinical psychology, and neuropsychology.

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 66 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 2020 committee included:

  • Ann Hamilton, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Art;
  • Tina Henkin, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Microbiology;
  • Ruth Colker, Distinguished University Professor, Moritz College of Law, and;
  • Steven Ringel, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Nominations                    Previous Winners