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The Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award

Call for Nominations for 2009

pdf print version of 09 Call for Nominations

The UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development requests nominations for the 2009 Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Awards. For 2009, four awards of $3,500 each will be made to the winning nominees from UW System institutions within the service area of the company. The awards are intended to recognize teaching of outstanding quality that leads to substantial intellectual growth in students.


Eligible individuals must be current members of the teaching faculty or teaching academic staff at one of the UW System institutions within the service area of Alliant Energy. These institutions include UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and the UW College campuses at Baraboo, Fond du Lac, Richland Center, Rock County, and Sheboygan. The campuses at Madison and Platteville and the five Colleges as a group may each nominate up to three faculty or academic staff members for the award. No more than two awards will be presented to nominees from any one institution in any given year.


Nomination procedures will be determined by each eligible institution, and only those nominations submitted by the eligible institutions will be considered. Therefore, individuals must consult with and work through their Provost's office in making their applications. We urge institutions to ensure that the procedure is as thorough, careful and fair as possible and that it allows for participation by all major constituencies of the university community.


Award recipients will be selected by a System committee composed of one faculty or academic staff member from each of the candidate institutions and one member of the Office of Professional and Instructional Development. Faculty and staff members serving on the committee will have outstanding teaching records and/or previous experience serving on similar committees.


The System Selection Committee will especially value evidence that the candidate:

  1. Displays an uncommon commitment to teaching (e.g., works to maintain a strong and current knowledge of the field; seeks out and develops innovative approaches to teaching, including effective uses of technology to enhance teaching; shares insights on teaching through presentations and publications; serves as mentor or special advisor to students; sponsors student-initiated projects).
  2. Employs especially effective teaching strategies (e.g., communicates high expectations; establishes good intellectual rapport with students; engages students in and out of the classroom in an active examination of the topic; conveys excitement about the material; fosters conceptual and critical thinking; models and encourages an integrated view of knowledge; respects and responds to the diversity among students).
  3. Has enabled particularly notable achievements by former students.
  1. A 1- or 2-page reflective statement by the nominee on his or her teaching and learning philosophy, strategies, objectives, and on how these have evolved over time.
  2. A condensed version of the nominee's curriculum vitae (no more than 5 pages).
  3. Two or three letters of support from current or past students. At least one letter should be from a student with recent or current contact with the candidate.
  4. Two or three letters of support from colleagues qualified to comment on the candidate's teaching. (One should be from the department chair.) Letters of support should contain a signature as evidence of authenticity. Please scan or otherwise prepare letters for electronic submission.
  5. A well-organized, small set of items (no more than 10 pages) that document the excellence of the candidate's teaching (e.g., course syllabi, handouts, descriptions of evaluation methods, examinations, grants received for teaching/course development, videotapes, etc.). These items should be accompanied by a brief explanation of why they were included in the dossier, i.e., how they document the excellence of the nominee's teaching.
  6. Evidence of the success of the candidate's teaching (no more than 3 pages), which may include a summary of student evaluations for each course taught over the past two years, a list of awards for teaching, invitations to speak at teaching improvement meetings, and other relevant material.

NOTE: Due to the large number of nominations we receive, it is essential that the above page limits be respected.


Nominations and supporting materials are due by February 16, 2009 and should be emailed to the Office of Professional and Instructional Development at Questions about the awards program should be addressed to Donna Silver at 608.262.4337 or Awards will be announced in March.