University of Louisville Scholar and Distinguished Scholar Program

This is a list of faculty at the University of Louisville who have received appointments under the University’s scholar program. The names are presented in alphabetical order indicating University Scholar (UNIV) or Distinguished University Scholar (DIST). A description of the University Scholar program follows the list.

Faculty Member School/College Department UNIV/DIST
Dr. Becky F. Antle Kent School Kent School UNIV
Dr. Anita Barbee (Cunningham) Kent School Kent School of Social Work DIST
Shirish S. Barve Medicine Medicine DIST
Dr. Roberto Bolli Medicine Cardiology DIST
Dr. Matthew Cave Medicine Medicine DIST
Dr. Shao-yu Chen Medicine Pharmacology & Toxicology DIST
Dr. Daniel Conklin Medicine Medicine UNIV
Dr. Deborah W. Davis Medicine Pediatrics UNIV
Dr. Ayman El-Baz Speed School Bioengineering DIST
Prof. Paul Griner A&S English UNIV
Dr. Ramesh C. Gupta Medicine Pharmacology/Toxicology DIST
Dr. Kent Hatteberg Music Music UNIV
Dr. Zijiang He A&S Psychological & Brain Sciences UNIV
Dr. David W. Hein Medicine Pharmacology/Toxicology DIST
Dr. Bradford G. Hill Medicine Medicine UNIV
Dr. Steven Jones Medicine Medicine UNIV
Dr. Norman Lehman Medicine Pathology UNIV
Dr. Craig McClain Medicine Medicine DIST
Dr. Carolyn B. Mervis A&S Psychology DIST
Dr. Michael H. Nantz A&S Chemistry DIST
Dr. Jan Potempa Dentistry Periodontics DIST
Dr. Laura Rothstein Law Law DIST
Dr. Terrance M. Scott Education Teaching & Learning DIST
Dr. Sanjay Srivastava Medicine Cardiology DIST
Dr. J. Christopher States Medicine Pharmacology & Toxicology DIST
Dr. Jeffrey Sun Education Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development DIST
Dr. Mahendra Sunkara Speed Chemical Engineering DIST
Prof. Russell Weaver Law Law DIST
Dr. Scott Whittemore Medicine Neurological Surgery DIST
Dr. John P. Wise Medicine Pharmacology & Toxicology DIST
Dr. Xiang Zhang A&S Chemistry UNIV
Dr. Charles E. Ziegler A&S Political Science UNIV

List Revised: September 21, 2021

OVERVIEW: The University Scholar and Distinguished University Scholar Program plays a key role in recruiting scholars to the faculty who exhibit substantial credentials in research and scholarship. Recognizing faculty who significantly exceed the scholarship necessary for appointment, promotion and tenure at U of L and in doing so achieving an extremely strong national (Scholar) and international (Distinguished) reputation rewards existing faculty members who are outstanding in research, scholarship and creative activity. It provides strong incentives for faculty members to increase their level of international recognition and productivity and to be compensated for their efforts. This results in a major increase in number and amount of grants, contracts, awards, publications, presentation and other recognitions for the University, as well helping to develop the next generation of scholars.

ELIGIBILITY: Promising scholars under recruitment by the University and faculty members of the University are eligible for the program. In cases of particularly meritorious performance, this can also be used as a valuable retention mechanism. Faculty members appointed to an endowed position are not eligible for appointment to the university scholars program. The titles University Scholar or Distinguished University Scholar are awarded under the program.

A candidate for University Scholar will demonstrate substantial creativity and scholarship in her/his field of expertise. This level of excellence must be very clearly superior to that expected of a faculty member in the field and must be an award based on sustained excellence. Evidence of scholarship will include all or most of the following: an exceptional record of sustained publication of peer reviewed books, papers, creative works, articles in very high quality professional journals, a high degree of citation of these published works by peers, discipline appropriate sustained attainment of major extramural grants and contracts, and evidence of national recognition among peers. A candidate at this level generally would be eligible for appointment to the University at the rank of Associate or full Professor or has already obtained this rank at the University. An internal candidate must have been a full time member of a UofL faculty for at least five years.

A candidate for Distinguished University Scholar, in addition to having credentials equivalent to that of a University Scholar, will have demonstrated a level of excellence very clearly superior to that expected of a University Scholar in the field. S/he will have wide international recognition by peers for creative contribution to their field. This will be evidenced by wide spread citation of published works, invitations to present papers at major universities and before national and international meetings, service on extramural peer review panels, editorial boards, election to office or other service in professional societies, or having received professional honors. A Distinguished University Scholar must be eligible for appointment to the University at the rank of Professor. An internal candidate must have been a full time member of a UofL faculty for at least five years.

AWARD: An approved appointee will receive the title University Scholar or Distinguished University Scholar and will agree to a signed contract specifying the term of appointment, salary supplement and assignment. This policy will define base salary and salary supplement for the University’s internal accounting purposes. Each of these salary categories refers to compensation provided for meeting obligations under the appointee’s term(s) of appointment. For purposes of reporting institution salary to federal research sponsors, an appointee’s institution base salary includes both the University payroll system base salary and the research salary supplement defined below.

1. Initial term of appointment will be three years. The appointment will be renewable depending upon satisfactory performance of the assignment as defined below. It is the goal of this program that the title of Scholar will continue to be renewed throughout the entire academic career of the awardee. Whether or not this occurs will depend upon the ability of the awardee to meet or exceed the standards of the assignment and to demonstrate substantial evidence of continued productivity. Performance under the contract will be reviewed at regular intervals in line with the current contract.

2. A renewal term may be for three to five years based upon probability of continued productivity at the assigned level. Likewise, the award may be converted upon renewal to Distinguished University Scholar from University Scholar or vice versa. Scholar reviews may be synchronized with other personnel contract reviews, e.g. Periodic Career Review, Endowed Chair reviews, etc. Faculty members with a Scholar appointment who are entering into phased retirement are not eligible for renewal and should not be forwarded for renewal by the unit Deans.

3. The salary supplement is not part of the salary commitment of the Scholar but is a discretionary award of the University based on additional expected work responsibilities and performance. A Scholar holding a twelve month university appointment will receive an annual salary supplement for the contract period. The total amount of the salary supplement for a University Scholar will be equivalent to 5% of the Scholar-generated Research Infrastructural Fund plus $10,000. For a Distinguished University Scholar the supplement will be equivalent will be equivalent to 5% of the Distinguished University Scholar-generated Research Infrastructural Fund plus $20,000. The salary supplement will be provided by the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation and the Dean of the academic unit as described below. Termination of the contract will include withdrawal of the salary supplement. In general, University accounting practices treat the salary supplement similar to base salary in that total employee benefits are calculated including this compensation and the supplement reflects compensation for work required as part of the Scholar designation.

4. The assignment will have a major scholarly component appropriate to the Scholar's professional discipline, and a minimum of 50% effort devoted to research and scholarly activity. Important expectations of performance will include specifics such as publication of scholarly articles, participation in national and international professional activities, invited extramural presentations, collaboration with colleagues and a commitment to enriching the student learning experience through their scholarly activities. In areas of expertise such as biological and physical sciences and engineering, the attaining of extramural grants and contracts will be an important expectation as attainment of extramural funding is a key measure of the extramural evaluation of the quality of the scholarship and the professional standing of the Scholar. It is recognized that there are professional fields in which attainment of extramural funding is not common or funding is limited in amount. In these cases, attainment or retention of grants and awards may not be an essential element of the assignment, however attainment of such awards, will be regarded as an important measure of extramural peer recognition.

5. Cancellation – Awards and renewals will in no case be considered an entitlement. The University expressly reserves the right to reduce or cancel the awards of salary supplement. Faculty members with a Scholar appointment who are entering into phased retirement are not eligible for renewal and should not be forwarded for renewal by the unit Deans.

FISCAL ASPECTS: Salary supplements will be paid from a matching pool. Fifty percent of the salary supplement will be paid by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation, and fifty percent of the salary supplement will be paid by the unit of academic appointment of the scholar.


1. External nominations may be made at any time through the formal School, Unit and University channels. In order to recognize the achievements and academic accomplishments of current University faculty members, internal nominations may be solicited by the office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation as the funding in the pool allows. Unit deans may nominate faculty for appointment as University Scholars. Internal candidates must have been a U of L faculty member for no less than 5 years prior to nomination.

2. The Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation (EVPRI), in consultation with the Scholar Review and Appointment Committee, may recommend elevating the appointment to Distinguished University Scholar if the faculty member’s credentials are appropriate for this distinction. In all cases, the Dean or Unit Head will forward nominations and recommendations to the EVPRI office. A nomination will take the form of a letter specifying the contract period, amount of the salary supplement, duties and performance standards. A proposed contract should be included covering the above items and should contain a clause stating that terms of renewal are based upon meeting performance standards and the probability of continuing productivity on the part of the Scholar. Supporting documents will include a detailed curriculum vitae or resume, supporting letters and other relevant documentation including publication information and number or times works have been cited. Recommendation for renewal, termination or modification will be processed through the same channels as the original nomination. (NOTE: Example contract elements and a draft contract are provided below.)

3. Nominations and recommendations for renewal, modification and termination will be reviewed by a University Scholars Committee comprised of faculty and administrators. The members of this committee will be appointed by the EVPRI in consultation with the Deans. The EVPRI or delegate, , Director of Research Academic Programs, will Chair the committee. The Committee will obtain internal and external peer review as required. Recommendations of the committee including suitability of the candidate and suggested changes to the contract will be advisory to the EVPRI who will then forward his/her recommendations to the Provost. The Provost will forward approved Scholar appointments to the University President.

4. The EVPRI will maintain copies of all relevant appointment documents and will provide timely notice to the Dean or Unit Head when review of performance and notification of the Scholar is required.

Program changes. Changes to this program can be made at any time by the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact , Director of Research Academic Programs.

Diagram of University Scholar & Distinguished Scholar Salary Supplement Structure

University Scholar and Distinguished University Scholar

Contract elements for University Scholar
(Note: Elements for Distinguished Scholar should be distinctly greater qualitatively and/or quantitatively and should also include evidence of international recognition)
Examples or Descriptions
1. Maintain a productive and successful nationally recognized research program, as demonstrated by the annual publication, on average, of …. ,,, at least X original peer-reviewed articles in high quality professional journals as the major author
… books / monographs / other creative works subject to peer review
2. Maintain continuous peer-reviewed extramural research funding in excess of $xxx,000/year direct costs with full indirect cost recovery; this will include being principal investigator/program director on at least one federal grant. Disciplines with traditional access to extramural funding should specify this requirement.
For other disciplines, seeking and obtaining extramural funding, even in limited amounts, from rigorous peer reviewed sources for support of scholarly work (e.g. direct support of scholarly work, support for hosted symposia, scholarly travel awards, etc.) should be encouraged, expected and rewarded as a demonstration of peer recognition.
3. Maintain a national reputation as evidenced by, for example, organizing and/or chairing scholarly sessions at national conferences and meetings, having work frequently and regularly cited by other investigators, serving as a full member of NIH, NSF and/or other national study sections and review panels, serving as an editor of prestigious journals, etc. Self-explanatory
4. Present your work at (inter)national meetings and at major universities as an invited speaker, at least twice per year on average. …or for appropriate disciplines, performances in premier venues, visual arts presentations, other evidence of national or international recognition of scholarship
5. Collaborate with colleagues within the University of Louisville who may be doing research in areas similar to or overlapping with yours or who may need your assistance or expertise to generate data for a specific project. You will be expected to share equipment and resources with your colleagues, provide access to capital equipment and usage thereof, University Scholars should be expected to participate in meaningful ways such that national recognition is established. Distinguished University Scholars should be expect to assume leadership roles and achieve international recognition.
6. Participate as investigator in extramurally funded collaborative research teams (e.g. centers, consortia, program-project, etc.) in UofL strategic research interest areas. University Scholars should be expected to participate in meaningful ways such that national recognition is established. Distinguished University Scholars should be expect to assume leadership roles and achieve international recognition.
7. Support the training of new/junior investigators. Scholars should actively engage postdoctoral fellows/graduate students/undergraduates to enrich their learning experience through scholarly activities and student research projects. Active engagement includes the following activities: co-authoring publications, sponsoring or otherwise supporting presentations at conferences, serving as formal mentor, and chairing or serving on dissertation or master’s thesis committees. Distinguished University Scholars should also be expected to mentor and advance junior faculty.

April 9, 2019