Teaching Award




(Application Information)


The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level in keeping with the State University’s commitment to providing its students with instruction of the highest quality.

Award criteria:

The primary criterion is skill in teaching. Additionally, consideration is also given to sound scholarship (usually demonstrated through publications or artistic productions), outstanding service to students, as well as service to the State University and to the campus. The following criteria are to be used in selecting nominees for this award:

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 Evaluation of Requirements and 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.


Academic Background - Candidates must be tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Academic Rank - Nominees may be of any academic rank.

Length of Service -Nominees must have completed at least three academic years of full-time teaching on the recommending campus prior to the year of nomination.


  • 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. Therefore, other examples of positions excluded are: the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Executive Vice Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deputy Counsels, Campus Presidents, Campus Provosts, Deputy Provosts, Deputies to the President, Chiefs of Staff, Officers-in-Charge, Vice Presidents and 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 are ineligible for nomination;

  • 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

  • Under NO circumstances may candidates apply - or self-nominate - for these awards.

Number and frequency of awards:

Nomination allocations are based on a ratio to FTE's. One nomination allocation will be allotted for every 2,000 total FTE students on the campus.

Selection process:

Nominating Process: The nomination process/procedure is in two parts: local (MCC) nominations and state level review.


  • Nominations for these awards should arise from the entire faculty, student body and administration based on continuing and recognized teaching quality.

  • Employees may nominate colleagues for this award by submitting a formal nomination letter or memo. It must be printed and signed, then sent to Sandy Warren, Personnel Assistant in Human Resources (Brighton Campus, Building 1, Room 303), by the deadline listed on the main Faculty Senate Chancellors Award Page.

  • Human Resources will notify nominees shortly after the deadline so that the nominee may begin preparing and assembling his/her packet. If they choose to accept the nomination, nominees must submit packets to Sandy Warren by the deadline listed on the main Faculty Senate Chancellors Award Page.

  • The primary selection committee reviews packets and makes its recommendation to the President. The deliberations of the campus committee shall be confidential.

  • The committee forwards to the President no more than the number of nominations allowed.

  • Nominations endorsed by the President are forwarded to the State University of New York in care of the Office of the Provost.


  • Nominations for the awards are reviewed for compliance with the SUNY-wide criteria for selection and eligibility.

  • Failure by a campus to comply with the procedures established for the selection of nominees will result in the disqualification of all nominees from that institution.

  • After review, a report will be sent to the Chancellor in the form of recommendations for award.

Required documentation:

Checklist of Packet Materials

  • Coversheet, available here
  • Personal narrative written by nominee describing teaching techniques, flexible course policies, scholarship, commitment to student success, high academic standards, and quality and quantity of work expected from students
  • Classroom observations (within past 12 months), course information sheet(s), relevant class assignments incorporating relevant, contemporary data
  • Up-to-date and moderately detailed vitae, including variety of courses taught, number of students enrolled, and variety of teaching techniques employed
  • Student evaluations (if applicable)
  • Performance appraisals
  • Letters of recommendation (not to exceed 5)
  • Other relevant materials


Eleven (11) copies and one complete set of signed (in blue ink) originals of the nomination packet should be submitted by the nominee. Originals should not be hole-punched or stapled.


All nomination materials must be submitted to Melissa Fingar, room 1 - 303, or Sandy Warren, Room 6 – 301 (Human Resources), by no later than 4 p.m. on (deadline date: see main Chancellor's award page).