President's Teaching Scholars Program




President's Call for Nominations 2014


President Bruce Benson solicits nominations from University of Colorado tenured faculty for designation for the 2014 President's Teaching Scholars Program (PTSP). Lifetime appointment as a CU President's Teaching Scholar constitutes the University's highest recognition of excellence in and active commitment to learning and scholarly teaching and research. PTSP designation is not an end-of-career-at-CU award. Rather, it means membership in an active society of scholars and teachers involved in outreach to faculty peers in departments, schools and colleges. In addition to excellence in teaching, PTSP recognition includes substantial contributions to scholarly work in one's discipline or, in the case of a less senior scholar, indications of path-breaking contributions to his or her field. Chancellors, deans, departments and other faculty nominators are encouraged to nominate candidates for this designation and commitment. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

All tenured faculty members who have been employed at CU for at least five consecutive years and who have been nominated for or won a teaching award at the University of Colorado are eligible to be nominated. In addition, Clinical Teaching Track (CTT) faculty members who hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor are eligible to be nominated, as are tenure-track faculty members in the School of Medicine who hold the rank of Associate Professor or Professor. Becoming a President’s Teaching Scholar means extending high priority to the program, being engaged and staying engaged. The Selection Committee will evaluate applications based on past achievements, present engagement, a broad perspective and engagement in education and on furthering the goals of the President’s Teaching Scholars Program.

The President's Teaching Scholars are a group of faculty from all campuses chosen not only for skill in their own teaching and excellence in research, but also for their promise of improving education for students and enlarging educational possibilities across the University. Designees to the program become part of a participatory, service oriented and collegial community. Those appointed as Teaching Scholars will receive a $3,000 stipend for each of the first two years; a one-time operating expense teaching development fund of $2,000; and an addition of $2,000 to the base salary beginning the third year.

Nominees must be teaching on their campus in the Spring 2014 semester i.e., teaching as the sole faculty of record during January and February 2014.

Individuals selected will have the following attributes, evidence for which will be shown in detail in the dossier:

  • Enthusiasm and vitality in teaching and for learning
  • Evidence of continuous growth and leadership in their field of study
  • Effective ability to design and redesign courses including rigorous assessment of learning to produce intellectual challenge
  • Active and effective engagement in advising students and in guiding student learning in forms including research projects (including undergraduate research), theses and dissertations
  • Encouragement of intellectual interests in beginning students and/or of greater achievement with advanced students
  • Highest level of responsiveness to, and understanding of, a diverse student body
  • Broad perspectives on the teaching and learning process, higher education, and scholarship
  • Commitment, willingness and ability to participate actively in the Program including working on PTS program initiatives with Teaching Scholar colleagues


The appointment expects and presumes collegiality and active engagement with Teaching Scholar colleagues at retreats, in projects focused on teaching and learning developed individually and collectively, and in stimulating discussion, innovation, assessment of learning and critical reflection on teaching and student learning. If designated, nominees commit to spending time with Teaching Scholar peers, for example, at the annual Fall retreat and Spring Conference; in service and committee work capacities; and in leadership activities on their campus with and for peer faculty.

Preparing the Candidate's Dossier:

Dossiers should be created with this specific designation in mind. Dossiers must be no more than 80 pages in length. Please submit six copies of the dossier in bound or loose-leaf notebook format. The dossiers are not returnable; nominators should keep the original.

All copies of dossiers must include a table of contents and matching tabs for each section. Nominators should work with the nominee in requesting detailed current (dated 2013) letters from faculty peers and students, both current and former, in support of the candidate. In case a nominee's career, teaching experiences and/or scholarship are non-traditional, nominators should describe those characteristics in detail in the letter of nomination.

Dossiers must include, in the following order:

  1. A three-to-five page letter from the nominator naming the faculty member as a candidate, describing the candidate's research in the discipline and its importance and contribution to the field and the candidate’s teaching and learning environments. The nominating letter may be from a Teaching Scholar. Teaching Scholars may not write letters of recommendation.
  2. A current curriculum vitae
  3. Three current letters (dated 2013) from two (2) campus faculty members and (1) one outside campus faculty member addressing superb teaching in one's discipline.
  4. Three current letters (dated 2013) from two (2) campus faculty members and one (1)outside campus faculty member addressing active, substantial research and/or creative work in one's discipline.
  5. The official individual course summary sheets of five consecutive years of results of CU faculty course questionnaires. (or alternative student evaluation data, if summary sheets are not available). If five consecutive years of results are unavailable, a letter of explanation must be included.
  6. Five letters (dated 2013) from current or former students addressing the nominee's teaching and integration of research into teaching
  7. Evidence of having been nominated for or having received a teaching award at the University of Colorado. (e.g., official letter or copy of award certificate) Concurrent nominations are not acceptable.
  8. Evidence that the nominee has assisted in the development of teaching students beyond the classroom
  9. A three-to-five page statement by the nominee describing his or her views of the four core tasks of teaching: course planning and preparation, actual teaching, evaluating student learning and providing feedback, keeping up with the professional field in teaching and integrating new knowledge into one's courses
  10. A one-page proposal from the nominee for a scholarly (education) research project measuring classroom learning in a particular course for the University of Colorado: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). As part of this work, each scholar designs and undertakes an innovative research project in classroom learning aimed at deepening student engagement in the learning process for a specific course or a segment or module in a specific course. This project should be completed and submitted for publication to a peer-refereed source within the first two years after being designated a President’s Teaching Scholar. At the end of the first year, the President’s Teaching Scholar will be invited to make a presentation at the PTSP Fall retreat defining the research project and its progress. We will post the project title and description on the PTSP website at the time of designation. The project is one that some nominees will have experience with and are expert in. Others might be novice in the work of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), a relatively new field of endeavor in the Academy. We strongly advise those nominees in the latter category to arrange to be mentored by a Teaching Scholar. See Directory at

    Additional Information on Projects:

    President's Teaching Scholars’ Research Projects— Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

    What kinds of work does this program support? The central work of President's Teaching Scholars is to create and disseminate examples of the scholarship of teaching and learning that contribute to thought and practice in and across fields and disciplines. To this end, each scholar designs and undertakes a project/investigation aimed at deepening understanding of and practice related to an important issue in students’ innovative learning. Several features for projects must be kept in mind:

    1. Proposed work should center on the definitions, experiences, problems, and values, and the investigation of one's own students and classroom practices in a particular course.

    2. The focus of this work should be on learning for understanding, exploring primarily the character and depth of student learning that results (or does not) from teacher practice.

    3. We look for attention to enduring, widely recognized issues and questions that have broad relevance or implications for student learning; scholarship that advances understanding of such questions is more likely to find audiences and outlets thereby contributing to far-reaching thinking and practice.

    4. We are interested in work that demonstrates a commitment to the personal and social development of students.

    5. Also of interest is work with explicit links to prior and ongoing areas of investigation, and established lines of seminal research that builds on and is situated in reference to work authored by others.

    6. New scholars engaged in this work will be committed to documenting and sharing processes and results (scholarship is by definition public, available for review and critique).

    As part of the PTSP dossier, please submit a one page or less project proposal that upon designation you will undertake as a Teaching Scholar.

    Expectations for Newly Named Designees:
    We ask each new member to begin in the Program by participating in the annual Fall Retreat, presenting at the PTSP sponsored Spring Conference on Teaching and Learning or Spring Retreat, and attending a tea to honor the new members by invitation of the President to honor the new members.


    At the time of selection and upon designation, each candidate offers a Teaching Scholar Project. For project descriptions visit During the first two years, the faculty will explore, re-develop, and finalize the research plan described in their project. At the first Fall Retreat after a Teaching Scholar’s appointment, s/he will present her/his proposal for a Teaching Scholar Project for discussion and critique by the assembled group of Scholars. The following Spring, the Teaching Scholar will participate in the President’s Teaching and Learning Collaborative for further development in how best to pursue the Project and ready it for publication. In the following summer, the project should be finalized and submitted to a peer-reviewed journal or another publication in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Scholars will report their project to their department colleagues, at local venues, and at conferences both nationally and internationally.  

    The President’s office offers a budget, supported in part by each campus provost, for a research project in the teaching and learning collaborative.

    Mentoring Assistant Professor Colleagues:

    One of the important and rewarding duties of President’s Teaching Scholars is mentoring junior faculty. Teaching Scholars will be asked to mentor an assistant professor in teaching, integrating research in teaching, and in career issues: they may mentor a junior colleague in their own department or in another. If a Teaching Scholar is not mentoring a colleague in his/her own department or a related discipline, FTEP will work with the Dean of the Teaching Scholar's College to pair the Teaching Scholar with a colleague from another department.

  11. A two-page “5-year” statement from the nominee answering these questions:
    1. What service will you do in the President’s Teaching Scholars Program in the next 5 years? For example, you might plan to bring together a group of Assistant Professors in your department and develop a series of collaborative discussions with this learning community to assist them with innovative ideas in teaching and learning, etc.
    2. What are your aspirations for yourself as a teacher and for your students as learners in the next five years?


Nominators and nominees are strongly encouraged to adhere to the instructions for compiling the dossier. The dossier cannot be prescreened before being submitted to the PTSP selection committee. The most thoughtful preparation of the dossier will consist of scrupulous adherence to the stated criteria, which will significantly influence how the Committee reads the file and, therefore, will consequently affect the outcome of the competition. A system-wide committee composed of Teaching Scholars will select up to three new President's Teaching Scholars: 2014.

Nominations should be sent to:

Mary Ann Shea, Director, President’s Teaching Scholars Program, University of Colorado Boulder, 1125 18th St, ATLAS Rm 235, 360 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309- 0360

Direct questions regarding logistics to Mary Ann Shea at or 303-492-1049.

This call begins April 1, 2013 and dossiers will be accepted no later than November 8, 2013.

For more information regarding the President's Teaching Scholar's Program or to find this Call for Nominations please go to

We benefited from reviewing the distinguished teaching award guidelines and procedures used by the University of California, Berkeley, and the SUNY Office of Academic Affairs.