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College of Arts & Sciences

A&S Outstanding Teacher Awards

Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award; Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award

Eligible Nominees: Groups I and II faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences are eligible for Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award and the Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award. A faculty member may receive an Outstanding Teacher Award more than once, but when an individual does receive the award (either the Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award or the Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award), an interval of six years (including the year of the award) must pass before that person is eligible to receive an Outstanding Teacher Award again.

Criteria for Award Selection by College of Arts & Sciences Awards Committee

The Committee will assess each nominee in the following categories.

Classroom performance. Evidence of superior classroom performance may include student evaluations, evidence of standards, peer and departmental evaluations including peer observations, alumni responses to questionnaires, public recognition of outstanding teaching such as a University Professor award, sample syllabi, student assignments, and any other appropriate information which establishes a person as an outstanding classroom teacher. Include scholarly activity when there is a strong link between it and classroom performance. More weight will be given to this category than to categories 2 and 3.

Involvement with students beyond the classroom. Evidence of significant involvement with students beyond the classroom may include documentation of dedication to advising, sponsorship of student activities and organizations, including honor societies, membership in an organization dedicated to excellent student-professor relations, such as the Danforth Fellowship, and any other appropriate information that establishes the nominee as a person dedicated to quality student life in other than the classroom setting.

Involvement in departmental curriculum development and in the spectrum of the department's course offerings. Evidence of contributions to a department's curricular development may include the nominee's involvement in new course and experimental course development, curriculum and program design, implementation of new approaches to instruction, and successful innovations in teaching effectiveness.

Evidence of broad involvement in a department's offerings may include activity from basic undergraduate course teaching to conducting graduate seminars. (If a nominee is active only in a specific area or at a specific level of instruction, evidence for excellence should be based on the nominee’s position description or on solid justification for the limited instructional involvement.) If appropriate, evidence of unusual teaching loads and involvement in special work such as supervising special study, conducting honors-tutorial work, or directing graduate research should be included here also.

Nomination Process

Five awards for outstanding faculty teaching may be given in any one academic year. Three outstanding teachers will be selected, one each from the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences, to receive the Grasselli Faculty Teaching Award, and two outstanding teachers will be selected from any department or program to receive the Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award. No specific limit is placed on the number of nominees from one department or program. Nominations should come from:

  • Departments or programs, via an appropriate committee (e.g., evaluation, curriculum, promotion and tenure, advisory, or executive); or
  • Any fulltime faculty member. (Self-nominations are not acceptable.) Nominators and nominees need not be from the same department.

Nomination letters of up to three double-spaced pages should describe how the nominee meets the award criteria. Nominations and supporting material should be sent in pdf format to Erin Thompson by March 30. Each nominator is responsible for assembling and documenting the necessary evidence in support of the nominee.

Department chairs and program directors are encouraged to cooperate with any faculty member seeking evidence in support of a nomination. In addition, chairs and directors are encouraged to coordinate the nomination of a faculty member who is nominated by two or more colleagues, in order to reduce the possibility of duplicate nominations being sent to the Awards Committee.

Award Selection and Recognition

Selections will be made by the Arts & Sciences Awards Committee during Spring Semester, and the awards will be announced at the college Faculty and Staff Welcome Celebration in the fall semester of the next academic year. Award recipients will receive a certificate and a $1,000 employee award.

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College of Arts & Sciences