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Nomination and Selection Process

Deans are invited to nominate faculty members who have principal appointments in their school or college by Friday, Feb. 25. Nominees must have taught at Northwestern for at least five years, including the current year. Nominations are reviewed by the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee, which is chaired by the provost and includes senior faculty members selected in consultation with Faculty Senate, University administrators and a student representative. The selection committee submits its recommendations to the president.

Deans should submit nomination materials in two PDF files to

The first PDF file should contain the items listed below in the following order:

  1. Cover page indicating the nominee, their position, department, and school as well as the contents of the nomination materials. If possible, please set internal links for each numbered item below.
  2. A nomination letter of no more than three pages from either the school dean or the department chair describing the nominee’s teaching excellence. The nomination letter should address the following:
    • A description of the nominee's activities as a teacher—including the kinds of classes taught, instructional approach, curricular innovation, etc.
    • Evidence that the nominee has had an extraordinary influence on students—for example, on their ability to think critically, master difficult concepts, develop independent insights, and advance creativity and performance.
    • As appropriate, the letter should discuss the nominee's influence beyond the classroom—for example, as a research mentor, or through the development of important and influential educational innovations in one’s field or department.
    • An interpretation of CTEC data and trends in student feedback (see No. 5).
  3. A statement of no more than three pages from the nominee describing his or her goals as a teacher and self-assessment of meeting those goals. The statement should address the nominee's pedagogical philosophy and objectives for student learning: the intellectual and/or creative abilities, habits, insights, and attitudes that the nominee has endeavored to instill in his or her students and evidence that success has been achieved. The statement should be both abstract (in setting forth general pedagogical principles) and concrete (in describing strategies employed to implement those principles).
  4. Letters from no more than four currently enrolled undergraduate students and no more than two students who have graduated but who studied under the nominee as undergraduates describing the ways in which the nominee's teaching significantly facilitated student learning. (Since the awards focus on undergraduate teaching, letters from graduate students should not be included.) Students writing such letters should be urged to be as specific as possible about the ways in which the nominee has distinguished himself or herself as a teacher, mentor, etc.
  5. A list of all courses taught from Winter 2019 through Fall 2021 along with a table including the following summary data from CTECs for each the courses listed. (Summary data from Spring 2020 CTECs is optional.) A template for this table is available here. The Office of the Registrar can assemble this information for you. Should you wish to request this, email no later than Friday, Feb. 18, with your request and the faculty member’s NetID or Employer ID. The data will be returned to you within one week.
    • Course name, number and quarter offered
    • Course enrollment and CTEC percent response
    • Student responses to the following questions:
      • Provide an overall rating of instruction
      • Provide an overall rating of the course
      • Estimate how much you learned in the course
      • Rate the effectiveness of the course in challenging you intellectually
      • Rate the effectiveness of the instructor in stimulating your interest in the subject
  6. Abbreviated current CV of nominee of no more than six pages

The second PDF file should contain the items listed below in the following order:

  1. Syllabi from all courses taught from Winter 2019 through Fall 2021. (Spring 2020 syllabi are optional.)
  2. Instructor CTECs from all courses taught from Winter 2019 through Fall 2021 (Spring 2020 CTECs are optional).


The University Teaching Awards are administered by the Office of the Provost. For questions, please contact