PLEASE NOTE – The pandemic has impacted our programing, awards and scholarships.
Contact before completing any awards and scholarship applications.

Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Program




The Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship program was established in 1989 to recognize and support teaching excellence in Virginia’s Community Colleges.


The Award

Up to three individuals may be designated as a Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor each year. Each individual so designated shall retain the title for a two-year term. Each Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor shall receive funding for reimbursable expenses and stipends for two summers to help support the individual’s self-directed project. Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professors shall also receive reassigned time equivalent to two courses (normally six semester hours) each year during the regular academic year in order to pursue their self-directed projects. Information about award amounts for reimbursable expenses and the stipend are available from the college Human Resources Office.



Full-time teaching faculty members with at least five years of service in the VCCS and demonstrated teaching excellence are eligible for appointment as Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professors.


Selection v. Funding

Annually each college may nominate one or more candidates for designation as a Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor.  Each college shall develop its own nomination procedure which shall, at a minimum, include the following features:

  • The individual shall be nominated by letter from the college president, vice-president, or provost.  The nomination letter must contain specific documentation of excellence in teaching and of how the instruction sets a standard of excellence.
  • The individual shall develop a specific proposal regarding a self-directed project of personal and professional development related to community college teaching/learning to be conducted during the appointment period.  This proposal shall include a detailed budget for the self-directed project.
  • A panel of outstanding educators shall be assembled by the Chancellor to review and make recommendations regarding the colleges’ nominations.  This panel shall develop its own procedures. Its recommendations may be based solely on the materials presented in the nominating process or, at the discretion of the panel, on additional information obtained during interviews or campus visits with the finalists. 
  • The final decision and appointments shall be made by the Chancellor.  Up to three appointments may be made at the discretion of the Chancellor.


The cost of the Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Program shall be divided as follows:

  • Reimbursable expenses up to $7,500, two courses reassigned time for each of the two years (for a total of four courses over the two- year period) , and two summer stipends of $3,000 each will be provided by the System Office.  Reimbursement will be provided for tuition, travel (including meals and lodging for overnight travel), research, clerical help, books, reference materials, supplies and equipment expenses, subject to applicable state HR, Procurement, and travel guidelines. 
  • The college shall bear the cost of one course reassigned time each semester (normally three credits) for two years for a total of four courses over the two years.
  • Any additional expenses related to the self-directed project shall be shared by the individual and the college in a manner agreed upon by the individual and the college president prior to the submission of the nomination.



Application Process

The VCCS online application is to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 1 each year. If due date falls on a weekend, the following Monday will serve as the due date. Applicants should note that occasionally colleges have internal deadlines for application processing for this award. Be sure to check with your college to make sure you are complying with any internal deadlines or processes. The online application is available here: Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Online Application

The online application requires the following documents:

1. Letter of nomination from the college president, vice-president, or provost which includes evidence of the applicant’s teaching excellence.

2. The Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Program Application Narrative icon which includes:

A) Your reasons for applying for the Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Program.

B) A specific proposal regarding a self-directed project of personal and professional development related to community college teaching/learning to be conducted during the appointment period (2 academic years), including a statement of how the project will be benefit other VCCS faculty and the VCCS 

3. Itemized Budget Excel Spreadsheet icon outlining a detailed budget for up to $7,500 reimbursement for funding. Please note that $500 of funding is reserved as a mandatory amount to fund registration & travel costs.

4. Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Program Signature Sheet icon

5. Each Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor will be expected to participate periodically in VCCS college seminars or other programs focusing on interdisciplinary topics or other aspects of community college education


Recipient Deliverables

Each Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor is required to submit one mid-term status reports and one final report over the course of their tenure. These reports are due June 15 in the years following the recipient’s selection.

For example, a candidate selected for the 2015 – 2017 Professorship adheres to this timeline:

June 15, 2016  —- Mid-term status report due

June 15, 2017 — Final report due

Online submission forms for the status and final reports can be found here:

Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Status Report

Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professorship Final Report






February 1 Online and electronic nomination materials are due in System Office by 5:00 p.m. EST.
March Selection committee convened by Director of Professional Development, nomination packets reviewed, and committee recommendations forwarded to Chancellor.
May Chancellor appoints the Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professors for a two-year period; recipients and their presidents notified of award.
July 1 (Award Year) to June 30 (2 years hence) Leave is to be taken and funds expended during this time.
July Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professors introduced to the State Board.
August Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services sends detailed procedures for paying Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professors to appropriate college Dean of Finance.
June 15 (First year of professorship) Mid-term status report due.
June 15 (Second year of professorship) Final report due.


General Provisions


  1. Designation as Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor shall not affect the faculty rank of the individual.
  2. The summer stipends shall not become a part of the individual’s base salary.
  3. Each Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor shall be expected to participate periodically in VCCS programs focusing on interdisciplinary topics and/or special aspects of community college education, such as New Horizons, peer groups, etc.
  4. All materials purchased are the property of the awardee’s college. All project materials, including deliverables developed or created by individuals employed by VCCS colleges, are subject to Section 12, Intellectual Property of the VCCS Policy Manual.

PLEASE NOTE – The pandemic has impacted our programing, awards and scholarships.
Contact before completing any awards and scholarship applications.