ATE Organization

Executive Committee

  • Chair: Alex X. Niemiera
  • Chair Elect: Sharon Johnson, Foreign Languages, Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Marian Mollin, History
  • Historian: Tom Martin, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Social Chair: Alan Weinstein, Music
  • Past Chair: Anthony ‘Kwame’ Harrison, Sociology

Award Committee Chairs

University Teaching and Learning Committees

  • Alumni Teaching Award: Alex X. Niemiera, niemiera@vt.edu, Horticulture (0402), 1-6723
  • University Wine Award: Dean F. Stauffer, dstauffe@vt.edu, College of Natural Resources and Environment (0324), 1-7349

University Sporn Award: Jeannine E. Eddleton, eddleton@vt.edu, Chemistry (0212), 1-8228

Contacts for College Teaching Awards:

  • College of Agricultural and Life Science: Peter Ziegler, pziegler@vt.edu, 1-9662
  • College of Architecture and Urban Studies: Kathryn Clarke Albright, kclarke@vt.edu, 1-0795
  • Pamplin College of Business: Kevin Carlson, kevinc@vt.edu, 1-6595
  • College of Engineering: Carin Roberts-Wollmann, wollmann@vt.edu, 1-2052
  • College of Liberal Arts and Human Science: Ico Bukvic, ico@vt.edu, 1-6139 (August-December, 2018); Tom Ewing, etewing@vt.edu, 1-3212 (January-July, 2019)
  • College of Natural Resources and Environment: Dean F. Stauffer, dstauffe@vt.edu, 1-7349; Tom Hammett, himal@vt.edu, 1-2716
  • College of Science: Anne Ryan Driscoll, agryan@vt.edu, 1-0087
  • Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Kevin Pelzer, kpelzer@vt.edu, 1-4618

Constitution

Founded originally in 1974 to honor and reward excellence in instruction, the Academy of Teaching Excellence membership voted in 1987 to expand its role significantly beyond honorary status. The membership defined the Academy as an organization of faculty committed to the enhancement of the educational environment, the highest standards of instruction, the vigilant pursuit of new forms and technologies of teaching, the continual evaluation of practices and standards of teaching effectiveness, and personal and organizational commitment to the importance of teaching in the research university.

ATE Constitution

Constitution of the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence

Article One

Section A - Name

This organization will be known as The Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Section B - Purpose

Founded originally in 1974 to honor and reward excellence in instruction, the Academy of Teaching Excellence membership voted in 1987 to expand its role significantly beyond honorary status. The membership defined the Academy as an organization of faculty committed to the enhancement of the educational environment, the highest standards of instruction, the vigilant pursuit of new forms and technologies of teaching, the continual evaluation of practices and standards of teaching effectiveness, and personal and organizational commitment to the importance of teaching in the research university.

Section C - Activities and Projects

To fulfill its purpose, the Academy membership seeks opportunities for direct involvement in various projects of instructional importance. While continuing to seek new projects, the Academy has agreed

  1. To provide leadership for and support of the University Honors Programs. To that end, Academy members serve an advisory role to the Director of the University Honors Program, and the Director gives a report to the Academy twice a year on the status of the Program.
  2. To work with the Director of the Honors Program to select the recipients of the Daughtrey Scholarship and to ensure that the scholarship retains the intention of the donor.
  3. To participate in the teacher-training program for graduate teaching assistants. Members of the Academy, working with the Dean of the Graduate School, organize and provide instructors for the annual Graduate Teaching Assistant workshop.
  4. To help organize and staff annual workshops for department heads and faculty on teaching evaluations.
  5. To work with the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs in the development and the ongoing activities of the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
  6. To seek appointments to Department, College, and University promotion and tenure committees thereby insuring the importance of teaching in faculty review.
  7. To oversee the process for selecting the winners of the Alumni Teaching Awards and the Alumni Advising Award.
  8. To help evaluate and develop a faculty member's teaching if a department or faculty member requests assistance.
  9. To play an active role in the university's efforts to improve the learning environment of the classroom, large lecture halls, laboratories, studios, and off-campus field sites. To be involved in the design or renovation of classrooms.
  10. To co-sponsor annually the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award and Roundtable Program, which recognizes outstanding teaching and exceptional contributions to the teaching program and learning environment at Virginia Tech.

 

Article Two - Membership

The membership of the academy consists of all of the past winners of the Wine Award, the Sporn Award for the teaching of introductory subjects, and the Alumni Teaching Award, and all those who were elected to the Academy before 1982 and who are faculty members of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Article Three - Governance

Section A - Officers and Duties

Chair of the Academy: The Chair is not elected directly. Rather, the Chair Elect becomes the Chair at the end of one year's service and serves for one year. The duties of the Chair are as follows:

  • Preside over meetings of the Academy.
  • Serve as chair of the Executive Committee.
  • Oversee the Certificates of Teaching Excellence (CTE) selection process: establish/distribute timetable; send dossier format requirements to CTE chairs; distribute award forms and posters to colleges; return old dossiers to CTE chairs; convene the Academy's Award Selection Committee for the Alumni Award.
  • Coordinate the selection process for the major teaching awards: place dossiers of candidates to be considered for the Alumni Teaching Awards on reserve for review by the Academy's selection committee; coordinate selection times for Wine, Sporn, and Alumni Teaching Award winners; preside over Alumni Teaching Award selection; invite Alumni, Wine, and Sporn Award winners to join Academy; notify Provost's Office and Alumni office of winners of Alumni Teaching Awards; have Certificates of Teaching Excellence penned; secure Academy plaques for winners of all major teaching awards; present awards at an appropriate University event.
  • GTA Training Sessions (working with and at the pleasure of the Dean of the Graduate School): design session format; assist in selection of session leaders.
  • Serve, at the pleasure of the Provost, as a member of Supplemental Grants Committee.
  • Assume coordination role with Honors Program Director.
  • Represent the Academy on numerous committees.
  • Serve on the Advisory Committee of the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

 

Chair Elect: The Chair Elect is elected at the Spring meeting of the Academy and serves for one year. The Chair Elect becomes the Chair at the end of one year's service. The duties of the Chair Elect are as follows:

  • Support the efforts of the chair.
  • Plan Fall and Spring meetings; determine time and place; secure place and catering; with Chair, determine invited speaker.
  • Serve on the Diggs Teaching Scholar Committee and submit a report to the Academy.

 

Past Chair: The Chair becomes the Past Chair at the conclusion of the one-year term and serves for one year. The Past Chair cannot be elected Chair Elect for seven years. The duties are as follows:

  • Organize the workshop on dossier preparation; select chair of workshop; participate as member of workshop committee.
  • Examine necessity for changing dossier format requirements; if necessary, execute changes with the approval of the Executive Committee.
  • Serve as the chair of the Alumni Advising Award Committee at the pleasure of the Provost.

 

Executive Secretary/Treasurer: The Executive Secretary/Treasurer is elected for a one-year term. The duties are as follows:

  • Maintain the files of Academy; maintain an updated mailing list.
  • Prepare and distribute the announcement for an upcoming meeting and publicize the meeting.
  • Record the minutes of each meeting and distribute them.
  • Help the Chair and Chair-elect when needed.
  • Maintain financial records for the Academy and work with the Provost's office to ensure adequate funding.
  • Provide a report at each the fall and spring meetings detailing past and proposed expenditures.

 

Historian: The Historian is elected for a one-year term. The duties are as follows:

  • Maintain the history of the Academy, including a complete list of members and former officers. The records should also include the award or awards (Wine, Sporn, and Alumni) won by each member and the year in which the award was received.
  • Record and help publicize Academy activities through photographs and written accounts.

 

Social Chair:

  • The social chair will convene periodic lunch meetings for the express purpose of social and professional interaction among members of the society. No formal business will be conducted at these gatherings.

 

Section B - Elections

All elections are held at a Spring general meeting. Any member of the Academy is eligible to hold any of the offices and to vote. The Nominations Committee will present its list of candidates at the meeting. Academy members will be given an opportunity to make further nominations. Nominators must receive prior permission from the individual they wish to nominate.

Section C - Filling Vacant Positions

If the position of Past Chair is vacant, the Chair will appoint a member of the Academy to serve the remainder of the term. A vacancy in the position of Chair will be filled by the Chair Elect. A vacancy in either the position of Chair Elect or Executive Secretary will be filled by a member of the Academy appointed by the Chair until the Academy's next general meeting at which the Academy will elect a replacement.

Article Four - Committees

Section A - Executive Committee

The Executive Committee consists of the Chair, Chair Elect, Past Chair, Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Historian and Social Chair. The Chair of the Academy will serve as chair of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may act on behalf of the Academy in all matters subject to review at any general meeting.

Section B - Honors Program Advisory Committee

The Honors Program Advisory Committee provides advice and support to the Honors Program. The committee meets with the Director of the Honors Program at least once year and at any time at the Director's request, at the discretion of the chair of the committee, or at the request of any two members of the committee. The committee consists of seven members of the Academy, six of whom are elected for two-year terms by the Academy. At a Spring meeting of the Academy each year, three committee members are to be elected so that the membership will serve in staggered terms. A member of the committee is not eligible to be reelected to the committee until at least one year has passed since the expiration of his or her latest term on the committee. Vacancies on the committee will be filled by appointment by the Chair of the Academy. The Chair must be a member of the Academy and is appointed for a one-year term by the Chair of the Academy.

Section C - Alumni Teaching Award Selection Committee

The Award Selection Committee selects the winners of the Alumni Teaching Award. The committee consists of those who have won the Wine Award, the Sporn Award for the teaching of introductory subjects or the Alumni Teaching Award during the three previous years. The chair of the Academy convenes this committee.

Section D - Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee presents a list of candidates for the Academy's consideration at the meeting at which the elections of the new officers and other elected positions are held. The list should include at least one candidate for each position up for election. The committee consists of three Academy members appointed by the Chair and is reconstituted each year.

Article Five - Meetings

Section A - Meetings

There will be at least two general meetings of the Academy each academic year, one in the fall and one in the spring. A general meeting may be called by the Chair or by 10% of the membership with two weeks notice. This can be done by sending each member an e-mail or a printed invitation.

Section B - Motions

A motion may be acted upon at a meeting of the Academy only if it has been distributed to the Academy members prior to the meeting or proposed at an earlier meeting. The Academy can choose to suspend this requirement of prior notice by two-thirds vote of the members present at the meeting.

Section C - Quorum

A quorum at general meetings of the Academy will be 10% of the membership.

Article Six - Finances

The Provost's Office provides funding for the Academy and its activities.

Article Seven - Amendments

A proposed amendment to the bylaws must be presented at a general meeting for reading and consideration but cannot be voted on at that meeting. The proposed amendment becomes an amendment by a majority vote after a second reading at a subsequent meeting.

© Copyright 1997 Academy of Teaching Excellence. This document last updated: May 5, 2000