University Distinguished Teacher

The designation of University Distinguished Teacher has been established in order to recognize faculty members at the University who are outstanding teachers at the undergraduate level. Only full-time non-tenure-track and non-tenured faculty members will be considered for this honor. Designated faculty members will hold the title permanently, be so identified in University publications, and receive an annual monetary award of discretionary funds to support their professional development for the four years following their appointment. The names of all University Distinguished Teachers will be engraved on a plaque to be prominently displayed at the University.

Nomination Deadline: SEPT 1, 2022


Nominees shall have met the following criteria:

  • Each nominee shall ordinarily teach a minimum of three undergraduate courses per year for at least the past three years.

  • Faculty nominated for consideration as University Distinguished Teachers shall have a record of superior accomplishment in teaching. The nominee shall document this record with evidence such as results of student opinion surveys, peer evaluation, statements from former students, and other relevant information.

Nomination Process & Schedule


Nomination will be in writing by a departmental colleague in the nominee's discipline by September 1.

  • Schedule of Non-tenure-track and Non-tenured Faculty for University Distinguished Teacher Designation

    8/1 Provost and vice president for academic affairs calls for nomination of eligible faculty to be submitted to the department/school chair and forms the University Distinguished Teacher Committee.
    9/1 Nomination(s) submitted by a departmental colleague in the nominee's discipline.
    10/1 Chair of the department/school conducts a secret ballot of the department/school full-time faculty members to select the nominees and forwards the nominees who received a majority of the vote, including the votes, to the college dean.
    11/1 College dean evaluates the credentials of the department/school nominees and selects the college nominees for submission to the University Distinguished Teacher Committee via the Provost's office. The number of college nominees shall not exceed 10% of the college's full-time non-tenure-track and non-tenured faculty.
    12/1 University Distinguished Teacher Committee reviews the college nominees and submits its recommendations to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Nominees forwarded to the provost and vice president for academic affairs must have an affirmative vote of at least four Committee members.
    1/1 Provost and vice president for academic affairs decides which of the University Distinguished Teacher nominees submitted by the Committee will be designated as University Distinguished Teachers.
  • The chair of the department/school shall provide the full nomination packet to the department/school full-time faculty prior to the ballot, and the chair of the department shall conduct a secret ballot of all full-time members of the department/school and submit the vote with the nomination. Upon affirmation of a majority of those voting, the chair shall forward the nomination(s) to the Dean.
  • The Dean of the college shall evaluate the credentials and submit the names of no more than 10% of the full-time non-tenure-track and non-tenured faculty in their college for nomination to the University Distinguished Teacher Committee.
  • The University Distinguished Teacher Committee shall normally be comprised of one full-time faculty member from each college who holds the designation of University Professor or University Distinguished Teacher as selected by the College Promotion and Tenure Committee. The University Distinguished Teacher Committee may, by an affirmative vote of at least four members, recommend designation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who will make the final designation not later than January 1 for the next year.

Nomination Packet Shall Include:

  • Personal statement by the person nominated describing general teaching philosophy [maximum two pages double spaced].
  • Documentation of teaching innovations and of a scholarly approach to teaching and learning.
  • Portfolio reviews for the last three years are required.
  • Curriculum vitae with priority given to activities and awards that focus on teaching [maximum two pages].
  • Faculty member's teaching log listing courses taught in the last three years with number of students, student opinion surveys for the last three years, and grade distributions from the last three years.
  • In addition to the nomination letter, no more than four letters of support with at least two written by the nominee's former students who have graduated from the University. The other two may come from persons in the community of his or her profession including former students [maximum 12 pages]

Send your nomination

Submit to Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Strategic Initiatives

Award & Presentation

The recipients will be recognized at the annual faculty awards dinner with a certificate. Also, their names, along with the names of previous award winners, will be included on a large plaque prominently displayed in Webb Center. The recipients will each receive $3000 annually in discretionary funds for four years, as long as they remain faculty members at ODU. The recipient is not required (or invited) to make a presentation.

Past Award Winners

  • Michelle Carpenter, Marketing
  • Laura Hill, Human Movement Sciences
  • Nestor Escobales, Engineering Technology
  • Charles Gray, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
  • Ayman El Mesalami, Department of Computer Science
  • Beth Backes, English
  • Alison Lietzenmayer, Communication and Theatre Arts
  • Vivian Paige, Accounting
  • Kelly Alvey, Information Technology and Decision Sciences
  • Katherine Jackson, English
  • Tatyana Lobova, Biological Sciences
  • Andrew Cohen, Finance
  • Janis Krebs Smith, English
  • Jimmie Carraway, Information Technology and Decision Sciences
  • Amy Landers, Psychology
  • Joshua Wallach, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Carla Harrell, Communication and Theatre Arts
  • Aaron Karp, Political Science and Geography
  • Randall Spurrier, Accounting
  • Betsy Kennedy, Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies
  • Terry Kubichan, Accounting
  • Nathan Luetke, Engineering Technology