Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment A
Faculty Senate Minutes
February 5, 2002

TO: Faculty Senate
FROM: Joel B. Piperberg
RE: 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 effective teachers.

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 prerequisite.

If you are interested in specific guidelines on any of these, let me know.

Good luck.

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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