Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorships

The 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. The award is named for Josiah Meigs, who presided over the university’s first class of graduates.

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

2023-2024 Recipients

Melisa Cahnmann Taylor

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor
Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, Mary Frances Early College of Education

Tina D. Carpenter

Tina D. Carpenter
Professor in the J.M. Tull School of Accounting, Terry College of Business

Erin Dolan

Erin Dolan
Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Keith Dougherty

Keith Dougherty
Professor in the Department of Political Science, School of Public and International Affairs

Leslie Gordon Simons

Leslie Gordon Simons
Professor in the Department of Sociology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Julie Stanton

Julie Stanton
Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular Biology, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences


The Award

Up to five 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 Provost.


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 10 years, with a preference for candidates who are full professors.

Selection Committee

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 the Provost will be reviewed by the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee, a committee of 8 faculty members, one undergraduate student and one graduate student. Faculty serving on the Meigs Professorship Selection Committee will serve staggered, two-year terms and will be chosen by the 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 Meigs Professorship Selection Committee will forward their recommendations to the provost. 


Each college or school may put forward 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.

The nomination packed must not exceed 25 pages in its total length with one-inch margins and 12-point font. Nomination packets exceeding this length will not be considered. All pages must be numbered including the cover page. A nomination packet should include the following in a single PDF file:

  1. Cover page contatining nominee's name, college/school and department (1 page)
  2. A written statement from the nominee's dean (maximum 5 pages; see below)
  3. Nominee's condensed curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages)
  4. Supporting documentation such as course evaluation data, supporting letters from colleagues and students (or summaries or excerpts thereof), syllabi, etc. (see below)

The written statement must be prepared by the dean. 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 that 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.

Submission of Nominations

Deans' Offices should submit nomination packets as single PDFs (one PDF per nominee) through the school/college "course" site in eLC. The deadline is Wednesday, October 23, 2024.

Questions regarding the Meigs Professorship should be directed to:

Sherri Bennett
Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
(706) 542-0383