Academic Awards, Honors, and Recognition

Responsible Officer
Rachel Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
Owner
Rachel Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
Primary Contact
Marlo Welshons
Associate to the Provost, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

The University recognizes outstanding contributions to the academic mission by faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota.

These awards, honors, and recognitions reflect the University’s strong and enduring commitment to excellence in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, advising, and scholarship. Recipients must meet the minimum criteria as stated by each award.

Distinguished Teaching Awards

Distinguished Teaching Awards are available to faculty members and academic professional and administrative (P&A) instructional staff at the University of Minnesota, and recognize outstanding contributions to teaching and learning.

Undergraduate Education: Horace T. Morse- University of Minnesota Alumni Association Awards

This honor is awarded annually to exceptional candidates and reflects the University's emphasis on the importance of high quality undergraduate education. Individuals winning the award will serve as a resource for teachers at the University and contribute to the improvement of undergraduate education. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the executive vice president and provost approves this award upon recommendation of a selection committee and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.

Graduate and Professional Education Awards

This award recognizes faculty who engage graduate, professional, or other post-baccalaureate students in a community of intellectual inquiry, who are significant mentors and role models for graduate, professional, and other post-baccalaureate students, and who develop and promote activities that help students understand the larger context of their intended professions. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates in recognition of outstanding performance in post-baccalaureate education in the following areas:

  • excellence in instruction;
  • involvement of students in research, scholarship, and professional development;
  • development of graduate, professional, or other post-baccalaureate instructional programs;
  • contributions to advancing equity and diversity;
  • advising and mentoring.

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the executive vice president and provost approves this award upon recommendation of a selection committee and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.

McKnight Awards

McKnight Awards identify, recognize, and support the University’s most promising faculty at critical stages in their careers.

McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Awards

The McKnight Land-­Grant Professorship recognizes junior scholars for:

  • their potential for important contributions to their field and the significance of their research and the clarity with which it is conveyed to the non-­specialist;
  • the degree to which their past achievements and current work demonstrate originality, imagination, and innovation;
  • their potential for attracting outstanding students;
  • their contributions to the university’s efforts to advance equity and diversity by way of their teaching, research and community engagement;
  • and their service or leadership contributions to the wider community.

Recipients hold the designation of McKnight Land-­Grant Professor for 2 years. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the executive vice president and provost approves this award upon recommendation of a selection committee.

Distinguished McKnight University Professorship Awards

The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship recognizes outstanding mid-­career faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status for:

  • their scholarly achievements based on the merit impact of their achievements;
  • the extent to which their achievements have brought distinction and prestige to the University;
  • their national or international reputation;
  • their potential for future contributions or breakthroughs;
  • the extent to which their career has flourished at the university and their work and reputation are associated with the university;
  • the quality of their teaching and advising;
  • their contributions to the university’s efforts to advance equity and diversity in the service of excellence in teaching, research and community engagement;
  • and their service or leadership contributions to the wider community.

Recipients hold the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor for as long as they remain at the University. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the executive vice president and provost approves this award upon recommendation of a selection committee.

McKnight Presidential Fellow Awards

The McKnight Presidential Fellow Award recognizes recently promoted associate professors in recognition of their research, scholarship, and leadership in their fields. Recipients hold the designation of McKnight Presidential Fellow for 3 years. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the president approves this award upon recommendation of the executive vice president and provost.

McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair Awards and McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship Awards

The McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair and the McKnight Presidential Endowed Professorship are among the highest honors for faculty at the University of Minnesota and recognize highly distinguished, world-­class scholars. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost manages this award process; the president approves this award upon recommendation of the executive vice president and provost.

Other Academic Awards

John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising

The John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising recognizes and rewards outstanding academic advising and calls attention to the contributions that academic advising makes in helping students formulate and achieve intellectual, career, and personal goals. The Office of Undergraduate Education manages this award process; the vice provost and dean of undergraduate education approves this award, upon recommendation of a committee appointed by the vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.

President’s Community-­Engaged Scholar Award

The President’s Community-­Engaged Scholar Award recognizes scholarly work conducted in partnership with a community partner. The Office for Public Engagement manages this award process; the executive vice president and provost approves this award upon recommendation of a selection committee.

Other Teaching Awards

Individual colleges also recognize teaching excellence. The relevant collegiate unit approves these awards and manages these awards processes.

Reason for Policy

To implement Board of Regents Policy: Awards, Honors, and Recognitions. The recipients of these academic awards promote a community of intellectual inquiry, serve as significant mentors and role models for students, and develop and promote activities which help students understand the larger context of their intended professions. This policy emphasizes the importance of high quality education and academic accomplishment that benefits students, the community, the state of Minnesota, and the world.

Contacts

SubjectContactPhoneEmail
Primary Contact(s) Marlo Welshons 612-625-0563 welsh066@umn.edu
Contact for Distinguished Teaching and McKnight Awards Chris Bremer 612-625-6176 [email protected]
Contact for Tate Award Amy Hackett 612-625-5857 [email protected]
Contact for Community-Engaged Scholar Award Amber Cameron 612-624-1706 [email protected]

Definitions

There are no definitions associated with this policy.

Responsibilities

Associate Vice President for Public Engagement
Establish a selection committee for the President’s Community-Engaged Scholar Award; support and follow the selection process.
Candidates for the Distinguished Teaching Awards
Complete the sections of the nomination materials that need to be completed by the candidate and sign the release form.
Departments and Colleges
Identify individuals who qualify for the awards and submit the appropriate materials.
Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
Provide a student representative for each of the Distinguished Teaching Award selection committees. Endorse list of Distinguished Teaching Award recipients on the recommendation of each selection committee.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Establish operational guidelines associated with the granting of the awards. Approve list of recipients chosen by each selection committee and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy.
Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Publicize and determine the number of Distinguished Teaching and McKnight Awards that will be given each year, based on available funding. Establish selection committees required for Distinguished Teaching and McKnight Awards; support and follow the selection process for each award.
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Establish a selection committee for the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising; support and follow the selection process.

Related Information

History

Amended:
December 2020 - Comprehensive Review.
  1. Satisfies an out-of-alignment condition with Board of Regents policy by reflecting those awards that were removed from Board policy.
  2. Eliminates process details that are included in the nomination materials (which are linked to from the procedures section)
  3. Title change: Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Education to Academic Awards, Honors, and Recognition
Effective:
January 2013 - New Policy, Comprehensive Review.

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