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Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

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, 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, 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 ( 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).
  • Examples of achievements in inclusive teaching and mentoring practices are especially welcome, as is alignment with the College’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Plan, particularly in the areas of access for diverse groups of students, transfer students, and others.

Calendar for Submission and Evaluation of Nominations: Nominations accepted until mid-to-late February. Nominations will be reviewed by the LSA Curriculum Committee, which will recommend an award recipient to the LSA Executive Committee. The successful unit will be notified in May and will be 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.