Excellence in Teaching

The award process is coordinated through the Office of the President. Nominators are encouraged to consult with the Office of the President about candidate eligibility prior to preparing a nomination; questions about dossier preparation are welcome at any time.

Due to awards@oneonta.edu by 12pm, Friday, January 12, 2024.
Incomplete nominations will automatically be disqualified.

SUNY Oneonta may submit three nominations to this program annually.


Each award has program-specific eligibility criteria; nonetheless, there are eligibility criteria common to all. Regardless of program, nominees must have completed three academic years of full-time appointment out of the five years just prior to the year of nomination and must be resident on campus when nominated. Individuals serving in part-time, or any qualified academic rank, such as adjunct, clinical, or visiting capacities – irrespective of length of their service or amount of their involvement – are ineligible for these programs.

General restrictions on eligibility

There are also circumstances that preclude nomination regardless of the program. The following are special conditions that limit eligibility and these restrictions apply to all programs:

  • Individuals holding Distinguished Faculty Rank: Distinguished Librarian, Distinguished Professor, Distinguished Service Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor – may not be nominated for an Excellence Award in any of the categories;
  • Recipients of an Excellence Award may not be nominated for another Excellence Award within a five-year interval;
  • Recipients of an Excellence Award may not be re-nominated for an award in the same category;
  • Individuals holding qualified academic appointments (as defined in SUNY Board of Trustees policies: individuals holding the title of lecturer or titles of academic rank preceded by the designation “visiting” or other similar designations) may not be nominated;
  • The chief campus officer for academic, student, or administrative affairs, or persons serving in these capacities, may not be nominated for an Excellence Award. Other exclusions include the following (but not limited to) as well as other comparable titles: Direct reports to the President or Chancellor, Vice Chancellors and above, Vice Presidents and above, Vice Provosts and above, Senior Counsels and above, and the Deans of the College of Ceramics at Alfred University and the New York State Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, of Human Ecology, of Industrial and Labor Relations, and of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University;
  • Individuals should not be nominated in the same season for promotion to Distinguished Faculty rank and an Excellence Award in the same category (e.g., an individual should not be nominated for a Distinguished Teaching Professorship and an Excellence in Teaching award); and
  • Posthumous nominations are ineligible.

Eligibility criteria

Academic Background – Candidates must be full-time teaching, tenured or tenure-track faculty. (Note: Please see full discussion of this issue above under “Academic Background” section for the Excellence in Faculty Service award)

Academic Rank – Candidates may hold any full-time academic rank (as defined in SUNY Board of Trustees policies: individuals holding the title of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor or assistant instructor).

Length of Service – Candidates must have completed at least three academic years in full-time appointment (years do not need to be consecutive) at the nominating campus prior to the year of nominations.

Restrictions – Individuals holding qualified academic appointments (as defined in SUNY Board of Trustees policies: individuals holding the title of lecturer or titles of academic rank preceded by the designation “visiting” or other similar designations) may not be nominated.8 The only exception to this restriction are Clinical Health Science Centers (HSC) faculty, who are eligible.

Local Guidelines: How to Prepare a Nomination

Nominators' Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the nominator(s) to complete and submit all required and allowable support file data. This includes the electronic submission of the following documents to awards@oneonta.edu by 12 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023:

  • One complete PDF dossier containing all required materials
  • One MS Word document of the maximum five-page summary
  • One MS Word document of the nominee’s curriculum vitae

SUNY will announce winners in April or May; however, due to timing factors, only award recipients and their campuses will be notified.

Nominator Dossier Preparation

The dossier will contain all required materials in the sequence below, with a table of contents. Incomplete nominations will automatically be disqualified.

  1. Table of contents.
  2. The one-page abstract, signed by the nominator(s), must highlight the nominee’s most outstanding accomplishments, organized by the specific SUNY selection criteria. Also, it must briefly describe the campus support for the nomination.
  3. The Summary Presentation (five-page summary) should include direct quotes from the letters of support and must speak specifically to each of the selection criteria in the SUNY guidelines as follows:

    For Excellence in Teaching, the primary criterion is skill in teaching.

    Teaching Techniques and Representative Materials – There must be positive evidence that the candidate performs superbly in the classroom. The nominee must maintain a flexible instructional policy that adapts readily to student needs, interests and problems. Mastery of teaching techniques must be demonstrated and substantiated. Consideration is to be given to the number of substantially different courses taught, the number of students per course, and the different teaching techniques employed in the various courses. When available, student evaluations (in the form of student questionnaires administered and compiled by persons other than the nominee) presented for several different courses over a period of several recent years may provide a clear idea of the nominee's impact on students.

    Scholarship and Professional Growth – Candidates must be teacher/scholars who keep abreast of their own field and who use the relevant contemporary data from that field and related disciplines in their teaching. Evidence in this area includes, but is not limited to, publications, grants, presentations at conferences, artistic productions, etc.

    Student Services – In relating to students, candidates must be generous with personal time, easily accessible, and must demonstrate a continual concern for the intellectual growth of individual students. The focus here is the accessibility of the nominee to students outside of class; e.g. office hours, conferences, special meetings, and the nominee's responsibility in terms of student advisement.

    Academic Standards and Requirements, and Evaluation of Student Performance – Candidates must set high standards for students and help them attain academic excellence. Quantity and quality of work that is more than average for the subject must be required of the students. Candidates must work actively with individual students to help them improve their scholarly or artistic performance. This individual interaction is an important source of information that indicates the nature and level of instruction offered by the nominee. Consideration is to be given to the quality, quantity, and difficulty of the tasks or work assigned to students. Candidates' evaluations of students' work must be strongly supported by evidence. Candidates must be willing to give greater weight to each student's final level of competence than to the performance at the beginning of the course. Since expert teachers enable students to achieve high levels of scholarship, it is possible that the candidates' marking records may be somewhat above average. There must also be evidence that candidates do not hesitate to give low evaluations to students who do poorly. For this category, consideration should be given to grading patterns, particularly grade distributions for all courses in at least two recent years. Evidence in support of student performance may also be assessed by the accomplishments of students, including placement and achievement levels.

    The format of the Summary Presentation (five-page summary) is significant because the document, if approved by the local selection committee, will be forwarded to SUNY System Administration. Formatting requirements include:

    • The heading must indicate the name, rank and college of the nominee and the nominator as follows:

      Name, Rank, SUNY Oneonta, nominated for the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching by Name, Title, SUNY Oneonta.

    • The final paragraph must repeat the nomination and summarize its salient points.
    • Avoid the use of first person.
    • Single-space with at least 11 point font size and set margins to at least 1".
    • Please do not use acronyms or language which will not be understood by external reviewers.
  4. The required curriculum vitae or resume must be reasonably detailed, specifying the most recent and required data.
  5. Letters providing strong evidence of the effectiveness of teaching techniques. These shall be limited to no more than five (5) letters, some of which may be from individuals not employed on campus. SUNY Oneonta peers should be at the nominee’s rank or higher. In addition, no more than two (2) letters of support from students (preferably former students) may be included.
  6. Documentation supporting teaching excellence will be used only for the on-campus evaluation. It must contain the following evidence to support the statements in the five-page summary:
    • A complete list of courses taught (not including sections) during the candidate’s career at SUNY Oneonta (if not listed in CV).
    • A list of three years of enrollments per section.
    • Course outlines and/or other materials showing uniqueness of teaching such as slide series, computer materials or lecture framework, from the last two years.
    • Summary of Student Perception of Instruction or similar widely accepted documents, as compared to department or college distribution, if possible, with free responses for the last two years, along with an optional explanation of the context.
    • Grade distribution for all courses taught for the last two years, as compared to departmental or college distribution.
    • If applicable, include a summary of how scholarship and/or service activities are related to the nominee’s teaching.

Last updated 5/5/2023

SUNY Guidelines
Rating Sheet

Incomplete nominations will automatically be disqualified.

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