Runge Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award

The Runge Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes the professional career of a faculty member for their work and achievements in teaching, research and publications, extension and outreach, faculty governance, professional associations and service to the college and campus. 

The award is supported by the U of I Foundation Pat and Ed Runge Distinguished Faculty Award endowment. Dr. Ed Runge has been one of the most visible agronomists in the last half of the 20th century. He received his BS (Ag Ed) and MS (Soils) degrees from the University of Illinois and a PhD (Soils) from Iowa State University. He served on the faculty at Iowa State University (1959-1963), and the University of Illinois (1963-1973); was Professor and Chairman of the Agronomy Department at the University of Missouri (1973-80); was Professor and Department Head of the Soil & Crop Sciences Department at Texas A&M University (1980-1999); was Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois (2000); was Billie Turner Chair in Production Agronomy (2000-2005); and received ACES Alumni Award of Merit (2001). Presently (2022) Ed Runge is Program Director and Judging Panel Chair for Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program at Texas A&M University to train PhD students in rice and wheat breeding.

Pat Runge is a retired registered nurse (BS DePauw) and an award-winning volunteer. They are most proud of their 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

The Award

Each year the college may present one Runge Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award, which includes a $5,000 award, an etched crystal award, and a certificate of recognition. The recipient will be asked to provide a stewardship report to the donor, via the ACES Office of Advancement, indicating how the funds were used.


Nominees must be a member of the tenured or specialized faculty at the associate or full professor rank in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences for the academic year in which the award will be presented; and have less than ten years at that level. 

Individuals on disability, sabbatical leave, and leave without pay are not eligible during leave; however, these leaves are not considered interruptions of service time for subsequent years. Members of the faculty who are full-time administrators are not eligible for the award.

A faculty member may receive the Runge Faculty Distinguished Achievement only once. If an issue arises concerning the eligibility for an award, the issue will be decided by the appropriate associate dean and policy committee chair, depending upon the award for which the nomination has been made.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single PDF and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination: 

1. Nomination cover sheet(you must download the form from Box to complete it). The cover sheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, and relevant affiliations. 

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include major contributions detailing the nominee’s outstanding achievements in teaching, research, extension and outreach, faculty governance, professional associations, and service to college. Contributions to unit and college goals of diversity, equity and inclusion should be noted (six page maximum).

3. Curriculum vitae

4. Letters of support: No more than four letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as past or present colleagues or collaborators. One letter must be from a current ACES faculty/staff member (two page maximum).


Nominees will be evaluated on sustained and comprehensive excellence in the academic performances heretofore identified as central to the land-grant mission. The award recipient will be selected by a selection committee from the college faculty. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for the committee’s operation.

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean, and unit head.