Purpose: To recognize the excellence in teaching of Northern Michigan University faculty, the Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, working with the Teaching and Learning Advisory Council, announces the Excellence in Teaching Award.


Eligibility: Faculty who are currently on full-time, continuing, or active status and have been members of the Northern Michigan University faculty for at least three (3) years at the time of the award. Prior recipients may be nominated five (5) years after receiving this award.


Criteria: Nominees must have demonstrated a sustained record of high achievement in teaching evidenced by, but not restricted to:

  • Learning outcomes assessment data
  • Favorable student opinion surveys
  • Positive peer observation
  • Leadership in teaching activities (e.g. curriculum development, program assessment, adjunct training)
  • Enthusiasm for teaching and learning
  • Clarity, organization, and consistency in subject presentation and assessment
  • Creation of a safe and open learning environment
  • Engages in best practices for teaching their subject
  • Engages in a continuous cycle of self improvement of teaching
  • Thorough knowledge of subject matter taught.


Nominations: Any peer, department head/director, unit evaluation committee, or student may make a nomination for individuals or teaching teams. One PDF document, 25 pages at most, must be submitted to Rachel Perala in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at racheand@nmu.edu. 

The following items must be submitted, in this order, in one PDF document, that is no more than 25 pages:

  1. Letter of nomination from peer, department head/director, unit evaluation committee, or student. Limit of 2 pages. 
  2. Narrative from nominee that includes their teaching philosophy, an outline of how the included documents provide evidence of excellence in teaching, and other information to aid the selection committee understanding of the nominee's teaching. Specifically address how your teaching is continuously refined and improved. Limit of 3 pages. 
  3. Learning outcomes assessment summary.
  4. Qualitative and quantitative student opinion surveys.
  5. Peer observation.
  6. Sample course syllabi.
  7. Sample assignment, final exam and/or project.
  8. Curriculum vitae. Limit to 3 pages.
  9. Other items may include: teaching awards or recognition of teaching, thank you notes, solicited or unsolicited feedback from peers, students, and/or colleagues, grading rubrics, participation in Teaching and Learning Advisory Council's peer observation program.


Deadline: Completed nomination forms and all supporting documentation must be submitted by the announced deadline on the nomination form to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Deadlines vary by year, and will be announced campus wide via email. 

Selection: All nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Advisory Committee chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and composed of the Academic Deans, two members of the Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee, and two students.

Recognition: Recipients of the NMU Excellence in Teaching Award will be recognized at the December Celebration of Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship. Up to two recipients annually receive a cash award of $1,000.

Information: For further information, contact Rachel Perala in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at (906) 227-1458 or at racheand@nmu.edu.