CDTA Committee Procedures

Electronic Nomination Process

The Coulter Faculty Commons conducts an electronic nomination process for faculty and students.

Screening of Nominations

Staff of the Faculty Commns will collect nomination ballots, tally nominations, remove any invalid nominations, and prepare a list of the top finalists according to the procedures described below:

(a) Identify all faculty who are nominated by both faculty and students. Rank these nominees in order of the number of corresponding faculty and student nominations. For example, a candidate with three faculty nominations and three or more student nominations would have three corres-ponding nominations and should be ranked higher than candidates with two faculty nominations and two or more student nominations (two corresponding nominations). If this process results in five or more candidates with at least one corresponding nomination, the top five shall become the finalists. If two or more nominees are tied in corresponding nominations for the fifth finalist, the candidate with the highest sum total (faculty plus student nominations) shall be included as the fifth candidate.

(b) If the ranking process described in (a) above fails to produce five finalists, then the number of finalists shall be reduced to those candidates who do receive at least one corresponding faculty/student nomination. In no case should a candidate without any corresponding nominations be included as a finalist. In the unlikely event that no candidates receive any corresponding nominations, there will be no recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award for that year. If only one candidate receives corresponding nominations, that person will become the sole finalist, but the committee shall proceed with a thorough review as directed below under "Review of Finalists" and vote to determine if the candidate should be recommended to receive the award.

The Faculty Commons Director will notify the committee chairperson when the list of finalists is prepared, and the chair will forward the names of finalists to the Chancellor’s Office for approval before proceeding to notify the finalists.

Notifying Finalists

After completing the screening process described above, the committee chairperson will contact all finalists, in a letter from the selection committee, to explain what will be expected of them in the remaining stages of the selection process and to give them an opportunity to accept or decline the nomination. If anyone declines nomination, that person should be replaced with the next most qualified nominee identified through the screening process. The committee’s letter to finalists should include the following information:

  • congratulations for being nominated
  • an invitation to attend a celebratory event
  • a request for a collection of data to be considered in the final review process (see additional details immediately below)
  • the timeline for activities in the selection process, highlighting dates for candidates' responsibilities
  • a request for the nominee's signature, indicating acceptance or declination of the nomination and willingness to provide requested data

With the letter described above, attach guidelines for the collection of data to be submitted by each finalist. Explain that the following items are required as a basic file for each candidate:

  • a written statement of teaching philosophy and teaching methods (3 pp. max.)
  • a list of courses (titles and numbers) taught over the past two years
  • a collection of course materials from one course of the candidate's choosing (e.g., syllabi, assignment sheets, sample tests, study guides, etc.)
  • summaries of student ratings of courses that have been evaluated over the previous two years

In addition, explain that each candidate may include whatever additional information he or she chooses. Guidelines should encourage submission of a well-developed file that includes a variety of evidence pertinent to each candidate's teaching.

One optional item, a videotape of selected classes (perhaps one 50 minute class
session or a comparable segment of a longer class), would be particularly helpful to the committee. Such a tape would make it possible for all committee members to observe all candidates under similar conditions. The committee's letter may recommend videotaping, but the decision to exercise this option remains with the candidates. In cases where videotapes are not included, the committee should make arrangements for classroom observation by as many members as possible.

Review of Finalists

After identifying a slate of finalists, the selection committee shall conduct a thorough review of all candidates based on data provided by each faculty finalist and any other information collected by the committee. Additional types of data may be collected at the committee's discretion, provided that similar information is gathered on all candidates. For example, the committee may arrange to interview the candidates or, with candidates' permission, some of their faculty colleagues or students. All materials shall be reviewed by all committee members. The chair of the selection committee should take responsibility to see that all committee members have opportunity to develop a full picture of each candidate's teaching expertise.

Selecting the Distinguished Teacher

After all finalists have been reviewed by all committee members, the committee members, including the chairperson, shall vote to determine the recipient. There shall be one campus-wide recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. Voting should be conducted according to the following procedures:

Each year, the committee chairperson should schedule one or more meetings, prior to voting, to discuss criteria for selecting the recipient of this award. Rather than discussing individual candidates, however, the committee should develop a list of characteristics of effective teachers based on their reading of professional literature on the topic and their review of the candidates. For example, all committee member might be invited to mention characteristics of effective teaching that they found in one or more candidates. All characteristics so identified may then be compiled into a composite "profile" of this particular group of teachers. Such a profile should provide committee members with a common set of criteria that are "fine tuned" to fit the candidates under review.

The committee should identify three semi-finalists by asking each committee member to indicate his or her first, second, and third choice on a ballot. Tally these ballots by giving three points for each first place vote, two points for second place, and one point for third place.

After identifying three semi-finalists, conduct another round of voting in which each committee member votes for only one candidate. The candidate receiving the most votes shall be the recipient, provided that he or she has at least two votes more than the candidate with the next highest votes. In case the difference between the top two candidates is not at least two votes, run-off ballots should be taken, with intervening discussion as needed, until a margin of at least two votes is achieved.

After the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award has been determined, the committee chairperson should provide a written statement about the recipient that can be used to honor and announce this person at the annual awards convocation. The chair should also remind all members that the results of this election are to be kept completely confidential until it is announced by the Chancellor.

The Chancellor reserves the right to acceptor reject the committee’s recommendation, and therefore it would be premature to divulge the committee's choice before the Chancellor has publicly confirmed it.


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