The inaugural designation at RIT is given to faculty who have exhibited a record of singular excellence sustained over the course of their careers.
John Klofas, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Criminal Justice
Founder and Director Emeritus, Center for Public Safety Initiatives
College of Liberal Arts
Joined RIT in 1989
Under Dr. Klofas’ leadership, the Center for Public Safety Initiatives received more than
$20 million in external funding and managed research projects at the local, state, and national levels
Enhanced crime analysis at Rochester Police Department and helped develop the NY State Crime Analysis Centers
Developed research instruments and databases to analyze gun crime patterns and interventions
As the chair of RIT’s Department of Criminal Justice, Dr. Klofas developed a minor and master’s program in criminal justice
Recipient of more than 15 awards, including RIT’s Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award
Member of numerous task forces and councils, including the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium and NY Municipal Police Training Council, appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo
Author or co-author of 30 articles, 14 chapters, five books, and 24 reports/publications
Ph.D., MA, criminal justice, State University of New York at Albany; BA, sociology, College of the Holy Cross
Josh Owen, MFA
Professor, School of Design
Director, Industrial Design Program
College of Art and Design
Bruce Smith, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Microsystems Engineering
Director, Microsystems Engineering Ph.D. program
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
At RIT, the Distinguished Professor designation constitutes as the highest title that the university can accord a member of the professoriate.
Distinguished Professors shall be Professors holding tenure (or granted tenure under expedited review, see Policy E06.1) and have exhibited a record of singular excellence sustained over the course of their careers, as demonstrated by extraordinary scholarly contributions manifested in leading journal publications, books, or creative accomplishments; and at least one of the following:
Nomination for the Distinguished Professor title is initiated by the nominee’s dean or by an RIT Professor. Self-nominations are prohibited.
Selecting a Distinguished Professor
Each college forms a Distinguished Professor Committee and selects one nominee to continue in the process. College nominations are then forwarded to the University Distinguished Professor Committee, which reviews each nominee.
Terms for Distinguished Professors
The designation of Distinguished Professor is a title with a renewable five-year term. The provost shall notify Distinguished Professors by September 1 of the fifth year of the current term that continuation will be evaluated, and request a written self-evaluation. The Distinguished Professor seeking renewal shall submit a self-evaluation to the provost by November 1 of the fifth year of the current term. The self-evaluation shall address how the Distinguished Professor has sustained a level of accomplishment and impact consistent with the criteria above. After reviewing the self-evaluation of the Distinguished Professor, the provost, in consultation with the chair of the University Distinguished Professor Committee and the dean of the Distinguished Professor’s home college, may choose not to renew the title of Distinguished Professor. Failure to submit a self-evaluation by November 1 shall result in non-renewal.
For more information about this designation, please click here.