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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.

Documentation Required

Please submit a nomination packet justifying why your unit deserves this award. The packet should include the following:

1. Completed Nomination Form outlining how the department meets the evaluation criteria listed above. The Nomination Form will function to introduce the nomination packet, so please do not include a cover letter!
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 table below. The relevant data are available through the LSA Technology Services Administrative Portal, under Key Performance Indicators; questions may be directed to
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 Assistant Dean Dorine Lawrence-Hughes ( and Cameron Gibelyou ( 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

Department Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education - Recipients

2021 Department of Film, Television, and Media
2020 Department of Sociology
2017 Germanic Languages and Literatures
2015 Chemistry
2014 Mathematics
2013 History
2012 Women's Studies
2011 Residential College/Linguistics
2010 Romance Languages and Literatures
2009 Chemistry
2008 Program in the Environment
2007 Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
2006 Physics
2005 Psychology
2004 Organizational Studies
2003 History
2002 Asian Languages and Cultures
2002 Film and Video Studies
2001 Classical Studies
2001 Center for Afroamerican and African Studies
2000 Biology
1999 History of Art
1998 Linguistics
1997 English Language and Literature
1996 Germanic Languages and Literatures
1995 Psychology
1994 Mathematics
1993 Chemistry