Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorships

The Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship recognizes excellence in instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Meigs Professorship communicates the University of Georgia’s commitment to excellence in teaching, the value placed on the learning experiences of our students, and the centrality of instruction to the University's mission.

For a comprehensive list of the Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors, please click here.

The Award

A maximum of five Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors will be named each year. The faculty so named shall receive a permanent salary increase of $6,000 beyond the raise provided through the normal allocation process at the college and departmental levels. In addition, the awardees shall receive a $1,000 discretionary fund for one year. Funds for the Meigs Professorships will come from the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Process

Each College or School may put forward to the Office of the Provost one nomination per year with the exceptions that the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences may forward six nominations per year and the colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Business, Education, and Veterinary Medicine may each forward two nominations per year.

No more than one professorship will be awarded in a single year to faculty nominated from a single department. Faculty who have won the Meigs Professorship are not eligible for re-nomination.  

The mechanism by which nominees are selected within colleges/schools will be determined by the respective deans; however, the college/school selection process must: 1) allow the college’s faculty to submit nominations, and 2) include a review of all nominees by a faculty committee. In addition, any department wishing to make a nomination for consideration by the college must have its own internally designated committee to advise the department head in selection of the faculty member to be nominated.

Dossiers supporting the Meigs Professorship nominees will be forwarded to the Office of the Provost by the Deans of the college and schools. Dossiers submitted to the Office of Provost will be reviewed by the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee, a committee comprised of twelve faculty members, two undergraduate students, and one graduate student. Faculty serving on the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee will be chosen by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from nominations solicited from the Deans and the Executive Committee of the Teaching Academy. The committee chair will be elected by the selection committee.

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost shall review the recommendations of the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee and, if accepted, forward the recommendations to the President.

Criteria

The intent is to interpret distinguished teaching broadly to include, as noted below, significant contributions to graduate and/or undergraduate instruction. For this reason, no detailed format or set of criteria for nominations will be specified. Since the Meigs Professorship is designed to recognize continued quality instruction, nominations will be limited to individuals who have held tenure-track faculty positions for at least five years.

Dossier Preparation

The dossier must not exceed twenty-five (25) pages in its total length (that is, including all materials, exclusive of the cover page) with a typeface no smaller than 11 point font size. Dossiers exceeding this length shall not be considered. Each dossier should be clipped in the upper left-hand corner. Pages, excluding the cover page, must be numbered.

Supporting dossiers must include:

  1. A written statement;
  2. A condensed curriculum vitae; and
  3. Supporting documentation, such as course evaluation data, supporting letters from colleagues and students (or summaries or excerpts thereof), syllabi, etc.

The written statement must be prepared by the departmental executive officer and should be no more than five pages in length. It should state clearly the candidate’s teaching load, past and present, and how it compares to the typical teaching load in the candidate’s department; it might also address the variety and levels of courses the candidate teaches. It must clearly and explicitly address each of the three following questions:

  1. How well does the nominee engage and stimulate students?
    This involves meeting responsibilities to students (e.g., well prepared for class, available for consultation, involved in undergraduate student tutorials, responsive to student questions and needs, provides clear instructions for assigned materials and assessments), and challenging students intellectually (e.g., stimulating ideas and interchange which provoke students to learn more, demanding quality performance in a responsible manner, and causing students to rethink their values and epistemologies). Documentation might come, for example, in the form of carefully designed surveys of students, in-depth review with representative students, solicitation of testimony from successful former students, and/or faculty evaluation of syllabi or other indicators of content organization and course objectives. These examples are intended to be illustrative, not prescriptive or exhaustive.

  2. How well is the nominee intellectually prepared for and dedicated to quality instruction?
    This can be addressed with information obtained from peers here and elsewhere. It might include, for example, instructional awards from professional societies or other groups, thoughtful observations from faculty colleagues about the nominee's scholarly orientation to instruction, formal participation in the national organizations devoted to the improvement of instruction, or past departmental evaluations for promotions or raises. Here, again, these examples are only illustrative.

  3. What has the nominee contributed to the overall quality of education?
    There are myriad ways in which significant contributions can be made: principal role in major curricular reform, introduction of pedagogical methods (including computer-aided instruction) that have resulted in others improving instructional quality, publication of a highly valued and used textbook or other course materials, development of new or innovative courses that occupy a key role in the curriculum, evaluated contributions to (or research in) disciplinary pedagogy, or systematic mentoring of young faculty members or teaching assistants striving to become better instructors.

The supporting documentation should be judiciously assembled to include only essential materials. For example, a summary of a student survey might be included, though it is unnecessary to include each survey form. Similarly, reliance on course syllabi as indicators of content and objectives might necessitate the inclusion of a single syllabus rather than syllabi from all courses.

It cannot be expected that any one individual will excel in all of the ways mentioned. However, other than in extraordinary instances, excellence must be manifested with more than a single indicator. For example, a student survey may be relevant to the case and provide useful information. However, at best it is but one indicator of what it means to achieve distinction in instruction in the broad manner intended with the Meigs Professorship.

It is in the interest of all concerned that dossiers be completed in full conformance with the requirements set forth above. For this reason, persons involved in preparing dossiers should be sure to clear up any uncertainties they may have prior to submitting dossiers for committee review.

Persons involved in preparing dossiers can ask to review sample dossiers maintained by the Office of the Provost. To review dossiers, contact David Dodson by email (ddodson@uga.edu) or telephone (542-0015). Questions concerning the proper dossier form are encouraged and should be directed to David Dodson.

One (1) copy of each nominee's dossier will be due in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost by Monday, November 17, 2014, and should be submitted to:

David Dodson
Executive Assistant to the Provost
Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
205 Administration Building