William Grabe recommended as Regents’ Professor

Northern Arizona University has recommended that English professor William Grabe, who has served NAU in a variety of positions for nearly 25 years, be named Regents’ Professor, the first university recommendation since 2004.

“Bill Grabe has earned this recommendation through his years of scholarship and service to students and the university community,” said Liz Grobsmith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “He is an exemplar of faculty with an impeccable reputation as an academic and teacher.”

President John Haeger will forward Grabe’s nomination to the Arizona Board of Regents, who will vote on it at a future meeting. If approved, his title will become effective in the fall.

“Bill’s efforts over a quarter of a century demonstrate that he is highly deserving of this recognition,” Haeger said. “I’m proud to submit his name to the board and will be proud to have Bill represent Northern Arizona University as a Regents’ Professor.”

The title “Regents’ Professor” serves as recognition of the highest merit and unusual contributions to the quality of Northern Arizona University. It is reserved for faculty members with exceptional achievements that have brought them national or international distinction.

“Without question, Dr. Grabe is considered by his colleagues and peers to be a distinguished scholar of national and international repute,” said Thomas McPoil, chair of the Regents’ Professor Nominations Committee. “He is not only a prolific scholar but is recognized as an international leader in the area of applied linguistics.”

McPoil, a Regents’ Professor of physical therapy and athletic training, added, “He is an outstanding teacher of exceptional ability who has played a major role in the development of NAU’s nationally recognized Ph.D. program in applied linguistics.”

Grabe also has worked with the U.S. State Department and helped modernize the TOEFL test of English language abilities.

Support for Grabe’s nomination has come from deans and professors throughout campus as well as peers from institutions across the United States.

“It is a real honor to be recommended as a Regents’ Professor,” Grabe said. “This is one of the major highlights of my academic career. I especially appreciate the fact that a good part of the process involves recommendations by colleagues at NAU.”

In addition to his teaching duties, Grabe has served as interim vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies; associate chair and chair of the English department; executive director of the Academic Chairs Council; two-term member of the Faculty Senate; and co-chair of the Northern Arizona Task Force on Higher Education.

“NAU has been a great home institution for my academic career,” Grabe said. “I am particularly grateful to my colleagues and the opportunities NAU has given me to contribute to the institution and to grow as a scholar. I am truly honored by this recognition of my work and my commitment to NAU.”