October 19, 2011 12:00AM
Six veteran Pittsburg State University professors were honored Tuesday for earning the rank and title, "University Professor."
In 1999, the PSU-K-NEA bargaining unit and the PSU-Kansas Board of Regents representatives agreed to add a section in the contract that defined the new rank of 'University Professor.' The first University Professors were selected in the spring of 2000.
In the agreement, the rank of University Professor indicates that an individual faculty member is recognized by their peers both on and off campus as an "outstanding contributor in a field of specialization." To be eligible, candidates must also be recognized on campus for "outstanding contributions to the education program of the university."
To be considered for the designation, candidates must have been a full professor for no less than seven years, meaning that a person who begins at PSU as an assistant professor typically would not be eligible to apply for the rank of University Professor for 19 years.
The University Professor designation is for a term of seven years and can be renewed. It carries with it a $4,500 increment that is added to the base salary.
This year's recipients of the University Professor title:
Dr. Maeve Cummings a professor in the Department of Accounting and Computer Information Systems. Cummings has been instrumental in developing standards and groundwork for courses such as computer information systems and management information systems. She has co-written three textbooks over the last seven years that are published in multiple languages and sold throughout the U.S. and other parts of the world. She has also co-written several refereed journal articles and conference proceedings in addition to participating on the editorial board of Midwest Quarterly. Cummings holds membership on various academic, professional and scholarly societies such as the Association of Information Systems and the International Resource Management Association
Dr. Cheryl Giefer, a professor in the Department of Nursing. Giefer played a key role in the re-accreditation and state re-approval of the BSN and MSN degree programs by chairing the Curriculum Committee tasked with conducting analyses and curricular improvements. Giefer received the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of various academic, professional and scholarly societies, including the Kansas Advanced Practice Collaborative, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She introduced a new course that resulted in the PSU Nursing Department becoming a state testing site for certification as a nurse aide and writes, receives and administers a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship grant each year on behalf of the PSU Department of Nursing.
Dr. David O'Bryan, a professor in the Department of Accounting and Computer Information Systems. O'Bryan co-developed a 21-hour fraud examination minor with existing resources that integrated two departments from separate colleges. He worked with PSU Career Services and led the departmental effort to establish Meet-the-Firms day, which is now in its seventh year. O'Bryan co-wrote multiple peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings for publication. O'Bryan also wrote "Annals of St. Paul: The Swan Song," for the St. Paul Journal in 2009, which has been nominated for the Kansas State Historical Society's Edward N. Tihen Historical Publication Award. He is a member of various university, departmental and community committees and organizations, including the 2010-12 Faculty Senate and the PSU Student Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
Dr. Donald Viney, a professor in the Department of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences. This is Viney's second award to the rank of University Professor. Viney has contributed more than 30 scholarly publications in books, journals and the Internet in the past six years. He serves on the editorial boards for the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy and Process Studies. He also serves as a member on the Low Enrollment Response Committee, Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee and numerous departmental committees. Viney was invited to write on "Process Theism" for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and co-founded Cahiers Jules Lequier, a journal devoted to publishing Lequier's works
Dr. Bobby Winters, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and the College of Arts and Sciences. Winters developed Math-635, Geometry of Space-Time, which began as a special-topics course and is now a regular catalog course. He advises all students in the General Studies Program which graduates 60 students per year. Winters has served as the assistant dean in the College of Arts and Sciences since 2006, during which time he has assisted in various other roles such as chairman of the University Assessment Committee since 2008 and the 2009-10 acting chairman for the Department of Chemistry. Winters led a successful effort to create a public health minor at PSU. He writes a weekly newspaper column in addition to several blogs including "Okie in Exile," "Redneck Math" and "Bobby's Assessment Blog."
Dr. Paul Zagorski, a professor in the Department of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences. This is Paul's second award to the rank of University Professor. Dr. Zagorski is a member of several associations such as the International Studies Association, Midwest Political Science Association and the Midwest Association for Latin American Studies. He has designed two new courses that were added to the PSU curriculum and one special topics course. Zagorski is the author of a 600-page textbook, "Comparative Politics: Continuity and Breakdown in the Contemporary World," published in 2009 by the international publishing company Routledge. He serves on various university and departmental committees including University Promotion Committee, the Review of Program Review Task Force and the Academic Affairs Committee.