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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. This year, departments and/or programs will be recognized for developing and sustaining academic-community engagement activities for student well-being and a sense of belonging (i.e., engagement activities provided to students within an academic department or program to benefit their well-being and sense of belonging).


Eligibility

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).

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 items listed below.

A nomination letter addressing four questions: 

  1. Generally, how has your department or program demonstrated exemplary teaching and learning environments for students and faculty?
  2. Specifically, how has your department or program developed and sustained academic-community engagement activities for student well-being and a sense of belonging?
  3. How has the department or program created positive learning and/or success outcomes for students by developing and sustaining academic-community engagement activities for student well-being and a sense of belonging? (In this section, use student learning and/or success outcome evidence to support effectiveness.)
  4. How will your department or program maintain its dedication to developing and sustaining academic-community engagement activities for student well-being and a sense of belonging?

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 an online nomination form as a single PDF file, not to exceed 20 pages. The nomination packets must also be formatted in 12-point Arial font with 1” borders (except for the letters of support). The online form also asks for the nominator’s contact information and the department or program’s name.

Nomination materials are due on Friday, October 15, 2021, at 5 p.m.

Upcoming Themes

2022: Creating and sustaining support for early career and/or adjunct faculty members to develop as effective teachers and/or to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning

2023: Developing and implementing creative solutions to supporting transfer students (into Virginia Tech and/or into new majors)

Previous Recipients

List of Previous Recipients