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Distinguished Teaching Awards
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Submit printed material to:
Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards
University Ceremonies,
Indiana Memorial Union, M005, Bloomington

For additional information email:
or call 812-855-3761.

Submit electronically to:

Guideline information:

The Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards wishes to bring to your attention the opportunity for submitting nominations for the All University Teaching Awards.

The purpose of these awards is to call attention to the importance of teaching as well as to recognize those who have demonstrated excellence. The faculty awards are made at the Celebration of Distinguished Teaching Dinner, and a cash award goes with the certificate. The amount of the cash award becomes a permanent supplement to the awardee's salary in subsequent fiscal years for as long as the awardee remains employed at Indiana University. The Lieber Associate Instructor Awards are also given at Founders Day and they receive, in addition to the certificate, a one‑time cash award.  The awards to be presented in 2009 are listed below:

  • Sylvia E. Bowman Award
  • Frederic Bachman Lieber Award
  • Herman F. Lieber Award
  • President's Awards
  • Lieber Associate Instructor Awards

To view a complete list of previous recipients go here.

Individuals may make nominations directly to the Committee or they may submit nominations through departmental chairpersons or deans.  Serious consideration should be given to the nomination of faculty members. The committee does not consider visiting or emeriti faculty nor former All University Teaching Award recipients for these awards.  For the Sylvia E. Bowman, Frederic Bachman Lieber, the Herman F. Lieber, and the President’s  Awards, the committee will only consider tenured full-time faculty (or faculty holding an equivalent appointment in a continuing full-time position) who have taught for five or more years at Indiana University.  In a change from previous years, the committee will also consider lecturers for the President’s Award.  Please be sure to carefully read the eligibility requirements for these awards.  The following suggestions for evidence are presented for use in preparing a dossier.


The quantity and quality of information submitted in support of a nomination have tended to vary considerably in the past. While there is no wish to demand an artificial uniformity in the documents submitted to it, the Committee believes that some description of what it looks for when evaluating nominations may be helpful.

All the awards are given in recognition of distinguished teaching; a candidate must be judged, therefore, in terms of his or her accomplishments as a teacher. Evidence concerning a candidate's excellence in research, in administrative duties, or in public service is relevant only so far as the information helps explain the candidate's effectiveness as a teacher.

Similarly, statements concerning a candidate's personality or popularity are significant only when they help demonstrate or define the precise nature of the individual's excellence in teaching. The Committee naturally is interested in knowing all it can about the individuals it must evaluate, BUT its decisions must rest primarily upon information that is offered to substantiate superiority in teaching.

The more precise such information is, the more likely it is to gain favorable consideration.

  • The Committee is interested in knowing the particular way in which a candidate has displayed his or her abilities to best advantage:

    -- whether he or she is most outstanding in lecturing,
    -- as a leader of small seminars and classes,
    -- and/or as a guide for students in their independent projects.

  • The Committee wishes to learn through the required self‑analysis how the candidate has enlarged the content or elevated the intellectual level of his or her courses, how the candidate has used constructive feedback from  student evaluations and peer reviews to improve his or her teaching, and how his or her teaching activities have contributed to the intellectual growth of  both the students and the candidate.

  • The Committee is concerned with the candidate's rigor as a teacher.  It seeks evidence that the candidate has been doing not simply a good job but a distinguished one and that his or her contribution to students, to the department and to the University as a whole testifies to exceptional abilities and efforts.

This evidence may be derived from various sources. While the Committee appreciates the opinions of a candidate's students, as well as those of colleagues and supervisors, it usually values these opinions in direct proportion to their spontaneity. It does not, therefore, recommend deliberate campaigns to solicit student support. It finds the view of students most informative when the students are least aware that these views may affect their teacher's chances of receiving an important award. In general, the Committee is more impressed by the quality than by the number of endorsements that a candidate receives.  Student course evaluations submitted as part of a candidate's dossier should be accompanied by an explanation of how the evaluations were administered. An explanation of the methods by which evaluations and endorsements were obtained helps insure that the Committee will weigh them appropriately.

Those professors who do not receive awards in the year when they first are nominated are automatically reconsidered by the Committee for an additional year.  New supporting evidence may be submitted in the second year. 


In addition to the general guidelines above, an outline of more specific items is given below.
The Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards suggests that supporting documentation be submitted in the following order on as many of the items as appropriate. All material submitted must be placed in a single three‑ring binder of no more than 2 inches in width.

  1. Curriculum vita of the individual being nominated.

  2. Number of years of teaching at Indiana University (include the specific dates) and present position and rank.

  3. Nomination letter.  Nominators should substantiate why the person is qualified for the award by references to specific teaching qualities and activities.  There should be no more than one letter of nomination; the dossier may include one additional letter of support from an academic administrator (Dean, Chairperson, Vice Chancellor) supporting the nomination.

  4. Courses taught at Indiana University listed by semester and enrollment. (Be sure to include course number and title).  Distinguish between undergraduate (lower-level), undergraduate (upper-level), and graduate courses.

  5. Self‑analysis. The committee considers this statement of self-reflection to be of   central importance and gives it much weight in its deliberations.  In the statement candidates should discuss their teaching philosophy and how it is put into practice. Included should be an account of any efforts undertaken to analyze teaching, with specific reference to self-improvement and student accomplishment in its broadest sense.  The statement should be between 5 and 8 pages, double-spaced.

  6. Systematic course or program development. Include materials or descriptions and evaluation data if available.  Please include samples of recent syllabi.

  7. Student evaluations of teaching.  Candidates should provide summary tables and charts and reflect on how they utilize these evaluations in their own professional growth.  The committee wants to see a sample of complete course evaluations.  These should be carefully chosen to reflect all areas taught (lower-level and upper-level undergraduate and graduate, if applicable).  Include all student comments for each course selected for evaluation.

  8. Letters of support.  There should be no more than five letters from students (choose carefully), five letters from colleagues, and five letters from external or community members.

  9. Peer Review of Teaching.  No more than three letters should be included and they should be formative evaluations.

  10. Administrative evaluations. Indicate areas specific to teaching.

  11. Research and publications related to teaching. List publications and submit abstracts if possible.  Include any public dissemination of teaching materials and methods.   

  12. Academic student counseling and mentoring. Describe any unusual activities, such as working with students in special needs areas.

All letters written in support of a nomination will be reviewed by members of the Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards.  Once award recipients have been selected, segments of the letters will be used in the printed program and the script that is prepared for the awards ceremony. Excerpts from the letters also may be used in the university’s efforts to publicize these honors, in print and on-line.

All items should be submitted in a paper format.  In addition, all items should also be submitted electronically as a pdf file.  Please see for information on how to submit requested items electronically.    

In order to give the Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards time to consider nominees and make final selections, materials should be sent to the Committee on Distinguished Teaching Awards, University Ceremonies, Board of Trustees, IMU M005, IU Bloomington, and submitted electronically, on or before October 16, 2008.  If you need additional information, please email or call 812-855-3761.