Pearlstone Professorship

The Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts came to Towson University through the transfer of a program previously associated with Baltimore Hebrew University. Towson University and the College recognize and acknowledge the generosity of Richard Pearlstone who through his gifts created a lasting memorial to his mother, Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone.

Hana Bor
Dr. Hanna Bor, Pearlstone Professor (2019)

The Professorship in its standards and its implementation reflects Mrs. Pearlstone’s interest in education, ideas, human service, and the larger society, as supports the values of the College of Liberal Arts through an emphasis on effective teaching, active scholarship, engaged service, and positive contributions to community.

The Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professor will be a tenured member of the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts. The Pearlstone Professor will have a record of contributions to Jewish Studies or to Religious Studies at the graduate or undergraduate level. Each Pearlstone Professor will hold the appointment for five years and will develop a particular project or emphasis during that time with the assistance of resources made available through the Professorship. Income from the endowment will help offset a portion of the cost of the faculty position and will provide the Pearlstone Professor with a salary supplement during the appointment.

The strongest candidates for the Professorship will be those who have compiled a record that best meets, or balances, the following expectations:

  1. The Pearlstone Professor will have a sustained record of excellence in teaching. Excellence may be demonstrated through evidence of engagement, creativity, and effectiveness in the development of courses; through the appropriate use of varied classroom strategies; through the thoughtful introduction of new materials and approaches; through the quality of support and feedback provided for student work; through intellectual mastery of subject matter and an ability to convey that knowledge successfully; and through student perceptions of a faculty member concerned about student learning and able to expand understanding. The Pearlstone Professor will have a record of holding high expectations for students combined with evidence of a commitment to helping students meet those expectations.
  2. The Pearlstone Professor will have a record of published scholarship that has passed the critical scrutiny of other scholars knowledgeable in the relevant field. The forms of this scholarship may vary, consistent with the multiple forms of scholarship described in the Towson Appointment, Rank, and Tenure policy. Grant applications that pass successfully through a competitive review process may also contribute in the category of scholarship. As part of the selection process, the Pearlstone Professor will define current and future directions for scholarly activity during the period of the appointment.
  3. The Pearlstone Professor will demonstrate contributions to the quality of student experiences beyond the classroom or to the civic health of the larger community. The Pearlstone Professor will have a record of positive engagement over time in at least one of the following areas:
    1. Contributions to student experience such as a special attentiveness to the quality of student advising, leadership in enhancing the quality of student organizations and their programs, or development of student abilities in other ways.
    2. Contributions to the involvement of students and faculty with the civic life of the larger metropolitan community through the development of opportunities for students beyond the campus through internships, service learning, or volunteerism, or through the organization of programs addressing the larger community that draw upon the intellectual and human resources of the College.
    3. Contributions to a specific segment of the community beyond the University through organization of or participation in programs designed for the benefit of that community that draw upon the particular professional strengths of the candidate

Application and Selection Process

The Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professor will be selected through a process that includes nomination by colleagues, application by interested candidates, review by a designated committee, and recommendation by the Dean to the Provost for formal appointment to the Professorship.

NOMINATION

During the year before an appointment is to take effect, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts will invite nominations for the Pearlstone Professorship from all full-time faculty serving in the College, specifying a date by which nominations must be received in order to be considered. A nomination should consist of a letter identifying the nominee and speaking to the ways in which the faculty member nominated meets the criteria identified in the Peggy Meyerhoff Pearlstone Professorship description. When the deadline for nominations has passed, the Dean will confirm the eligibility of each person nominated and will formally invite each eligible nominee to complete an application for the Professorship.

APPLICATION

Each nominee who wishes to be considered for the Pearlstone Professorship must submit an application that includes the elements listed below:

  1. Current curriculum vitae.
  2. A letter of interest indicating how the candidate has met the criteria for the appointment (limit three pages).
  3. A project statement, as discussed below (limit four pages, double-spaced).
    Evidence of teaching effectiveness and teaching excellence (syllabi, course materials, official summaries of student evaluations), colleague reviews, or other materials of the candidate’s choice. Maximum of five items.
  4. One or two examples of published scholarship.

These materials will serve as the basis for consideration by the Pearlstone Professorship Committee. Please submit application materials to the Office of the Dean in Liberal Arts 2213 to maintain your candidacy for the position.

PROJECT STATEMENT

The project statement should outline a specific project the applicant would undertake using the resources of the Professorship. The anticipated resources will include provision of a salary supplement of $5,000 per year and a pool of up to $10,000 in program funds available in each year across the five-year period. The project statement should discuss ideas for how these program funds might be applied in support of the project ideas. There is considerable flexibility in what a project or theme for the Professorship might look like so long as its benefits for the College are clear. Here are three general frameworks to spur thinking about types of projects:

  • A candidate might emphasize a curricular interest. A faculty seminar might concentrate on the development or refinement of a course or courses in which a group of faculty have a shared interest, using funds to support acquisition of materials, meeting costs, or perhaps small stipends for participants. The objectives and benefits of such a seminar should be outlined in the proposal.
  • A plan might propose means of expanding the scope of learning for students with support for their activities, again with the expectation that those activities benefit the College and the metropolitan region.
  • The project may concentrate on an amplification of scholarly research in ways that will benefit the candidate’s department, the College of Liberal Arts, and students and faculty in the College. In this case, the candidate will identify the expected use of Professorship funds to accomplish this purpose. For example, a candidate might propose using Professorship funds to host a small conference or series of speakers at Towson on a topic of special interest, combined with student-centered activities.

These frameworks are not intended to be limiting but to serve as examples. Each project proposal should identify when within the five-year cycle specific elements might be scheduled. In all cases, a fundamental criterion for the selection committee will be the anticipated benefits from the project for the College of Liberal Arts, its curricular or co-curricular programs, its faculty, and its students.

REVIEW

The Dean will chair the selection committee and will appoint at least three faculty to serve on the committee. In no case may any person submitting a nomination serve on the selection committee. The basis for the review and selection process will be the criteria defined in the description of the Pearlstone Professorship and the materials included in the application.

RECOMMENDATION

The Dean will carry a recommendation resulting from the review and selection process to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of Towson University who will make a formal appointment to the Professorship. The Dean will discuss with the Provost, and if necessary with the recommended candidate, specific arrangements for carrying through the project associated with the candidate’s plans for the Professorship.