Proposal to establish the University of Iowa Academy of Distinguished Teachers




The Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT) will be a representative body of outstanding scholar-teachers throughout the University of Iowa. Its primary mission will be to recognize and celebrate teaching excellence at the University of Iowa and to help strengthen the resources necessary to do so, in accordance with the Universityís Strategic Plan.



Although every year the University of Iowa recognizes teaching excellence through various awards, the collective significance of these awards for the mission of teaching within the institution is not always sufficiently acknowledged; at best such acknowledgment is isolated or momentary.The Academy of Distinguished Teachers will provide a mechanism for institutionalizing recognition of outstanding teaching through coordinating the efforts of those whose teaching has distinguished itself across the Colleges.



The Academyís goals will be to:

        celebrate, enhance, and strengthen the quality of teaching at the University of Iowa,

        foster multiple ways in which faculty integrate teaching, scholarship, and service,

        demonstrate both within the institution and to the larger community the importance placed on effective teaching at the University of Iowa,

        promote appreciation for the complex and dynamic nature of teaching and learning,

        provide an ongoing forum for fostering, recognizing, and rewarding excellence in teaching.



Membership and Structure



Those eligible for membership in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers will include all faculty who have been recognized by existing mechanisms within the University of Iowa or by their discipline or profession for outstanding contributions to teaching and learning in the broadest sense.Eligible faculty will include:

        all departmental and college teaching award winners within the University of Iowa

        Collegiate Teaching Award recipients

        College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Deanís Scholars

        Regents Faculty Award recipients

        F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professors

        Graduate College Mentoring Award recipients

        Lewis Holloway Award winner (College of Medicine)

        Tippie College of Business Teaching Chairs

        other faculty as nominated by the membership of the Academy with Board approval



The membership (through its Board) will identify eligible faculty annually through contacting both the Deans of each College within the University and the Council on Teaching.Eligible faculty will be invited to join the ADT, but membership will be voluntary.


Administrative Structure

The Academy members will be coordinated by a Leadership Board, consisting of three members, elected from the membership, with two ex officio members: the Chair of the Council on Teaching and the Director of the Center for Teaching.The elected members of the Board will serve for a three-year rotating term.


The services of a staff person, presumably the secretary to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, will be needed to assist in scheduling meetings of the membership, taking minutes, etc.



Membership in the academy will be for a term of five years.


Faculty who have been members of the ADT will be eligible for re-nomination.



Activities and Benefits


The members of the ADT would serve as a pool of resource people, who would consult as appropriate with the Center for Teaching and the Council on Teaching in their efforts to establish programs that nurture the integration of all forms of scholarship including teaching and to help develop networks and initiatives within the University to allow faculty to interact in teaching activities.


Depending on the availability of resources, the ADT might engage in the following activities, intended to enhance the visibility of teaching within the University:

        create opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to serve as assistants of various kinds to distinguished teachers

        sponsor visits to campus of nationally recognized pedagogues and teachers, e.g. Ida Beam Visiting Scholars

        consult on alternative methods for evaluating effective teaching

        identify opportunities for outside funding of teaching initiatives

        encourage new faculty, teaching assistants, and prospective studentsto visit classes of distinguished teachers

        assist in fundraising activities to promote excellence in teaching that may lead to the endowment of Teaching Chairs, funding for travel to conferences on teaching, fellowships for graduate students to learn more about teaching

        consult with the Center for Teaching in conducting workshops for graduate teaching assistants and new faculty

        aid in the recruitment of top students by establishing fellowships or scholarships for students of members of the Academy


Every year the ADT will present each new member with a certificate of membership in an annual recognition dinner funded by the Provost with Academy members, President, Provost, and Deans of various colleges.




The ADT will be funded by the Office of the Provost.Funding in the early stages will be modest, but the administration of the University of Iowa has expressed a firm commitment to sustained and increasing support of the ADT, as budgetary considerations allow.


The ADT will oversee a pool of funds for teaching-related activities, such as attending educational conferences, purchasing educational materials, funding pilot projects for teaching, funding teaching assistantships and fellowships for promising graduate students; which will be distributed through competitive proposals that will be screened by the Board twice a year.


Proposal submitted (April 2002) by an ad hoc Faculty Senate committee:


Roberta M. Marvin, chair

Kristi Ferguson

Susan Lawrence

Irwin Lewin

Tom Rocklin

Amitava Bhattacharjee, ex officio