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Regents reward outstanding educators with $2.4 million

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System’s most innovative and dedicated educators will receive $2.4 million this month as winners of a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

Ninety-six faculty members from across the UT System’s 15 academic and health institutions will each receive $25,000 and will be honored at a ceremony Aug. 20 at the University of Texas at Austin’s Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Texas Union. A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by the dinner and program at 7:15 p.m.

Considered the top teaching prize in the UT System, the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards program is believed to be among the single largest financial teaching awards program in the country.

“We are proud that these awards support and promote a culture of teaching excellence, especially in undergraduate programs, at all our campuses System-wide,” said Regents Vice Chairman Steven Hicks, chair of the board’s Academic Affairs Committee. “The teachers we are honoring are truly the best of the best.”

A complete list of winners can be found on the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards website

The Regents have awarded nearly $13.4 million since 2008, when the program was created to recognize faculty members who deliver the highest quality of instruction in the classroom, the laboratory, the field or online.

The award recognizes tenured, tenure-track as well as other instructional faculty for their outstanding teaching, mentoring, personal commitment to students and the learning process as well as motivating students in the classroom.

“It is the UT System’s responsibility to provide a world-class education for students at our institutions,” said Regent Robert L. Stillwell, who chairs the Health Affairs Committee. “Recognizing teaching excellence is an important part of the overall commitment to improving the quality of higher education across the state.”

Recipients are vetted by their peer colleagues, students and UT presidents before advancing to competition at the System level.

In their evaluations of a candidate’s teaching performance, members of the review panel consider a range of activities and criteria, including classroom expertise, curricula quality, innovative course development and student learning outcomes.

“Our excellence in teaching faculty is a critical part of the System’s vision of an institution of the first class,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D. “These awards are a reflection of the Regents placing the highest priority on undergraduate, graduate and professional teaching excellence System-wide.”

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.