Southeastern Faculty Senate


Faculty Senate Awards Policy

The Faculty Senate Awards began in 1994 to recognize faculty for excellence in teaching and outstanding research and scholarly activity. In 1998 the Faculty Senate Awards changed to include an award for meritorious service to the university and/or profession.

The Faculty Senate gives awards each year to deserving faculty members in the following areas:

  • Teaching – Excellence in teaching relates to the quality of instructor and student interaction in classes.
  • Scholarship – Scholarship refers to faculty involvement in research, presentations, and publications or performance
  • Service – Service refers to faculty involvement in activities that benefit the university, the community, and the profession.

The awards are given by school with the exception of the School of Arts and Sciences.  Due to the large number of faculty in the School of Arts and Sciences, these are given using the old divisions of Arts and Letters [Art, Communication, and Theatre; English, Humanities and Languages; Music; and Social Sciences] and Science and Technology [Biological Sciences; Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences; and Mathematics]. Faculty, therefore, “compete” only against other faculty nominated from their respective schools. There is also a Lifetime Achievement Award, a Professor of the Year award, an Adjunct of the Year award (restricted to excellence in teaching only and based on the current calendar year because of turnover), and a Librarian of the Year award. A total of 16 awards are given to outstanding faculty, adjunct faculty and librarians.  Winners are announced and awards presented at the Faculty-Staff Recognition Awards ceremony at the end of the spring semester.

Faculty members may be nominated by students, other faculty members, administrators, staff, or alumni for the awards. Nominations are generally open beginning in the end of November and continue until the end of January.  Nominations must be submitted online. The event is publicized both before and during the nomination period in the following ways: information emailed to all faculty (which faculty are asked to read in classes), information emailed to all staff and students, posted on Blackboard and posted on Southeastern’s home page.

Once nominations close, faculty members that have been nominated are sent an email notifying them that they have been nominated for a Faculty Senate award. They are also told that they may send in an electronic one-page letter of support describing why they think they are deserving of the award. If anyone is nominated in more than one category they will receive multiple notification emails so that they may respond addressing each category separately. Nominated faculty, adjunct faculty and librarians are generally given two weeks to respond. After response letters are received, all of the information is put onto a website for the official voting procedure. In early March, faculty at large (full-time and adjunct) are given a website address to vote. The website has a list of each faculty member nominated in each category by school, all of the nomination letters, and all of the letters of support. The faculty use this information to vote one choice for each category and may only vote one time. The voting process takes approximately 1-1/2 weeks.

The results are tabulated by the computer.  The awardees for the Adjunct Professor of the Year and the Librarian of the Year are determined by the highest number of votes from the faculty at large.  Ties are broken using the number of nominations received.  The Planning Committee narrows the nominee pool for Teaching, Service and Scholarship.  The top five nominees (where possible) for each category, for each school are selected by the number of votes received during the voting by the faculty at large.

*In late March the faculty from each school vote on the top 5 nominees for their school.  Faculty vote for 1st and 2nd choice for each category.  Awardees are determined by the highest number of 1st choice votes.  (Exception: alternative awardee is determined by second highest number of 1st choice received if the original awardee is the recipient of the Professor of the Year).  Ties will be broken by the number of 2nd choice votes.

The Planning Committee determines the nominees for Professor of the Year.  The faculty are eligible if they have been nominated in all three individual categories for their school and have at least one vote in each individual category (Teaching, Scholarship and Service).  One nominee may be selected each of the four schools: JMSB, EBS, A&S (Arts & Letters), A&S (Science &Technology).  Nominees are determined by the highest overall total number of votes in all three categories voted by the faculty from each school.  Ties are broken using the number of faculty at large votes.  In early April the Faculty Senate will then vote for 1st and 2nd choice from the nominees by secret ballot.  The awardee is determined by the highest number of 1st choice votes.  Ties are broken using the number of 2nd choice votes.  The awardee for the Professor of the Year becomes ineligible for any individual award.

In early February a solicitation for nominations for Lifetime Achievement will be emailed to faculty at large.  The nominee for Lifetime Achievement must have a minimum of 25 years of service to Southeastern, including a minimum of 10 years of tenured service and has not previously been a recipient of the award.  Faculty members nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award must submit a curriculum vitae that clearly documents long-term impact on learning of students, long-term service for the institution community and long-term success of scholarship and professional achievement.  In addition, the nominee must provide two supporting letters (one from a faculty colleague and one from an administrator or department chair).  The nominee may submit supplemental documentation if appropriate.  Examples may include, but are not limited to teaching portfolio, creative designs/portfolio, creative teaching material, and copies of publications, including books.  Senators will vote by secret ballot in early April for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The awardee is determined by the highest number of votes received during voting by the Faculty Senate.  Ties will be broken by a secret ballot of the 7-member Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  Because of the requirements for the award, it may not be awarded every year.

The official names of the awards are:

  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activity
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Meritorious Service to the University and/or Profession
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Professor of the Year
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Adjunct Professor of the Year
  • Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Librarian of the Year

[This is a narrative account of the awards policy that was approved—in outline form—by the Faculty Senate on November 30, 2016.  At the FS meeting of March 28, 2018, a paragraph* (on the late-March vote to determine the top 5 nominees for each school) was approved and added to this policy.]

View the Faculty Senate Awards Policy (PDF)