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.

Criteria for Nomination

Nominations should be in the form of an email or e-letter attachment addressed to the Center for Teaching Excellence,, 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.


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:

  1. Current curriculum vitae.

  2. Brief statement of philosophy of teaching and a description of any innovative teaching methods used.

  3. List of all courses taught during the previous two teaching semesters.

  4. Syllabi from each unique course taught currently, and over the previous two teaching semesters.

CTE will also obtain teaching evaluations for the dossier. Completed dossiers from all nominees must be received by the date specified in the nomination notification letter. Current Altshuler award winners will review all information submitted and provide a list of finalists to the Provost. An announcement of the four selected awardees will be made at the Spring Faculty Meeting.