President's Teaching Scholars Program



President's Call for Nominations 2013

President Bruce Benson solicits nominations of University of Colorado faculty for designation for the 2013 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, scholarly teaching and research. PTSP designation is not an end-of-career-at-CU award, rather 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 also 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 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, 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. Over time, the program has found that this group is composed of members who are committed for the long term, and enjoy the opportunity to interact, engage and grow with colleagues whose values, generosity of spirit and concerns about education are shared. 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 and for each year thereafter as a CU faculty member.

Nominees must be teaching on their campus in the Spring 2013 semester i.e., teaching as the sole faculty of record during January and February 2013.

The individual selected will have the following attributes as evidenced in the dossier by detail:

  • Enthusiasm and vitality in teaching and for learning
  • Evidence of continuous growth and leadership in the field of study
  • Effective ability to design and redesign courses to produce intellectual challenge
  • Active and effective engagement in advising students and in guiding student learning, 
e.g. 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
  • Willingness and ability to participate actively in the Program including working on PTS program initiatives with Teaching Scholars

To be an outstanding teacher, the individuals should combine state-of-the-art knowledge in their field of expertise with effectiveness in developing knowledge and intellectual skills in their students as evidenced by assessment of learning. 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 and critical reflection on teaching and student learning. If designated, a nominee commits to spending time with Teaching Scholar peers, for example, at the annual Fall retreat; commits to spending time in service and committee work capacities; commits time to present “Teaching Scholar Teaching” presentations at group gatherings; and, commits to time in leadership activities on one’s campus.

Preparing the Candidate's Dossier:

Dossiers should be created with this specific designation in mind. A nominator will provide six copies of the dossier of the nominee (dossiers will not be returned and therefore the nominator should retain the original). The dossier must be bound with tabs for each section. The nominator should work with the nominee in requesting detailed current letters (2012- 13) 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, the nominator should explain in detail in the letter of nomination.

Dossiers must include, in the following order:

1. A three-to-five page letter from a 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. The nominating letter may be from a Teaching Scholar. Teaching Scholars may write no letters of recommendation.
2. A current curriculum vitae
3. Three current letters (2012) from faculty members here or elsewhere addressing 
superb teaching as described above
4. Three current letters (2012) from faculty members here or elsewhere addressing 
active, substantial research and/or creative work in the 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, include letter of explanation.
6. Five letters from current or former students addressing the nominee's teaching and integration of research into teaching (Dated 2012)
7. Evidence of having been nominated for or having received a teaching award at the University of Colorado. (i.e. 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 one of the candidate’s courses. As a part of this work, each scholar designs and undertakes innovative projects aimed at deepening his/her understanding of teaching practice. This project should be completed and submitted for publication to a peer refereed publication within the first two years of joining the Teaching Scholars Program
11. 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.
12. In a one-page elaborated description, describe what your aspirations for yourself as a teacher are and for your students as learners in the next five years.

Dossiers must be no more than 80 pages in length. Please include tabs that match the titles on the Table of Contents provided. Please submit one dossier in bound or loose-leaf notebook format and six copies. Nominators should keep the original dossier. The dossiers are not returnable. 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 2013 President's Teaching Scholars.

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 2, 2012 and dossiers will be accepted no later than November 9, 2012.

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.