Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching

Applications for 2022 are closed. The competition reopens in fall 2022.

The Daniel E. Ferritor Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching is awarded annually to the department or academic unit on campus that best displays excellence in teaching. This department will receive $10,000 and a trophy, as well as having the unit name placed on a university plaque housed in that department for a year. The Ferritor Award is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Teaching Academy. 

Past Winners of the Award

2021--Sociology and Criminology

2020--Eleanor Mann School of Nursing

2019--School of Social Work

2018--Department of Industrial Engineering

2017--Department of History


All academic tenure-home units are eligible to apply for the award.  The winner will not be eligible for the following two academic years.

Criteria for Selection

Applications will be assessed on the following four criteria:

  1. How does your department demonstrate its sustained commitment to teaching excellence? 
    Possible examples include:
    • Establishes activities or structures that foster a positive and inclusive instructional climate for tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty and graduate assistants
    • Incentivizes and recognizes teaching excellence
    • Applies rigorous evaluations of teaching quality to tenure/promotion decisions
    • Demonstrates a commitment to collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching within the unit and/or the college/university
  2. How does your department measure excellence in teaching and learning?
    Possible examples include:
    • Monitors teaching effectiveness by methods beyond standard student evaluations such as additional feedback from current and former students, staff, employers, graduate schools, fellow faculty and other departments
    • Utilizes feedback from unit constituencies in an ongoing, data-driven process of instructional improvement and curricular revision
    • Holistically addresses the educational program, with attention to majors, minors, general education, elective courses and service offerings for students on and off campus
    • Tracks exemplary academic and professional success of current and former students
  3. How does your department demonstrate commitment to faculty development for teaching?
    Possible examples include:
    • Provides orientation, feedback and mentoring for new faculty and teaching assistants
    • Provides departmental discussions on effective teaching and encourages attendance and presentations at teaching conferences, as well as research and publication on teaching and learning
    • Provides evidence of faculty efforts to adopt innovative and effective forms of pedagogy and instructional technology that have led to improvements in teaching and learning
    • Provides evidence of faculty involvement and ownership for the teaching mission and curriculum development within the department
  4. How does your department demonstrate commitment to student success?
    Possible examples include:
    • Establishes academic excellence and serving students as top priorities for the unit
    • Promotes student development by offering exemplary programs for recruiting, advising, mentoring and retaining students
    • Provides and supports student learning opportunities outside the classroom, including meetings, internships, co-curricular activities and research experiences
    • Creates an inclusive culture by involving students in departmental teaching decisions, activities and appropriate committees

Selection Process

A seven-member selection committee, comprised of four members of the Teaching Academy and three faculty at-large appointed by the provost, will review the documents, assess how they reflect the four criteria and choose the recipient they deem most deserving of the award.  The committee will complete the selection process by March 1, and the winning unit will be recognized before the end of the spring semester.

Application Process

Each unit or department interested in applying for the award should form an ad hoc committee of faculty members to apply. The proposal should include:

  • One-page executive summary
  • Maximum of eight pages (single-spaced, 12-point font) describing the department and address the four criteria listed above
  • Maximum of eight pages in supplemental documents.

Applications can be uploaded using the online form. Please upload materials in one pdf document.