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Distinguished Teaching Awards

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Each year, the University of Oregon awards crystal apples—symbols of teaching excellence—to three of its top teachers. The Thomas F. Herman Award is given to faculty members who have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching at the university. The Ersted Award recognizes excellence in teaching by faculty members early in their teaching careers. This year, with the generous support of Mr. Herman, we also encourage nominations for a new award, the Herman Award for Excellence in Pedagogy. 

Nominations come from faculty, students, and staff, and the recipients are decided on by a committee made up of faculty who have previously won the awards. The awards are supported by endowment funds and each faculty recipient receives a monetary award. Names of nominees and the eventual award winners are kept confidential until announced by the University President in mid-May. Recipients are recognized at University Convocation in the fall. 

Nominations for 2015 will open in January.

Read about the 2014 winners.
 

About the Awards 

Ersted Award:

The late Mr. A.J. Ersted established the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching so the University of Oregon could annually honor faculty members who have taught comparatively short periods and have demonstrated exceptional abilities to induce students to reason and not merely memorize. The Ersted Award is presented only to faculty who are early in their teaching careers, and who have taught at the University of Oregon for at least two years. This teaching may occur at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Herman Faculty Achievement Award:

The Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching honors senior faculty members who have achieved outstanding records as teachers. The Herman Award is presented only to faculty members who have held academic rank at the University of Oregon for at least seven years, have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching, and have contributed significantly to student learning at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Herman Pedagogy Award:

The Thomas F. Herman Award for Excellence in Pedagogy recognizes senior faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and expertise in a particular area of teaching.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • specialized instructional environments (e.g., large-classes; advanced, small-seminar teaching; studios; or labs).
  • pedagogical advancements (such as technologically-innovative instruction or curriculum design).
  • enrichment of the student learning experience (e.g., extensive mentoring of undergraduate or graduate students, engaging undergraduates in research, or developing skills in public presentation).

 

Eligibility

Any current faculty member, tenure-related or NTTF, appointed at .50 FTE or greater, who has taught at the University of Oregon for at least two years is eligible for an award. The Herman Faculty Achievement Award and the Herman Awards for Excellence in Pedagogy are open to faculty who have held academic rank at the University of Oregon for at least seven years. Faculty who have previously received an Ersted or Herman Faculty Achievement Award are not eligible for the same award. For a list of previous award winners, see Teaching Award Winners.

Graduate Teaching Fellows have their own teaching awards and are not eligible for the Ersted Award or either of the Herman Awards.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can submit nominations?

Faculty, staff, students and alumni

Who can be nominated?

Any current faculty member, tenure-related or NTTF, appointed at .50 FTE or greater, who has taught at the University of Oregon for at least 2 years. Eligibility for either of the Herman Awards requires a faculty member to have held academic rank at the university for at least 7 years.

Can teachers who have won previously be nominated?

Previous winners of the Ersted Award and the Herman Faculty Achievement Award cannot be nominated for the same award. A faculty member who won the Ersted Award early in her career would be eligible for the Herman Award once her seniority made her eligible. Recipients of the Herman Award for Excellence in Pedagogy are eligible for additional pedagogy awards or for the Herman Faculty Achievement Award.  For a list of previous award winners visit Distinguished Teaching Awards Previous Winners.

What about GTFs?

No. GTFs have their own teaching awards sponsored by the Graduate School and the Teaching Effectiveness Program. You can learn about those awards at the TEP website.

When are the awards announced? 

The awards are announced by the University President in mid-May and recipients are recognized at University Convocation in the fall.

What does the award involve? 

Both the Ersted Award and the Herman Award for Faculty Achievement include institutional recognition for teaching excellence and a permanent salary stipend.  During the first year, faculty recipients receive $4,000, with annual stipends of $2,000 beginning in the second year.  The Herman Award for Excellence in Pedagogy carries a one-time stipend of $4,000.

What's the difference between the awards? 

The Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching was established by the late Mr. A. J. Ersted and honors faculty who "have taught comparatively short time periods and have demonstrated exceptional abilities to induce students to reason and not merely memorize.” This teaching may occur at the undergraduate or graduate level. Eligible recipients will have been at the University of Oregon at least two years, but fewer than seven.

The Thomas F. Herman Faculty Achievement Award for Distinguished Teaching honors senior faculty members who have achieved outstanding records as teachers. The award is presented only to faculty members who have held academic rank at the University of Oregon for at least seven years. Recipients are faculty members who have demonstrated long-standing excellence in teaching, and have contributed significantly to student learning at the undergraduate or graduate level.

The Thomas F. Herman Award for Excellence in Pedagogy recognizes senior faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and expertise in a particular area of teaching.  Examples include, but are not limited to: specialized instructional environments (such as large-classes; advanced, small-seminar teaching; studios; or labs), pedagogical advancements (such as technologically-innovative instruction or curriculum design), and enrichment of the student learning experience (such as extensive mentoring of undergraduate or graduate students, engaging undergraduates in research, or developing skills in public presentation).  Eligibility for these awards is the same as that for the Herman Faculty Achievement Awards insofar as nominees must have held academic rank at the University of Oregon for at least seven years.

How many awards are made each year?

Three faculty members each year are awarded Ersted and/or Herman Faculty Achievement Awards.  The number of each award type varies with the pool of nominees.  In 2013-14, up to four faculty will receive Herman Awards for Excellence in Pedagogy.

Who selects the award recipients?

The Distinguished Teaching Awards Committee is responsible for “screening, investigation, and recommendation of candidates to receive campus-wide teaching awards.”  The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs is the convenor of the committee and Academic Affairs administers the process.

What information will I need to fill out the nomination form?

  • Name of the faculty member nominated and his/her department
  • Letter of nomination detailing areas of excellence in teaching
  • Name and email address of person making the nomination
  • Status of person making the nomination (student, staff, faculty, or alumni)

How do I submit a nomination?

Nominations are now closed for the 2014 awards.

 

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Meg Mattson in Academic Affairs at 541-346-2414.

This website is currently under revision to make it current and consistent with the new collective bargaining agreement and other relevant UO policies.  Please refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement for current information on associated faculty matters.