Provost Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching is granted biennially to an academic department, program, or unit in recognition of the collective responsibility of faculty members for maintaining high-quality teaching. The award is intended to recognize documented efforts that improve student learning and outcomes. The monetary award can be used at the discretion of the recipient unit for any purpose authorized for state appropriations. A permanent plaque has been created to move each year to the recipient unit in recognition of the award.

Nomination and Award Process

Nominations to the Provost should consist of a letter from the dean not to exceed three pages. The nomination may be accompanied by no more than ten pages of supporting documentation. An emphasis should be on the collective work of a department or unit rather than the compilation of the accomplishments of individuals. The letter and supporting materials should address the following:

  • What has been the specific goal of this group with respect to providing a learning environment of the highest quality?
  • What has this group done to build and sustain program quality?
  • In what ways has this group advanced the teaching goals of the Division of Academic Affairs? (Examples may include, but are not limited to: active learning strategies, service learning opportunities, student research, and those goals articulated by the Division.)
  • What is the evidence of improved learner outcomes?

After receiving the nominations, the Provost will seek assistance as needed to evaluate the nominations. A final decision will then be made by the Provost who will notify the dean and department or unit concerned.

Award Criteria

All University departments and programs are expected to maintain ongoing methods for enhancing and evaluating teaching performance to encourage and support effective student learning. The Provost’s Award, therefore, is given to a department or program with a documented record of sustained accomplishment, commitment, and innovation in undergraduate or graduate teaching. The award acknowledges unusual efforts on the part of a department or unit to work together to deliver teaching of the highest quality that impacts student learning.

The nomination period is now closed. Nominations were due on January 31, 2024.


Note: Until 2019-2020, the award was granted annually. Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, it was awarded biennially.

  • 2021-2022: University Center for Academic Excellence
  • 2019-2020: Department of Africana Studies
  • 2018-2019: Department of Reading and Elementary Education
  • 2017-2018: Department of Biological Sciences
  • 2016-2017: Department of English
  • 2015-2016: Department of Psychology
  • 2014-2015: Department of Sociology
  • 2013-2014: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • 2012-2013: Department of Communication Studies
  • 2011-2012: Department of Public Health Sciences
  • 2010-2011: no award given
  • 2009-2010: Department of Educational Leadership
  • 2008-2009: Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
  • 2007-2008: Department of Counseling
  • 2006-2007: Department of Software and Information Systems
  • 2005-2006: Office of Student Development and Success – Lee College of Engineering
  • 2004-2005: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2003-2004: Department of History
  • 2002-2003: Department of Family and Community Nursing
  • 2001-2002: Department of Biology
  • 2000-2001: Department of Languages and Culture Studies
  • 1999-2000: Department of Engineering Technology and Department of Philosophy (awarded jointly)
  • 1998-1999: Department of Political Science
  • 1997-1998: Special Education Program
  • 1996-1997: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • 1995-1996: Department of English
  • 1994-1995: Department of Psychology