College of Social Work Professorships

Professorships are among the highest academic awards that the College of Social Work can bestow on a faculty member. A professorship is both an honor to the named holder of the appointment and a lasting tribute to the donor who saw fit to establish the award.

In essence, professorships recognize the outstanding work of faculty. Additionally, professorships provide funds to help advance research projects in unique and sustained ways.

Applying for Professorships

The application period to apply for professorships is now OPEN. Available professorships and criteria are listed below.

Each professorship has unique criteria for the selection process. However, for the purposes of assessment and responsible gift stewardship, all applicants for a professorship should include the following information:

  1. CV
  2. Brief (no more than one page) research statement outlining how your research is explicitly related to the purpose of the professorship  
  3. Brief (no more than one page) statement on how you plan to use the professorship to advance your research folio

Note: Each professorship awards an allocation per year for up to a three-year term. The total professorship allocation may change over the course of an award period. Allowances are determined annually based on the investment performance of the endowment. 

Open Professorships

Joanne I. Bell Professorship in Critical Thinking and Social Policy AnalysisAssociate or full professor currently engaged in research clearly linked to critical thinking or social policy analysis in social work
Richard K. Brautigam Professorship in Juvenile, Criminal and Social JusticeAssociate or full professor with research interests clearly linked to juvenile, criminal, or social justice.
Buckhorn Professorship in Child Welfare and Children’s Mental HealthThe recipient is expected to serve as Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Families & Children within the CoSW and complete a research collaboration between Colleges of Human Environmental Sciences, Social Work and Education. Recipient must be a member of the CoSW faculty who exhibits a commitment to child welfare.
Vernon R. Wiehe Professorship in Family ViolenceFull time faculty member in the CoSW. Recipient will support research initiatives dedicated to identifying causes & proposing solutions to problems of family violence.
Constance Wilson Professorship in Mental HealthAssociate or full professor whose research interests are clearly linked to mental health and has a commitment to improving mental health services to children, youth and adults in KY
William H. Otis & Marquita Sivis Otis Professorship in Gerontology & Intergenerational Social WorkAssociate or full professor whose research interests are clearly linked to increasing gerontological knowledge.
Doris Y. Wilkinson Distinguished Professorship in Social Work Education*Associate or full professor whose research is clearly linked to research and instruction of race and ethnicity, as well as impoverished populations. Recipient must have outstanding contributions to research and education in the field of social work involving an emphasis of humanities-oriented, cultural and historical approaches.


If you have questions, comments, concerns, or celebrations associated with CoSW professorships, please email