Colorado State University Awards Highest Honor to Three Faculty Who Join University Distinguished Professor Ranks

Colorado State University today bestowed its highest honor on three faculty members by naming them University Distinguished Professors, an honor reserved for only 12 faculty who have achieved national and international distinction in their academic careers.

In a ceremony today, Colorado State President Albert C. Yates named Barry Beaty, microbiology professor; Anne Fisher, occupational therapy professor; and Bernard Rollin, philosophy professor and bioethicist, as the newest University Distinguished Professors.

"University Distinguished Professors are more than just internationally acclaimed scholars – they are the embodiment of Colorado State University’s commitment to excellence," Yates said. "In the careers of these new University Distinguished Professors, we have a clear demonstration that the faculty at Colorado State truly are leaders in their fields.

"Their accomplishments and scholarship bring honor and esteem to our university and to higher education throughout the nation. As citizens of the world’s society, we all stand to benefit greatly from the research and intellectual pursuits of these outstanding members of the university."

A maximum of 12 faculty members at the university may hold the ranking of University Distinguished Professor, which is a permanent designation. To obtain the rank, faculty members are nominated through an extensive review process and must be approved by the current University Distinguished Professors. The final approval comes when President Yates seeks endorsement from the university’s governing board.

Barry Beaty, Department of Microbiology

Barry Beaty, professor of virology in the Department of Microbiology, is a leading researcher at Colorado State’s Arthropod-borne Infectious Disease Laboratory. His team has been actively involved in researching the diagnosis, prevention and control of diseases like yellow fever, malaria, Dengue fever, West Nile virus and mosquito-borne encephalitis. Mosquitoes are the most important vector of human parasitic disease. Mosquito-borne viruses continue to kill millions of people in third-world countries.

Beaty and his team have been studying ways of genetically altering mosquitoes to make them viral-resistant and, therefore, unable to carry these diseases.

Beaty, who is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Program, has been a program leader with the MacArthur Foundation Network on the Biology of Parasite Vectors since 1990.

Anne G. Fisher, Department of Occupational Therapy

As a researcher, teacher, adviser and consultant in occupational therapy, Anne Fisher has achieved national and international prominence and has distinguished herself as a scholar in the field. Her work focuses on two areas: the development, expansion and refinement of major existing occupational therapy theories in addition to developing original theories, and the development of an international, cross-cultural assessment of rehabilitation based on her own innovative measurement systems.

Fisher, the first woman named as a University Distinguished Professor, developed the Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model in response to international needs for effectively measuring rehabilitation efforts. The OTIMP, a new model being taught in occupational therapy curricula throughout the world, helps clients from 3 to more than 100 years of age perform daily activities safely and independently.

She is the first occupational therapist to obtain major, continuous funding – over $1.5 million since 1993 – from the prestigious and highly competitive National Institutes of Health/National Institutes on Aging.

Bernard E. Rollin, Department of Philosophy

Bernard Rollin, professor of philosophy and physiology at Colorado State, is perhaps the world’s foremost bioethicist and the "father of veterinary medical ethics" in the United States. Trained in traditional philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and at Columbia University, in the mid-1970s Rollin began to examine questions of animal experimentation, animal pain and consciousness and the moral status of the animal in society.

He has published 12 books on general philosophy, genetic engineering, farm animal welfare and animal consciousness and pain. Working with Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, he devised legislation that became federal law in 1985, regulating the veterinary and scientific treatment of animals.

Each University Distinguished Professor receives a special medallion and a permanent base salary increase of $7,500. With the three new members, the university now has 11 active University Distinguished Professors. Current members of the group are:

  • Patrick Brennan, microbiology,
  • Edward Hoover, pathology,
  • Gordon Niswender, physiology,
  • Holmes Rolston III, philosophy,
  • George Seidel, physiology,
  • Gary Smith, animal sciences,
  • Thomas VonderHaar, atmospheric science, and
  • John Wiens, biology.

The naming of the University Distinguished Professors highlighted the Celebrate Colorado State! Honors Luncheon held annually to recognize contributions of the university community.