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WVU Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching

WVU Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching Application

In celebration of its thirtieth anniversary in 1984-85, the West Virginia University Foundation endowed a fund to establish the West Virginia University Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching.  The goal of the awards is to recognize developing or established patterns of distinguished teaching and/or exceptional innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design, and instructional tools.  Up to six awards of $5,000 (in support) each are given every spring.


The West Virginia University Foundation Awards for Outstanding Teaching are intended to recognize and reward exceptional teaching and/or innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design, and instructional tools.  Faculties of colleges and schools are encouraged to use the criteria suggested below, when applicable to their respective disciplines, as guidelines in selecting their respective nominees.  Some combination of these criteria may be relevant for each nominee.  A principal criterion is that the nominee should be considered to be among the very best teachers at any rank in the University.

Exceptional Teaching

  • Teaching effectiveness
    • Transfer of mastery of subject to notable effectiveness in teaching
    • Success in inspiring the spirit of inquiry and curiosity in students
    • Evidence that knowledge conveyed in a non-formal setting (outside classroom) resulted in changes in learner behavior or attitude, or in the adoption of new practice
  • Classroom performance and presentation
  • Distinguished work in advising and counseling students, directing theses and Dissertations, involving students in independent study, and recruitment of students
  • Documented contributions to student success and achievement, e.g., in subsequent related academic work or after graduation

  Exceptional Innovation in Instruction

  • Innovation in teaching methods, course and curriculum design, and instructional tools in classroom or non-formal setting
  • Improvement in the methodology and resources for teaching in a particular discipline
  • Propagation of teaching methodology or course content – through publication and other recognized methods of presentation

Eligibility for Award

All active faculty, at any rank, who are currently teaching are eligible for the award upon nomination or application for consideration.  Previous recipients of any institution-wide or college/unit teaching award are not precluded from eligibility.  A previous recipient of the Foundation award is not eligible again for consideration until the seventh year after the award was received.  The nomination of women and minority faculty is encouraged.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee this year is composed of fifteen faculty members and two student members; the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee will act as the Ex-Officio Chair of the Committee.  Faculty members acknowledged as teachers and scholars and two student scholars will be selected by the Provost to serve on the Committee.  The fourteen faculty members will represent the colleges, schools and integrated divisions.

Nomination/Application Procedures

Each college/school is responsible for nominating individuals for the WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching; each college/school is free to design its own nomination policies and procedures. The number of nominations that each college/school may tender may not exceed one-half the number of its elected Faculty Senate representatives, except that each may submit at least one nomination.  In order to ensure that each college/school submits only its "quota" of nominations and, more importantly, to ensure that nomination dossiers are reviewed by those most familiar with a nominee's achievements and by those most qualified to evaluate teaching excellence and/or innovation in a particular discipline, nominations submitted to the Provost’s Office which have not been reviewed through the official college/school screening process and forwarded by the Dean will be returned unevaluated.

Required Documents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Table of Contents: The table of contents should identify materials submitted as part of the required support documentation. 
  3. Summary Statement: A summary statement should be submitted discussing the basis for nomination and the characteristics that make this nominee an outstanding teacher.  The length of the summary should not exceed five (5) non-reduced, double-spaced pages, 12-point font, typed on one side only.
  4. Supporting Documentation: Supporting documents should not exceed 20 pages and may include the following, as appropriate:

    • Evaluations by peers, students, alumni, chairs, and deans (student evaluations should be tabulated and/or summarized);
    • Syllabi and course outlines setting forth course organization, types of exams and exam expectations, term paper or other writing requirements, texts and other assigned or recommended readings, lecture topics, and other class expectations;
    • List of courses taught, number of credit hours taught, and number of students for each class for the past five years;
    • Teaching awards or teaching grants funded;
    • Description of courses, curricula, or programs designed;
    • Summary of advising, counseling, and thesis/dissertation advising responsibilities;
    • Evidence demonstrating innovative course, curricula, or program development;
    • Evidence of the adoption of the nominee's innovation by others;
    • Consistent evidence of scholarly research and publication or other activity related to the propagation of teaching methodology, content, and innovation;
    • No videotapes, CD’s, published books, etc.
      5. Curriculum Vita: The abridged curriculum vita should be limited to five (5) pages emphasizing  the aspects of the                  faculty member's career as teacher, including degrees earned, record of  positions held and duties associated with              each, awards and honors, professional/educational  society activities and offices, textbooks written, and major                    publications on education.

Nominations and applications must be received, with all required documents, by Monday, February 5, 2024.  No late nominations will be accepted.  Nominations and applications, including the required documents, are to be uploaded to Digital Measures under Archived Reports and Documents in Other Submissions. Please select the current Academic Year, select Award: WVU Foundation Outstanding Teaching in the submission type and upload your materials in the Initial Faculty Submission.  Any nomination packets that are incomplete by the deadline date or which exceed the limitations on maximum length will be returned unevaluated.  Please note that the total number of pages may not exceed 32 and all pages should be consecutively numbered beginning with the number one on the Cover Page.

For additional information, please email or call 304-293-2021.