Honorary professorships and chairs

Regents Professorship

The Regents Professorship was created by the Board of Regents in 1965 with support from the University Foundation. It is the highest recognition given by the University to a member of its faculty. Regents Professors exhibit outstanding academic distinction, judged by the scope and quality of their scholarly or artistic work, the quality of their teaching, and their contributions to the public good. Once designated Regents Professors, faculty members hold the title for as long as they remain at the University. Upon retirement from the University, a Regents Professor becomes a Regents Professor Emeritus.

Vipin Kumar2015

McKnight Professorships

Distinguished McKnight Professorship

The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship honors the University’s most distinguished mid-career faculty.

Chad Myers2024
Mohamed Mokbel2023
Loren Terveen2017
George Karypis2016
Zhi-Li Zhang2013
John Riedl †2012
Joseph Konstan2009
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos2007
Shashi Shekhar2005

† deceased

McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

The major purpose of the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program is to strengthen the University's faculty for the future. The program is designed to advance the careers of the most promising junior faculty at a crucial period in their professional lives by developing their potential to make significant contributions to their disciplines.

Lana Yarosh2017
Dan Knights2015
Dan Keefe2012
Chad Myers2011
Volkan Isler2010
Arindam Banerjee **2009
Tian He **2009
Nick Hopper2008
William Schuler **2007
Stergios Roumeliotis **2006
Yongdae Kim **2006
Eric Van Wyk2005
Baoquan Chen **2004
Victoria Interrante2001
Zhi-Li Zhang2000
Mats Heimdahl1999
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos1995

** former faculty member

McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship

The McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship recognizes the critical importance of the University’s most distinguished faculty, with an aim to help the University recruit and retain the very best professors and world-class scholars who bring special distinction to the University of Minnesota. Recipients of the award are recommended by their college dean and chosen at the discretion of the president, in part, on their academic and research accomplishments and their contributions to advancing the University among their peers  Along with the professorship, recipients will receive annual funding to support their research and strategic programmatic initiatives. The award is made possible by a $15 million gift to the University from the McKnight Foundation.

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos2016

McKnight Presidential Fellows Award Program

The McKnight Presidential Fellows award program is targeted specifically to the most promising faculty granted tenure and promotion to associate professor. Selection criteria include identification by internal and external reviewers as leaders in their field; potential to build programs that will be in the top tier internationally, ability to advance University priorities; and growing national or international reputation as evidenced by record of scholarship, publications, external funding, invited presentation and symposia addresses, significant awards, or other evidence of recognition for research and scholarship. The award includes research-related financial support.

Lana Yarosh2020
Mats Heimdahl2001

CSE Distinguished Professor

The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Distinguished Professorship honors exceptional faculty for their efforts in and contributions to teaching and scholarly research and for their genuine commitment to CSE and its activities. CSE Distinguished Professors receive a one-time award of $15,000 to be used for professional development or research.

Maria Gini2008
Yousef Saad2005

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

William Norris Land Grant Chair in Large-Scale Computing

Yousef Saad2007 - 2022
Vipin Kumar2005 -
Pen-Chung Yew2000 - 2005
Yousef Saad1997 - 2000
Ahmed Sameh **1991 - 1992 & 1993 - 1996

** former faculty member

Qwest Land Grant Chair in Telecommunications

Zhi-Li Zhang2007 -

US West Chair in Telecommunications

David Du1994 - 2000