NEH Distinguished Professorship

NEH Distinguished Professorship

Supported by an endowment from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the title of NEH professor is bestowed as a reward for scholarship and teaching in the Humanities. The NEH professor receives funding for a project related to faculty development and support of the Humanities program. The appointment is made by the Provost and VCAA for a term of 3 years.

As of Summer 2018, the current NEH Distinguished professor is Dr. Katherine Zubko. Dr. Zubko brings to the role a long-standing commitment to the the Humanities program. She has been teaching in HUM 124 since 2009, and served as the HUM 124 coordinator for two years. She also served as Interim Director of the Humanities Program in Spring 2017, and is involved in the Humanities readers' revision process. As an anthropologist who teaches in the Religious Studies program and also as a dance scholar, Kate brings an interdisciplinary lens to her scholarship and teaching.

Funding Opportunities through the NEH Endowment

The charter document for the NEH Endowment for the Humanities clarifies that the endowment is not general but designated for the Humanities Program. In an effort to add clarity and transparency to the availability and distribution of those funds, which amount to $50-$60K per year, the following allotment and procedure has been established by the NEH Distinguished Professor in consultation with the deans and the Humanities Program leadership. The amounts reflect the allotment per year.

1.) $10,000 for NEH Distinguished Professor’s project

2.) $10,000 for NEH Distinguished Professor discretionary priorities/possibilities
• Faculty development in support of community building
• Bridge building initiatives across different areas of campus
• Speakers, travel, and pedagogical initiatives related to internationalizing/decolonizing curriculum (up to $500, larger requests will be routed to committee, see below)

3.) $10,000 for HUM Program director discretionary priorities/possibilities
• Speakers and performers for HUM lectures – in consultation with course coordinators and the dean overseeing the HUM Program
• Funding related to Affiliate projects – in consultation with course coordinators and the dean
• Conference on interdisciplinary Humanities (2020)
• Biennial Faculty Retreats
• Additional costs associated with new Readers

4.) Criteria and procedure for allocation of remaining $20,000-$30,000
• Decisions will be made by a committee (NEH Funding Council) composed of NEH professor, HUM director, dean overseeing Humanities Program, and on an annually rotating basis, one HUM coordinator and one tenured faculty member active in the program, chosen by the HUM Advisory Committee from volunteers. Members will recuse themselves from consideration of proposals that benefit them.
• Proposals/requests for funding will be reviewed every two weeks.
• Proposals/requests for funding will be sent to  the HUM/NEH administrative assistant via Google form.
• Maximum amount of funding considered will be $5000.
• Priorities for funding include:
Priorities for funding include:
o Speakers that benefit HUM curriculum and/or cultural events
o Programming that benefits HUM curriculum and/or cultural events
o Research-related support and conference travel for regular contributors teaching HUM courses
o Conferences hosted by UNCA faculty on our campus that benefit HUM students
o Pedagogical activities in HUM courses
o Faculty development/enrichment, learning circles, activities

At year end, a public report will be made available that lists successfully funded requests. Awarded amounts must be spent by the end of the fiscal year/three months from the end of the project deadline, or they revert back to the fund. Reapplications will be considered, but not automatically awarded. For the purposes of receipts and documentation, the end of the fiscal year is May 31.

The HUM/NEH administrative assistant will serve as the primary contact for requests from categories 2, 3 or 4 of the NEH funds. This will avoid duplicate requests made to different parts of the fund and facilitates rerouting of the request to the most appropriate category and reviewer(s) when necessary.

For faculty teaching in the HUM Program who are requesting conference or research related funding, priority will be given to those who have not received funding from NEH or other sources recently for similar endeavors. If a person is granted funding, they will be expected to informally share some component of what they have conducted research on with other HUM faculty (in a HUM gathering, faculty meeting, as part of a retreat or other event).

Funding requests should include a description of what is to be funded, amount requested/budget, other funding sources requested (granted/denied), NEH funds received in the past 5 years, benefits for the HUM Program and plans for how to connect the proposed event/program with HUM Program students, faculty and/or curriculum (not just a “cultural event”), and contact person responsible for managing the expenditure. Requests will begin to be accepted July 1, and should be submitted as follows:

Category 2: Send to and

Category 3: Send to and

Category 4: Submit via google form.