Teaching excellence is a pillar of the RIT academic/core strengths. The Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes tenure-track faculty who excel in teaching and leadership on campus.
The award is named after Richard and Virginia Eisenhart, who continued the legacy of the Eisenhart family’s support of teaching and learning at RIT by endowing the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
The candidate must be a full-time untenured, tenure-track faculty member at RIT and have completed less than three years as a full-time tenure-track faculty member at RIT by June 30 of the year previous to the review process in which the award is given.
The nominee shall be a full-time tenure-track faculty member for all of the year in which the award is given, and will not be on official leave for any of this period.
To determine teaching excellence, each nomination committee shall thoroughly investigate and establish that:
The candidate has clearly and unequivocally demonstrated superior teaching methods and has made significant contributions toward the betterment of RIT students’ educational, vocational, and professional development. The superiority of each candidate shall have been thoroughly proven through documented evaluation, including endorsements by peers in the field of specialization, student evaluation, and classroom observation by the Nomination Committee members.
The candidate has demonstrated excellent knowledge of the discipline(s) taught.
The candidate has maintained the currency of material presented and general knowledge of subject matter through such means as: research, publications, conferences, professional communications, and contacts with fellow scholars or centers of research and study, seminars abroad or at home, or projects of scientific, artistic, or professional interest to RIT’s students and faculty.
The candidate has made a distinct difference in the teaching climate of the college in such areas as: model classroom teaching, campus leadership, pioneering teaching methodology, creative course development, and/or instructional support.
The candidate has been involved with and served the RIT community as a whole.
If you would like to nominate a tenure-track faculty member who excels at teaching, please complete and submit a nomination form when the application process opens in the spring.
When it opens, a committee appointed by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will be composed of the Provost or a dean, chair of Academic Senate (or representative), a student appointed by Student Government, a staff member appointed by Staff Council, alumni, and three faculty members, including a department program chair.
Nominations will be solicited from faculty, staff, students, and administration.
Each nominee will be asked to submit a résumé, statement of teaching philosophy, student evaluations, and recommendations from the college dean and department chair. Finalists selected from the pool of nominees may be interviewed by the selection committee.
The award is intended as recognition by peers and students. A faculty member should be selected who has made a distinct difference in the teaching climate of the college in such areas as: model classroom teaching, campus leadership, pioneering teaching methodology, creative course development and/or instructional support.
The committee will recommend to the Provost a faculty member who meets the above criteria, who shows signs of teaching excellence and has three years or less teaching experience at RIT by June 30 of the year prior to when the award is given.
Nominations are requested during fall quarter each year and the award is given annually in spring quarter.
Award recipients will be honored at the Provost’s Celebration of Teaching and Scholarship awards.
RIT was selected several years ago to participate in the Sears-Roebuck Foundation’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award Program. Because the program, which was discontinued by Sears-Roebuck, was so successful and enthusiastically received at RIT, it was decided that the Provost’s Office would continue to fund the award each year, renaming it the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Richard and Virginia Eisenhart have continued the legacy of the Eisenhart family’s support of teaching and learning at RIT by endowing the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award. In appreciation, this award has been renamed the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The late Mr. Eisenhart was chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees and member for 26 years. He and the late Mrs. Eisenhart were also generous supporters of the Eisenhart Memorial Scholarship, the Nathaniel Rochester Society, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT, the Athenaeum, and the Kilian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Interfaith Center.
The Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching supports undergraduate education at RIT by recognizing the fundamental importance of the quality of teaching to the value of the education process. It supports faculty who have taught three years or less in their pursuit of excellence in teaching and leadership in the campus community, assists the university in nurturing the academic climate that fosters teaching at its best, and enhances teaching as a profession.