Briefing: Request for Nominations - 2018-2020 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorships

November 7, 2017

Dear Faculty,

Faculty and administrators at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University are invited to nominate outstanding scholars, artists, or practitioners for the Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship. Nominations are welcome for academic years 2018-19 and 2019-20. Nominations are due by January 31, 2018.

The Keohane Professorship recognizes the remarkable contributions of Dr. Nannerl Keohane during her term as President of Duke University, and the unprecedented level of collaboration she and UNC Chancellor James Moeser created between these two great institutions. The award was created in 2004 by Chancellor Moeser and was funded by Carolina graduate Julian Robertson and his late wife, Josie, of New York (parents of Spencer Robertson, Duke ’98, and Alex Robertson, UNC ’01) and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Initially, proposals were accepted on any topic; however, in 2016, the professorship directed its focus on proposals that allow the two universities to work together to extend their capacity in specific areas. In 2016-17 and 2017-18, areas of focus were data science; entrepreneurship and innovation; and the arts. For 2018-19 and 2019-20, the focus areas will be as follows:

  • The Environment: Energy, Water, and Land Resources
  • Citizenship and Opportunity in the Context of Race, Religion, and Culture
  • Optimizing Well-being Through Precision and Population Health Care
  • Using Data Science to Solve Complex Problems

These focus areas correspond with the strategic priorities as expressed in Duke’s Collaboratories initiative and with UNC’s Creativity Hubs. Nominations that magnify the work of the Collaboratories and Creativity Hubs will be given preference.

Goals of the Professorship

  1. Promote inter-institutional collaboration and the enhancement of intellectual life at both universities by strengthening established collaborations or encouraging new ones;
  2. Contribute to the teaching missions of both UNC and Duke—in particular to the undergraduate curriculum—through a self-standing course or the co-teaching of one or more courses, or through a carefully planned series of guest appearances in a number of courses;
  3. Share the work of the Visiting Professor widely through public lectures or performances.

Structure, Activities, and Funding
Recipients typically spend a semester or the equivalent of a semester in the program; however, proposals will be accepted for residencies of varying lengths based upon the schedule of the nominee and the collaborations proposed. Past recipients have catalyzed cross-campus undergraduate and graduate programs, conducted joint projects with Carolina and Duke research centers, taught joint Carolina and Duke courses, and delivered major public addresses.

The recipient is entitled to a payment of $60,000 US dollars (before taxes) for a full semester residency or $30,000 for a half semester residency (or its equivalent). Fringe benefits are also provided at a rate of 10% of the stipend payment. The recipient may request reimbursement for a maximum amount of $20,000 US dollars ($10,000 for a half semester residency) for costs associated with the Professorship, which could include housing, travel (including dependents), research, and other related expenses. Stipend and expense levels for recipients visiting for other periods of time may be negotiated; however, each professorship must involve a period of time sufficient to allow the goals of the professorship to be met. For reimbursement, the award recipient must provide the necessary documentation and receipts of the expenses within 30 days of the conclusion of the Professorship. The award is contingent on the ability of the recipient to receive the funds. International recipients are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa in order to receive payment. Sponsoring departments also will receive $5,000 per visitor for expenses associated with public lectures or performances.

Responsibilities of the nominating units
The Department(s) hosting the recipient is responsible for all other costs related to instruction, office, and clerical support (copying, space, office phone, etc.). All arrangements should be handled by the host Department(s). Such arrangements could include (though are not limited to) helping the recipient access resources such as IT support, University libraries, equipment, campus parking, as well as providing any appropriate advice on housing and living in the local community. For international recipients, the Department(s) hosting the recipient must assure that the visa process is appropriately handled by the recipient. The nominating Department at UNC-CH will be responsible for making all expense reimbursements and payroll arrangements for the recipient during the term of the professorship.

Nomination Process
Each nomination must describe how the professorship will achieve the three main goals of the professorship as listed above and must state its relationship to one of the four focus areas specified for 2018-2020. Each nomination must be made jointly by faculty members and/or administrators from both institutions, and must be accompanied by the signatures of the relevant Department Chairs or other administrators at both institutions.

Nomination letters should be as specific as possible and include descriptions of the following:

  • how the nominee will advance inter-institutional collaboration and intellectual life at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill in the specified area of focus;
  • the nominee’s qualifications, including how s/he has demonstrated the ability to work across departmental or institutional boundaries;
  • programmatic benefits that would arise from the professorship and a plan for assessment of impact;
  • new initiatives that will arise from the professorship and serve both UNC and Duke.

Please also include the nominee’s CV.

Nominations must be received no later than Friday, January 31, 2018 and should be sent electronically to  Questions about the Professorship may be addressed to Carol Tresolini ( or Noah Pickus (, Co-Chairs of the Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship Joint Advisory Committee.

The joint advisory committee shall make its recommendations to the Provosts of each institution in February 2018, and the two Provosts shall make the final selection. We anticipate awarding a total of six professorships during the two-year period spanning academic years 2018-19 and 2019-20.