Meredith Professorships

Meredith Professorship 2023-2024 Program Overview

Purpose and goals

A substantial bequest from the estate of Dr. L. Douglas Meredith, a 1926 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, has enabled the University to create the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship Program to recognize and reward outstanding teaching at Syracuse University. The goals of the initiative are:

  • To recognize and reward excellence in teaching at all levels in a way that is seen as significant by faculty members, students, and the public at large;
  • To encourage all faculty members to look upon the many dimensions of teaching as manifold opportunities for constant improvement, even for the best teachers;
  • To emphasize the importance the University places upon teaching by investing heavily in this most student-centered activity; and
  • As a result of all of the above, to improve the teaching and learning environment on campus in ways that can be singled out and recognized as valuable.

Award details

 Each year, the Meredith Professorship is awarded as follows:

RecipientAward Amount
Faculty members (2)

The award may be presented to any tenured faculty member in any of the schools or colleges of Syracuse University.

Each recipient is designated a Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for a period of three years (typically, there are six active Meredith Professors in any given year, with two appointed annually).
For each year of the three-year appointment:

$20,000 supplementary salary

$5,000 for professional development

$5,000 as an expense account to support programming offered through the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE)

In an effort to meet the Meredith Professorship’s goal of improving the teaching and learning environment on campus and to foster campus-wide conversations around teaching excellence, Meredith Professors will be actively involved in the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). Each Meredith Professor will identify an aspect of, or topic related to, teaching excellence on which they will focus during their three-year term. In consultation with the CTLE team, they will develop programming for Syracuse University faculty around their selected topic. Such programming can include workshops, guest speakers, one-on-one mentoring with early-career or teaching faculty, peer mentoring, and team-teaching opportunities for faculty, among other options. The CTLE will provide administrative support for this programming.

Meredith Professors are expected to submit an annual progress report on their involvement with the CTLE. At the end of their three-year tenure, each Meredith Professor is also expected to present a final summary of their work with and through the CTLE. Active Meredith Professors also meet periodically each year to discuss teaching and to plan other activities.

Both the professional development funds and the expense account may be used in support of Meredith Professors’ teaching-related professional development or for a variety of other purposes in support of teaching at the University. The funds may be used to support the hiring of student assistants, the purchase of equipment or other teaching resources, the support of student research projects, the development of teaching materials, the purchase of library materials, travel for conferences, bringing guest lecturers to campus, or hosting seminars through the CTLE with a focus on teaching and student learning.

Active and former Meredith Professors are enrolled for life in the Meredith Symposium to honor their ongoing contribution to students and to the University. The annual Symposium is planned by the active Meredith Professors and focuses on strategies for supporting teaching excellence at Syracuse University.

Holders of the Meredith Professorships may not be on leave of absence from the University more than one semester during their three-year term. However, Meredith Professors who receive external funding from sources such as the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), or Guggenheim Foundation for a full year’s leave may take leave from their Meredith Professorship for that year. In such cases, the Professorship’s term is extended for a year, and funds are withheld during the year of leave and paid during a fourth year.


Meredith Professors are selected based on their overall excellence as teachers and on their potential to contribute to the improvement of the teaching and learning environment across the University. A prerequisite for consideration for the award is a record of significant scholarly or creative activity.

Additional considerations include the nominee’s:

  • Overall approach to teaching, as seen in teaching initiatives or innovations or in techniques for assessing or evaluating student learning;
  • Evidence of positive impact on student learning in their courses;
  • Potential impact on the Syracuse University academic community through involvement with the CTLE; and
  • Ability to contribute to the University’s goal of academic excellence on a campus welcoming to all, via strategies for inclusive pedagogy.

Nomination process

The nomination and review process consists of two steps: Stage One and Stage Two.

Stage One (nomination): Eligible faculty members are nominated for the Meredith Professorship by the dean of the school or college in which they have their principal appointment. Deans may develop internal school-based procedures to identify and put forward their strongest candidates for this honor. Schools and colleges with:

    • 50 or fewer full-time faculty members may nominate one candidate;
    • 51 to 100 full-time faculty members may nominate two candidates;
    • 101 to 200 full-time faculty members may nominate three candidates; and
    • 201 or more full-time faculty members may nominate four candidates.

The complete nomination includes the following items combined (in order) into a single PDF:

  •  Stage One coversheet: A fillable form found on the Office of Academic Affairs website
  • Formal nomination letter (no more than three pages) from the dean or dean’s designee with concurrence of the dean that:
    • Makes the case for the nominee’s extraordinary teaching performance and potential for continued contributions to teaching excellence, given the support of the Meredith Professorship
    • Describes the nominee’s regular teaching and advising responsibilities, as well as their other roles within the department, school, or college

      NOTE: Because faculty can demonstrate teaching excellence in many ways, the letter should describe in detail how the nominee is singular in that respect. Concrete examples or illustrations are more effective than grand statements of praise.

  • A brief description (no more than 500 words) of:
    • The teaching theme or topic on which the nominee would focus in their work with the CTLE
    • Why/how the selected topic will improve the teaching and learning environment on campus
    • Preliminary ideas for how they would secure wider faculty involvement with this theme or topic

      NOTE: The selected theme or topic should address a teaching challenge or opportunity that faculty across disciplines face, without being so narrow as to apply to only one discipline or field or so broad as to encompass all of teaching.

  • A teaching statement (no more than three pages) which addresses:
    • The nominee’s approach to teaching
    • Any significant teaching innovations or initiatives
    • Specific techniques for assessing or evaluating student learning
    • How the nominee uses assessment or evaluation of student learning to inform and strengthen their work as a teacher

      NOTE: The teaching statement should highlight the nominee’s efforts to infuse consideration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all elements described above.

  • An updated curriculum vitae

The nomination packet should not exceed 10 pages, excluding the curriculum vitae. 

Nominations are due Friday, November 3, 2023. Please email the nomination as one PDF to Amanda Latreille, Faculty Affairs Specialist, at (subject: Meredith Professorship nomination).

Stage Two (finalists): From the Stage One nomination pool, a group of finalists will be selected for Stage Two. The finalists are notified in late fall and asked to submit additional material for consideration.

The additional material includes the following items combined (in order) into a single PDF:

  • Stage Two finalist coversheet (fillable form to be provided)
  • Statement (no more than five pages) describing the theme or topic which the finalist would like to explore through their work with the CTLE. The statement should:
    • Describe how the finalist would structure their work with the CTLE (i.e., workshops, seminars, one-on-one mentoring, etc.)
    • Outline which faculty (i.e., teaching faculty, early-career faculty, part-time instructors, faculty from under-represented groups, etc.) would benefit most from a multi-year focus on the selected theme/topic
    • Reflect on how the finalist will assess this programming’s impact during their three-year term
    • Share thoughts on how their work through the CTLE might continue to impact our campus after the completion of their three-year term

      NOTE: We expect each Meredith Professor to organize one or two events/activities per semester as part of their work with the CTLE.

  • Up to three examples (no more than two pages each) of innovative approaches to teaching used by the nominee in courses taught at Syracuse University in the last four years (in addition to specific instances from existing courses, examples could include deliverables from a course-redesign project, evidence of implementation from a Summer Institute for Technology-Enhanced Teaching and Learning (SITETL) project, or evidence of re-designed syllabi, assignments, or assessments)
  • Letters from no more than two past students describing how the nominee inspired their learning (letters should appropriately reflect the balance of the nominee’s teaching in undergraduate and graduate curricula)
  • A professional bio (not to exceed 500 words) suitable for publication

This Stage Two material should not exceed 20 pages. Nominees do not need to resubmit the material submitted in Stage One.

Also, to be submitted:

  • A jpg file of a recent (within the last five years) color photograph/headshot suitable for print and online publication

    NOTE: The photograph will only be used for promotional purposes. It will not be used in any part of the review or selection process.

Stage Two materials are due Friday, February 16, 2024. Submission instructions will be provided to the finalists.

Selection process and recognition

The Meredith Professorship Review Committee, composed of faculty and students, is responsible for recommending candidates for the award. The committee reviews nominations and submits a recommendation report by mid-March. The Chancellor makes the final selection, and the award is presented at the One University Awards Ceremony in April.

The Chancellor may modify the details of the Meredith Professorship Program, as well as the nomination and selection process, to better achieve the program’s goals.

Current and past Meredith Professors


 Please contact Amanda Latreille at or 315-443-5413.