Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Overview

A well-crafted nomination for this award would clearly address sustained excellence and innovation in undergraduate teaching and contributions to undergraduate learning beyond classroom instruction. These are the principal campus awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Up to 13 recipients will be chosen (5 members of the faculty, 5 graduate teaching assistants, and 3 members of the instructional staff). The award consists of an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.

Calendar*

Nominations are only accepted from colleges. Contact your college to determine its deadline for departmental submissions.

February 1 – Deadline for college nominations to be submitted.

Early March – Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified.

April – Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

*When a deadline falls on a weekend or campus holiday, nominations will be due the next business day.

Eligibility

Faculty:

  • Tenure system faculty on the Illinois campus
  • Taught on the Illinois campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Specialized Faculty:

  • Specialized faculty on the Illinois campus
  • Taught on the Illinois campus for at least 5 years
  • Has not won this award in the previous 10 years

Teaching Assistants:

  • Taught on the Illinois campus for at least two semesters. The semesters need not have been taught consecutively.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Sustained excellence in undergraduate teaching
  • Innovative approaches to undergraduate teaching
  • The overall positive impact on undergraduate student learning
  • Other contributions to improve undergraduate instruction (e.g., engaging students in the classroom; developing courses and curricula; mentoring graduate teaching assistants; leading workshops on pedagogy; advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning; or making other multidimensional contributions beyond the classroom, laboratory, or studio; etc.)

Nominations

A nomination may be submitted by students, faculty members, administrators, or alumni, and should be submitted to a departmental selection committee.* (See Selection section below for additional information.)

Any academic unit offering undergraduate instruction may nominate no more than one faculty candidate and no more than one member of the instructional staff; however, more than one graduate teaching assistant may be nominated.

*Faculty members, instructional staff, or graduate teaching assistants nominated during a particular year should not be serving on the departmental selection committee during that same year.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below, and should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination:

  • The standard cover page (Attachment A) with the appropriate signatures. (Not to exceed 1 page.)
  • A nomination letter addressing each of the Evaluation Criteria described above. The nomination letter should indicate why the nominee is exceptional as an excellent advisor of undergraduate students. (Not to exceed 3 pages.)
  • A philosophy statement provided by the nominee. This statement should include a discussion of the challenges, methods, and goals of undergraduate advising. (Not to exceed 2 pages.)
  • A longitudinal ICES profile from the Center for Teaching Excellence (Attachment B).
  • Two letters of support* from students, preferably one from a graduate student currently enrolled at Illinois and one from an alumnus. (See Attachment C for a sample solicitation letter.) (Not to exceed 2 pages each.)

*NOTE: Letters from students should be solicited by the departmental selection committee, not the nominee. The nominee may be asked to suggest some names and the department should add some names.

Attachments

Attachment A: Nomination Cover Sheet
Attachment C: Sample Letter Request from Former Student

Submission

Nominations should be submitted first to a departmental committee. This committee will select its final candidates to forward to the college. (The college may establish a limit for the number of candidates each departmental committee can submit.)

A college committee, which should include at least one undergraduate student member, will select the final candidate nominations to submit to campus. The number of nominations (based roughly on the size of the unit) that each college committee is encouraged to submit to the campus selection committee is as follows:

                                                                   NUMBER OF NOMINEES TO BE SUBMITTED
Faculty Specialized Faculty Graduate TAs
ACES 2 1 2
Applied Health Sciences 2 1 2
Education 2 1 2
Fine & Applied Arts 2 1 2
Business 3 2 3
Engineering 3 2 3
Liberal Arts & Sciences 6 4 6
TOTALS 22 14 22

 

Nominations are only accepted from colleges and must be submitted using this online form. The nomination deadline is 11:59 p.m. February 1. If this date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. the next business day.

Selection

The campus selection process is overseen by the Teaching Advancement Board, and is advisory to the Provost. Recipient(s) and their nominator(s) will be notified by early March. Awards are presented at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence.

Assistance

For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Instruction, contact Melinda Schaefer or Kristi Kuntz in the Office of the Provost at tab-awards@illinois.edu or 217-333-6677.