Skip to main content

UM System Awards and Recognition

Faculty Awards

The University of Missouri System offers multiple opportunities for outstanding faculty members to be recognized for their contributions to the University community. You can learn more about these opportunities below. You can find more information about additional faculty recognition opportunities at your respective Provost's office website.

Click on a header to expand the selection and uncover additional information.

Thomas Jefferson Award

Description: The Thomas Jefferson Award recognizes faculty who rise above excellence and demonstrate clear distinction in teaching, research, writing, creative activities and service to the University of Missouri System and humankind. View a list of prior recipients.

Number of awards and award amounts: There will be up to one $10,000 award, less applicable taxes. The award also includes the Thomas Jefferson Cup.

Eligibility: Any faculty member, active or emeritus, associated with one of the UM universities for at least 10 years may be considered for this award. Candidates may be nominated by any benefits-eligible faculty member or administrator.

Selection committee: Representatives from each campus will be appointed by the provost to make recommendations to the President.

Submitting a Nomination

The Thomas Jefferson Award is awarded by the UM System President once annually. The annual timeline for this award is outlined below.

To submit a nomination, please complete the Nomination Form.


Date Action
November 1 Call for Nominations 
January 17 Nominations due to Provost
January 24 Provost/Chancellor submit recommendations to System
February/March*  UM Committee reviews campus recommendations
April 1* Committee makes recommendations to the President
May 1* President makes final decisions

*Last updated 2/9/22



Curators’ Professors

Description: Established in March 1968 by the University of Missouri Board of Curators, these prestigious positions are bestowed only upon outstanding scholars with established reputations. Therefore, it is expected that there will be few such appointments. View a list of active appointments here. Review the Collected Rule and Regulation (320.070) governing these appointments here.

Number of awards and award amounts: To ensure this academic appointment remains a prestigious honor and means of providing recognition to outstanding faculty, the number of active Curators' Professors may not exceed 10% of the tenure/tenure-track faculty at each University. Recipients will receive a $15,000* annual stipend as long as they hold a position, with an initial appointment of five years. Of this amount, $10,000 will serve as an increase in your annual compensation (salary and benefits less applicable taxes), and the remaining $5,000 will be available for professional expenses associated with teaching, research, or creative activities. (*Applies only to faculty whose initial appointment as a Curators’ Professor was awarded on or after September 1, 2021.)

Eligibility: Any faculty member nominated for this appointment is expected to be an outstanding scholar with an established reputation for research or teaching.

Selection Committee: Campus selection committees are comprised of distinguished faculty members at the home institution, including other Curators' Distinguished Professors, Academy members, and other faculty of similar standing. A key part of the Office of Academic Affairs' review is ensuring that campus committees are of the appropriate caliber to review nominations for these appointments.

Submitting a Nomination

All Curators' Professor/Emeritus nominations are presented and reviewed once annually at the September meeting of the Board of Curators. A full timeline is outlined below. Therefore, it is important that all nomination materials are submitted and reviewed in a timely manner to ensure appropriate consideration at the Board meeting. Materials that are received late may require delayed consideration until the following year.

To submit a nomination, please complete and provide the materials outlined in the Nomination Checklist. When preparing the Executive Summary, please follow the Executive Summary Instructions.


Date Action
October 1 Call for Nominations sent by UMAA on behalf of Board of Curators
March 1 Nominations due to Provost
June 1 Campus Committee completes its review
July 15 Provost/Chancellor submit recommendations to System
August 15 System submits nominations to the Board of Curators
September Board of Curators reviews and approves nominations during Closed Session

C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship


The C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award recognizes a University of Missouri System faculty member who demonstrates commitment, dedication and effectiveness in advancing the land-grant mission through extension, international education, and agricultural economics programs. The fellowship is presented to a faculty member who personifies the creativity, vision and leadership exhibited by the late Dr. C. Brice Ratchford, president emeritus of the University of Missouri System and dean of cooperative extension. The annual award is funded from a permanent endowment created with contributions from the Ratchford family and from numerous colleagues, friends and organizations in recognition of Dr. Ratchford’s memory.


Nomination materials should include:

  1. Nomination/Cover Letter: The cover letter must have a clear indication of the relationship between the nominee’s work and Dr. Ratchford’s commitment to the land-grant mission. Candidates for this award represent the highest standards of performance in one of the following fields: extension, international education or agricultural economics.
  2. Supporting letters (limited to 10)
  3. Nominee’s curriculum vitae (or resume)


Awards: The award is in the amount of $4,000, less applicable taxes.

Eligibility: The nominee must be a faculty member with the University of Missouri System. Nominations may be submitted for any University of Missouri System faculty member, based on or off-campus, active or emeritus, whose accomplishments exemplify Dr. Ratchford’s commitment to advancing the land-grant mission through extension, international education or agricultural economics programs. Nominations may be made by any member of the university community.

Selection: The Ratchford Fellow is named by the University of Missouri Board of Curators based upon recommendation by the president. The president is advised by a panel, which includes representatives from the University of Missouri System universities and off-campus faculty and Missouri citizens. The panel is chaired by MU’s vice chancellor for extension and engagement. The C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship is presented at a meeting of the board of curators.


Deadline: February 1, 2022

Nominations and supporting materials (one hard copy and one electronic copy) must be submitted to:

University of Missouri System Office of Engagement 
210 Whitten Hall, Columbia, MO 65211

Electronic copy to Ashley Rhode at, 573-884-3257

Reviewed 2022-02-09