According to our data, 38.5 % of S P 1500 firms have at least one professor on their boards. Given the lack of research examining the roles and effects of academic faculty as members of boards of directors (professor-directors) on corporate outcomes, this study investigates whether firms with professor- directors are more likely to exhibit higher corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance ratings. Results indicate that firms with professor- directors do exhibit higher CSR performance ratings than those without. However, the influence of professor-directors on firm CSR performance ratings depends on their academic background-the positive association between the presence of professor- directors and firm CSR performance ratings is significant only when their academic background is specialized (e.g., science, engineering, and medicine). Finally, this positive association weakens when professor- directors hold an administrative position at their universities.