The Academy of Distinguished Teachers at Southern Methodist University is an organization consisting of recipients of the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. It serves the academic community through the Center of Teaching Excellence by actively fostering superior teaching and learning through colloquia, workshops, lectures and mentoring. Four faculty are selected each spring to serve two years in the Academy, receiving $10,000 as part of the award. Detailed information and guidelines for membership are listed below.
Nominations will come from specific sectors of our academic community, as follows:
- Deans: three nominations from the Dean of Dedman (one from each division), plus one nomination each from the Deans of Cox, Lyle Engineering, Meadows, Perkins, Law and Simmons.
- Chairs: one nomination from each department chair with less than 10 tenured faculty in the schools of Dedman, Cox, Meadows, Simmons and Lyle Engineering, and two nominations from each department chair with 10 or more tenured faculty in the schools of Dedman, Cox, Meadows, Simmons and Lyle Engineering. Two nominations each, from the Associate Deans of Perkins School of Theology, and the Dedman School of Law.
- Senate: Nine nominations from the Faculty Senate representing the three Dedman divisions, Cox, Meadows, Simmons, Lyle Engineering, Law and Theology, and seven nominations from the Student Senate representing the three Dedman divisions, Cox, Meadows, Simmons, and Lyle Engineering.
- Graduate Students: three nominations from the Dedman Graduate Student Assembly representing the Dedman divisions; one nomination each from the Meadows Graduate Council, Cox Student Advisory Board, Perkins Student Association, School of Engineering Graduate Student Council, and the Student Bar Association.
- Academy of Distinguished Teachers: Each Academy member may make one nomination.
Criteria for Nomination
Nominations should be in the form of an email or e-letter attachment addressed to the Center for Teaching Excellence, firstname.lastname@example.org, briefly listing the merits of the nominee and what first-hand knowledge the nominator has of the nominee's teaching activities. To be eligible, nominees must:
- be full-time, tenured SMU faculty;
- have been at SMU for at least five years;
- be in residence for the two-year Academy membership;
- show demonstrable excellence in teaching; and
- show demonstrable commitment to student learning.
Nominators are encouraged to contact nominees in advance in order to confirm any of these criteria. Nomination alone is considered an honor; confidentiality ought not to be a concern. It is also entirely possible that some faculty could be nominated by more than one nominator.
All letters of nomination are due by the deadline specified in the nomination solicitation that is sent to eligible nominators. Nominations will not be accepted after that date. Upon receipt of nomination, the Center will send the nominee a request for information to build his or her e-dossier. Items required for the nominee's e-dossier are:
- Current curriculum vitae.
- Brief statement of philosophy of teaching and a description of any innovative teaching methods used (no more than two pages).
- List of all courses taught during the previous two teaching semesters.
- Student evaluations of courses from the previous two teaching semesters. Written student comments should be included where available. A ' key' must accompany numerical summaries.
- Syllabi from each unique course taught currently, and over the previous two teaching semesters.
- Student rosters for classes in most recent semester.
Completed e-dossiers from all nominees must be received by the date specified in the nomination notification letter. Members of the Center's Board and Academy members will review all information submitted and provide a list of finalists to the Provost. An announcement of the four selected awardees will be made before the end of the spring semester.