William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

Distinguished Teaching Award Selection Process

Since 1982, a Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award is presented annually in each of two categories:  Associate Professor/Professor and Lecturer/Professor of Practice/Assistant Professor. The award nomination and review processes have always been student-driven; an explicit student nomination process was discontinued in 1999, when it was determined that too few students were participating to identify the best candidates.

Since 1999, a group of five finalists in each of the two categories is selected based on student ratings of instruction completed during a calendar year.   All instructional personnel who received at least 35 student ratings during spring and fall semesters within that calendar year are eligible except for those who are previous winners, department chairs, teaching assistants, temporary hires, etc.  Eligible faculty are ranked by their cumulative average of the 7-Dimensions on the survey for the given year. The top 5 in each category are selected as finalists.

During the spring semester, these finalists are recognized and inducted into the Academy of Teaching Excellence at a banquet.  The campus community is encouraged to submit comments regarding the finalist’s capabilities as a teacher, and each finalist is asked whether current classes can be surveyed for additional input.  Near the end of spring semester, a committee that broadly represents campus meets to select a winner in each category. (This committee was originally identified by a donor who funded the very first teaching award at Michigan Tech.  The committee includes a representative of the CTL, the University Senate President (or designee), the V.P of Student Affairs (or designee), and representatives of Alumni Relations, Advancement, University Communications/Marketing, Blue Key, USG, and GSG.) Committee members individually review all collected comments received regarding the finalists, along with the qualifying numerical student evaluations.  Each committee member ranks the finalists, and then the group shares/discusses the rankings and selects a recipient in each category.

All finalists are notified during early summer regarding the outcome of the review process; recipients are announced via various media.   Each awardee receives a one time award of $2500 in additional compensation and a plaque. The actual award presentations take place with the other major university awards for Research, Service, and Diversity at an event held during fall semester.