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University Professors

The University of Waterloo owes much of its international reputation and stature to the quality of its eminent professors. University of Waterloo recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence through the designation “University Professor”. Once appointed, a faculty member retains the designation until retirement.

Not counting retirees, it is anticipated there will be one University Professor for approximately every 60 full-time regular faculty members, with at most two appointments each year. Such appointments are reported to Senate and the Board of Governors in March and April respectively, and are recognized at Convocation.

Selection process

  1. Annually, nominations will be sought from Faculty deans, directors of schools and department chairs, as well as from the university community generally. A nominee shall have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievement and international pre-eminence in a particular field or fields of knowledge. The individual who nominates a colleague is responsible for gathering the documentation and submitting it to the vice-president academic & provost before the December break. The University Tenure & Promotion Committee will act as the selection committee; its decisions are final.
  2. A nomination must be supported by at least six signatures from at least two UW departments/schools and must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae and a short, non-technical description of the nominee’s contributions.
  3. A nomination must also be accompanied by letters from the nominee’s Dean, and from at least two and no more than five scholars of international standing in the nominee’s field from outside the University. The scholars are to be chosen by the nominee’s Chair/Director in consultation with the Dean and the nominator. The letter of nomination should explain why these particular scholars were chosen.
  4. Letters soliciting comments from scholars shall be sent by the Chair/Director. Scholars shall be asked to comment on the impact and specific nature of the nominee’s most influential contributions, addressing their responses directly to the Vice-President, Academic & Provost.
  5. The dossiers of unsuccessful nominees remain in the pool for two additional years. The appropriate Dean should provide updated information each year. 

University Professors at the University of Waterloo

Name Department
Year awarded
Coleman, William Political Science 2015
Cook, William Combinatorics & Optimization 2015
Davidson, Ken Pure Mathematics 2007
Hipel, Keith Systems Design Engineering 2007
LeDrew, Ellsworth Geography & Environmental Management 2009
Li, Ming School of Computer Science 2009
McMahon, Terry Chemistry 2005
Munro, Ian School of Computer Science 2006
Nazar, Linda Chemistry 2016
Ng, Flora Chemical Engineering 2008
Pawliszyn, Janusz Chemistry 2010
Rempel, Garry Chemical Engineering 2004
Shen, Sherman Electrical & Computer Engineering 2017
Stewart, Cameron Pure Mathematics 2005
Stinson, Doug School of Computer Science 2013
Van Pelt, Robert School of Architecture 2005
Wood, Joanne Psychology 2017

Recognizing University Professors Who Have Retired

Name Department
Year awarded
Boyle, Phelim School of Accounting & Finance 2006
Cameron, Roy School of Public Health & Health Systems 2008
Le Roy, Robert Chemistry 2011
Sivak, Jake School of Optometry 2007
Thompson, Mary Statistics & Actuarial Science 2004
Zanna, Mark Psychology 2004