Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

Background: In 1992, LSA initiated a program to reward units for their contributions to the reinvigoration of undergraduate education in the College. Each year, one LSA teaching unit is awarded a Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education (formerly known as the Departmental Award for Contributions to the Undergraduate Initiative), in recognition of its contribution to excellence and innovation in undergraduate education in the College. The award, which recognizes serious collective effort on the part of a unit, is meant to complement the Individual Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education (formerly known as the Excellence in Education Awards), which are given to individual faculty members.

Eligibility: LSA departments and programs with teaching missions within the College are eligible. If you have questions as to whether your department qualifies, please contact Cameron Gibelyou (gibelyou@umich.edu). A unit may receive this award as frequently as once every four years. Please do not apply if your department has won in the past three years.

Evaluation Criteria: This award recognizes units that are exceptionally dedicated to the educational experiences of undergraduates, and that demonstrate this dedication through tangible achievements and innovations. Examples of achievements for which the award should be considered include:

  • Long-term track record of excellent teaching, course design, curriculum review and development, and advising for undergraduates.
  • New innovations (often curricular innovations, especially in the teaching of large survey courses) that make the unit a leader in undergraduate teaching and advising within the College.
  • Good-faith alignment with College priorities (e.g., engaging students in research, internship opportunities integrated into the academic program) and with broader priorities (e.g., the Provost’s interest in action-based, immersive, hands-on learning, or the University’s interest in flipped classrooms and electronic delivery).

Calendar for Submission and Evaluation of Nominations: A call for nominations is sent out in mid-January each year, with nominations accepted until mid-February. An advisory committee and the Dean select award recipients by the end of April. The successful unit is presented an award of $25,000 at the beginning of the following academic year. How these funds are used is at the discretion of the unit, though uses should conform to normal University rules and should be directed toward the benefit of undergraduate teaching and the undergraduate experience within the unit.

Documentation Required

Please submit a nomination packet justifying why your unit deserves this award. The packet should include the following:
1. A 3-5 page letter (single-spaced, standard font and margins) outlining how the department meets the evaluation criteria listed above. This could include information about educational innovations and results; new curricular revisions, challenges, and solutions; long-term changes to instruction that have produced exceptional benefits for students; efforts to unify your department around the undergraduate teaching mission; efforts to engage with undergraduates across departmental boundaries; teaching achievements of individual faculty members within the department; examples of student success inside and outside the classroom related to their engagement with your department, and so forth.
2. EITHER: A summary, no more than 2 pages long, of key comments that students have made about the unit and their educational experiences within it. These may be drawn from teaching evaluations, or solicited by the unit. Please do NOT include the official teaching-evaluation forms from any given class.
OR: Two letters of support from current or former students who have declared majors or minors in the unit. Each letter should be limited to no more than one page (single-spaced, standard font and margins).
3. Instructional data for the department from the past year—that is, please complete the attached table. Relevant data are available from the LSA Management Information System. (Any questions about access and use of MIS tools should be directed at Rob Wilke, rfw@umich.edu.)
4. (Optional) Up to 15 additional pages of supporting documentation, including reports, strategic plans, curricular revisions, course fliers, and so forth.

All submissions should be in electronic form. Paper submissions will not be accepted. Each nomination should be sent as a SINGLE PDF file to Associate Dean Phil Deloria (pdeloria@umich.edu) and Cameron Gibelyou (gibelyou@umich.edu). Please title the PDF file “Department Contributions, [Name of Department]”.

 

Table from #3:

Number of TT Faculty FTE Number of Majors Graduated Last Year Student Credit Hours - Undergraduate, Lower Level Student Credit Hours - Undergraduate, Upper Level
       
Instructor Credit Hours - TT Faculty Instructor Credit Hours - Lecturers Instructor Credit Hours - GSIs Instructor Credit Hours - Others
       

 

Sample Evaluation Form


College of Literature, Science & the Arts 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1382 © 2014 Regents of the University of Michigan