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University Exemplary Department or Program Award

The University Exemplary Department or Program Award recognizes the work of departments and programs that maintain exemplary teaching and learning environments for students and faculty. With this award, the university publicly honors the collaborative efforts and successes of a group of dedicated colleagues - actively performing work that is essential for sustaining a truly excellent academic environment. The University Exemplary Department or Program Awards are given in recognition that the academic excellence of individuals is achieved within distinctive working and learning environments to which many individuals contribute in essential ways.

A total of $40,000 will be available for awards to the department(s) and/or program(s) as to be determined by the selection committee drawn from the university community.

The awards program was established as a part of the university's Faculty Rewards Project, a project which seeks to clarify the expectations of faculty and define appropriate rewards for accomplishments.

Award Theme

Each year, the University Exemplary Department or Program Award focuses on a different theme. For 2024, departments and/or programs will be recognized for developing and implementing accessible and engaging undergraduate research experiences.


To be eligible for the University Exemplary Department or Program Award, the nominated department or program must 1) have teaching and learning as a primary purpose and 2) identify as a “department” (i.e., academic department or school) or “program” (i.e., an academic program) housed within one of the ten academic colleges.

Nomination Materials

Nominations are invited from students, faculty, or others who have benefited from the work of the nominated department(s) or program(s). Nomination packets must include the two items listed below.

  1. A nomination letter addressing four questions: 
    • Generally, how has your department or program engaged undergraduate students in the research mission of the university?
    • How has your department or program reduced barriers to participation in undergraduate research and/or scaled opportunities?
    • How has your department or program engaged undergraduate research students in the full cycle of experiential learning: a) preparation and mentoring, b) the experience, c) reflection, d) dissemination/showcasing of student’s work?
    • How will your department or program maintain its dedication to developing and implementing undergraduate research experiences in the future?
  2. Letters of support from current and former faculty, students, administrators, agencies, and other beneficiaries, focused on the achievements of the department or program relative to this year's theme.

Nomination packets must be uploaded to the online nomination form as a single PDF file, not to exceed 10 pages. The nomination packets must also be formatted in 12-point Arial font with 1” borders (except for the letters of support).

Nomination materials are due on Monday, September 30, at 5:00 p.m.

If you have questions about the University Exemplary Department or Program Awards, please email the Center for Excellence for Teaching and Learning.

Previous Recipients

List of Previous Recipients