Teaching Awards Information from the University of Nebraska
and Franklin and Marshall
Teaching Awards at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Greetings Prof. Piperberg,
Jim McShane has asked me to respond to your inquiry regarding how
Teaching Awards are handled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as I am
Director of our Teaching and Learning Center, and have been involved with the
selection processes over 25 years. Over that time we have had several kinds
of award initiatives.
This campus began with Contributed funds to our Foundation that allowed
us to recognize 2-6 outstanding college teachers annually. The contributors
sometimes specified the area such as "Teaching in the Humanities". Typically
nominations materials included a teaching schedule for the past three years
and student evaluations; an abbreviated vita; a nominations letter; a
seconding letter from a colleague and 3-6 letters from colleagues and 3-6
letters from students or former students. A committee at each level (dept.
college, campus) made decisions of whether to forward the nominee or not and
generally the campus-wide committee called the Teaching Council (12 faculty,
4 students, TLC Director, VCAA) made the final recommendation.
Our Contributed Foundation funds have been redirected; however our
legislature has also allocated fifteen teaching awards of $1500 each to each
college to honor deserving teachers. These decisions are made at the college
level and are honored at the annual Honors Convocation. Nominations materials
are similar to those described above.
Foundations funds are now going to a "Systems level" Teaching Award which
honors two teachers annually with recognition dinner plus a one-time stipend
of $5000. They can be from any of four campuses.
The Foundations also provide an annual $25,000 award to the outstanding
Teaching Department on any of the four campuses. UNL has received this a
majority of the time. It requires a portfolio that describes how that dept.
has developed a "Community of Teachers" so the culture is supportive of
Another kind of recognition is co-sponsored by the Teaching Council and
the UNL Parents Association with the goal of stimulating positive discussions
at home with parents/students. Parents are mailed a nominations form for
someone who has made "a significant difference in the lives of their
sons/daughters here at UNL." Each nominee gets a certificate in a
reception/program in the spring with speakers from parents/students/teachers.
When recognition has been achieved at intervals of 5 or 10 years, they get an
additional gift such as paper-weight, etc. This is low-cost, but appreciated
by faculty. Mailing is the big cost.
Finally, we have instituted an "Academy of Distinguished Teachers" which
recognizes those who have made excellent contributions to teaching at UNL over
a career. It is not available for those who are pre-tenure or has been here
but a few years. They are expected to provide leadership in some way in
teaching and to be available for ongoing service to teaching. They get a
$1000 addition to their base salary which goes on indefinitely. These
individuals are selected on the basis of nominations from students/colleagues
and must be supported by their depts. The Teaching Council as well as Academy
members compose a sub-committee that selects two new members each year.
This is a short sketch of the variety of awards we provide at UNL. The
tendency is away from awards toward the academy idea, but all of the academy
members have formerly received a Teaching Award of some kind; that is a
If you are interested in specific guidelines on any of these, let me
Delivee Wright, Director
Teaching and Learning Center
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
121 Benton Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0623
(402) 472-3079 Franklin and Marshall's Lindback Awards
F & M gives two awards, one for teaching and one for research, each year.
Nominations for each award are solicited from each department chair; the
Provost can also make nominations. The nominees are submitted to the F & M
tenure committee and dossiers are assembled for each nominee (teaching
evaluations, peer observations, CVs, etc.). The Tenure committee goes through
the dossiers and votes to determine the awardee. There are about 7 to 10
nominees per year for each award.
The awards are funded (at least partially) by the Lindback Foundation. They
fund awards at a number of colleges and universities, including the University
of Pennsylvania and Temple in addition to F & M. I spoke to a contact person
at the Foundation (Bruce Pipes of F & M gave me her name). She said that we
could apply to the Foundation for funding if we wished. No guarantees and she
did say that they do not like to have clusters of awards in the same areas
but, of course, Penn and Temple are both in Philadelphia.
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