Professor achieves top Regents’ honor

Jeremy Taff

Halfway around the world, G. Edward Schuh received a fax telling him he won the University’s highest faculty honor.
The correspondence came from University President Mark Yudof, who was congratulating Schuh for being named a Regents’ professor. Schuh is in Uganda helping the African nation’s top officials formulate agricultural policies.
Although the Board of Regents unanimously approved the appointment Friday, the University waited until Tuesday to make the formal announcement.
“Having that title has been a desire of mine since my arrival at the University of Minnesota,” Schuh said in a letter to Yudof. “But I have always assumed it was beyond my reach.”
Schuh, the former dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
There are about 20 Regents’ professors at a time. One is named only in the instance of retirement, death or change of school by a Regents’ professor. Along with the title comes a $10,000-per-year stipend.
Schuh replaces former Regents’ professor for the School of Music Dominick Argento, who held the position for 18 years before he retired at the end of 1997.
Argento joked that the 20 Regents’ professors from different disciplines make up the “palace guard” of the presidency.
“We had a one-on-one position with the president,” Argento said. “Bringing concerns of our colleagues to the president might not have been as easy” for a regular faculty member.
A special committee reviews nominees and forwards its choice to regents, who hold the final say.
To be eligible for consideration, professors must be nominated by their colleagues, who send in letters from peers and former students. Contributions to the University and the professor’s field of study are also important.
Schuh is the Orville and Jane Freeman Chair in International Trade and Investment Policy at the Humphrey Institute. His interest in international affairs fuels his worldwide travel.
Before arriving in Uganda, he spent time in Brazil. His wife, Maria Ignez, is currently working in the South American country.
One of Schuh’s three daughters, Audrey Schuh Moore, said her father phoned with the news during the weekend.
“He’s very excited and honored,” Schuh Moore said. “We’re all really proud of him and his accomplishment.”
Regents will honor Schuh at their June meeting where he will be awarded the official medallion of the Regents’ professors.