(Aug. 25, 2011)--In recognition of their classroom excellence, 72 educators from institutions within the University of Texas System will share $1.8 million in awards and will be honored during a special ceremony this week. Among the awardees are seven UTSA faculty members.
The educators were honored as the 2011 Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award winners at an Aug. 24 ceremony on the UT Austin campus. The cash awards, which range from $15,000 to $30,000 -- and believed to be among the nation's highest for higher education faculty -- are given to faculty members at UT System academic institutions who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. The event marks the program's third year.
UTSA award recipients include the following faculty members:
"Provost John Frederick and I are so thrilled to once again have a number of our outstanding faculty honored with this prestigious award," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "In the program's three years, a total of 18 UTSA faculty members have been recognized; that's a true testament to the superior quality of classroom instruction our students receive at UTSA."
"Exceptional university teaching has been at the core of the services our universities provide to our students since our inception in 1883," said Regent's Chairman Gene Powell. "When most of us reflect back on our college experience, one or more great educators who left an indelible mark on our lives come to mind. I think of my mentor, teacher and friend, Dr. John Bickley, in front of a class at UT Austin. Dr. Bickley would be so proud that in 2011 the regents are recognizing and rewarding great teaching."
"Today, the Board of Regents considers it a true honor and privilege to recognize another class of great educators from across the University of Texas System with not only a ceremonial event but with much deserved financial rewards. The board is committed to continuing the process of seeking out, hiring and rewarding great teachers and the board looks forward to holding these ceremonies for many years to come," Powell added.
Award nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. Candidates' teaching performance over three years was rigorously examined by campus and external judges.
"It is our system's responsibility to provide an exceptional education to our students, and we believe this award program not only furthers that goal, but helps promote a culture of excellence that produces better teaching, better learning and, ultimately, better prepared graduates to enter our work force," said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, M.D. "These awards have proved to be so successful in promoting outstanding teaching that we hope to expand the program to our health institutions as well."
Additionally, students, peer faculty and external reviewers considered a range of activities and criteria including classroom expertise, quality of curriculum, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. A teaching portfolio was required to demonstrate pedagogical innovation, continuous improvement of course materials, overall teacher training experience and a statement of teaching philosophy and objectives.
Among those that will be honored this year are 38 tenured faculty members, who each received $30,000 awards. Seventeen tenure-track faculty each will receive $25,000 awards, and another 17 contingent faculty each are to receive $15,000 awards. Besides the cash awards, winners also will receive a bronze medallion and a certificate commemorating the achievement.
The awards program -- established by the Board of Regents in August 2008 -- has recognized 217 educators spanning more than 100 disciplines. The awards are the latest in a series of UT System-sponsored activities aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 UT System institutions.
In 2004, the system launched the Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARs) program, which created a multimillion-dollar fund to recruit and retain top-flight researchers to UT institutions. Researchers recruited and/or retained under the program have generated more than $345 million in sponsored research at UT institutions. In 2005, the Chancellor's Health Fellows program was established to enhance faculty collaborations and achievements, and other communications projects, among the health and academic campuses. That same year, the Innovations in Health Science Education program was created to recognize innovation and achievement in undergraduate or graduate health science education.
The top prize for that program is $7,500. In 2007, the UT System established the annual Chancellor's Innovations in Education Awards -- $5,000 prizes which recognize faculty who demonstrate teaching excellence; and the Chancellor's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards, which reward outstanding individual and collaborative accomplishments in research and innovation. Prizes in that category can reach $15,000.
About the University of Texas System
The University of Texas System is one of the nation's largest higher education systems with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources.
Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 211,000 in the 2010 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 68,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.
The UTSA East Asia Institute hosts District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg who will discuss his recent trip to China for the 8th annual Sister Cities International forum. He will discuss how these conversations help citizens connect in an increasingly global world to exchange ideas and tackle issues affecting all of us.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Antonio Petrov, assistant professor in the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, invites San Antonio to engage in dialogue to gather a broad understanding of Puro. he symposium, which includes UTSA masters students, will be led by community members who embody the term. It's free and open to the public.
Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, Bldg. 108, 1414 S. Alamo St., San Antonio
Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and African American Studies, at the University of California at Los Angeles is the guest speaker at this free, open event. Johnson is also the author of "Spaces of Conflict Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spacial Entitlement in Los Angeles" and "Futures of Black Radicalism."
University Center, Denman Room (UC 02.01.28), Main Campus
The UTSA Consortium for Social Transformation; African American Studies Program presents guest speaker Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and African American Studies, University of California at Los Angelesand author of "Spaces of Conflict Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spacial Entitlement in Los Angeles" and "Futures of Black Radicalism." The event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Grab your friends, family, kids and dog for this annual fun run on the UTSA Main Campus benefititng the UTSA Alumni Association.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Join the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching for the 13th annual Storytelling Festival. The festival will feature keynote speaker Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, a Colombian Storyteller and journalist. This event is free and open to the public.
Main Building, ground floor, Main Campus
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Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Department of Biology and the Be the Match Team will collaborate to engage and educate our students in the importance of a life saving donation through peripheral blood stem cells and a marrow harvest.
UC Paseo and Central Plaza, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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