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.

Recipient Year
Vipin Kumar 2015

McKnight Professorships

Distinguished McKnight Professorship

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

Recipient Year
Mohamed Mokbel 2023
Loren Terveen 2017
George Karypis 2016
Zhi-Li Zhang 2013
John Riedl † 2012
Joseph Konstan 2009
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos 2007
Shashi Shekhar 2005

† 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.

Recipient Year
Lana Yarosh 2017
Dan Knights 2015
Dan Keefe 2012
Chad Myers 2011
Volkan Isler 2010
Arindam Banerjee ** 2009
Tian He ** 2009
Nick Hopper 2008
William Schuler ** 2007
Stergios Roumeliotis ** 2006
Yongdae Kim ** 2006
Eric VanWyk 2005
Baoquan Chen ** 2004
Victoria Interrante 2001
Zhi-Li Zhang 2000
Mats Heimdahl 1999
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos 1995

** 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.

Recipient Year
Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos 2016

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.

Recipient Year
Lana Yarosh 2020
Mats Heimdahl 2001

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.

Recipient Year
Maria Gini 2008
Yousef Saad 2005

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

William Norris Land Grant Chair in Large-Scale Computing

Recipient Years
Yousef Saad 2007 -
Vipin Kumar 2005 -
Pen-Chung Yew 2000 - 2005
Yousef Saad 1997 - 2000
Ahmed Sameh ** 1991 - 1992 & 1993 - 1996

** former faculty member

Qwest Land Grant Chair in Telecommunications

Recipient Years
Zhi-Li Zhang 2007 -

US West Chair in Telecommunications

Recipient Years
David Du 1994 - 2000