Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching
(As adopted by the Alumni Association Executive Committee on March 4, 2000 and amended on October 21, 2000, March 4, 2001, November 2, 2001, September 21, 2003, September 24, 2005, and November 1, 2008.)
Section I: Eligibility
Current faculty who have taught at Wesleyan for at least 10 years are eligible. Previous recipients are excluded for a period of 12 years after which they become eligible once again.
Section II: Selection Criteria
The criteria for selecting the recipients shall be excellence in teaching, as exemplified by commitment to the classroom and student accomplishment, intellectual demands placed on students, lucidity and passion. Recommendations may be based on any of the types of teaching that are done at the University including, but not limited to, teaching in lecture courses, seminars, laboratories, creative and performance-based courses, research tutorials and other individual and group tutorials at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Section III: Granting of Prizes
One to three recipients shall be chosen each year in accordance with these Regulations. The names of the recipients shall be communicated to the University by a designated committee member, and the Prizes shall be awarded at Commencement by the Chair of the Alumni Association.
Section IV: Understanding Between the Alumni Association and the University
Sections I, II, III, and IV of these regulations reflect the current understanding between the Alumni Association and the University with respect to the Prize. The University reserves the right to make changes to the Prize, including but not limited to the Terms of Eligibility; Selection Criteria; number, dollar value, and timing of the Prize. The University also reserves the right to reassign responsibility for administering the selection process and to notify the Chair of the Alumni Association of any changes at least two weeks prior to the fall meeting of the Executive Committee, during the school year for which such changes are to be applicable. The Alumni Association reserves the right not to maintain responsibility for administering the selection process. The Chair of the Association will notify the University of any change no later than one week following the fall meeting of the Executive Committee during the school year for which that decision is applicable.
Section V: Selection Committee
There shall be a Selection Committee, consisting of 5-7 members (one of whom shall be its Chair), whose duty it shall be, among other duties, to canvass students and alumni for recommendations and to convene in the spring to consider these recommendations and choose the recipients of the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
The Selection Committee will consist of the vice chair of the Alumni Association, three faculty members representing each of the three academic divisions, and up to three members at large, all to be selected by the Chair of the Alumni Association. Members of the Selection Committee shall serve a maximum of four years in any seven-year period. The Chair will appoint members of the Selection Committee such that, in any year, at least one faculty member and one other member of the Selection Committee shall have served on the Selection Committee the previous year. The chair of the Alumni Association will designate one member of the Selection Committee to serve as Chair of the Selection Committee.
Section VI: Selection Procedure
Alumni eligible to submit recommendations shall consist of the members of each of the last ten graduating classes, (BA and graduate alumni), and current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Alumni shall be contacted solely by email.
At least ten weeks prior to the scheduled meeting of the Selection Committee, the Committee shall send to alumni with known email addresses in the appropriate classes, and current juniors, seniors, and graduate students an email requesting up to three recommendations, ranked in order of preference, with written comments optional. An alphabetical list of eligible faculty with departmental affiliations will be included. The Selection Committee shall contact the three academic deans requesting any information they consider relevant to awarding the Prize. Two weeks after the initial mailing a second email will be sent to eligible alumni with known email addresses, and current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. All recommendations received up to two weeks prior to the scheduled meeting of the Selection Committee will be accepted.
The recommended faculty members will be ranked as follows: Three points are given for a first place showing, two points for a second place showing, and one point for a third place showing. Based upon these rankings, the Selection Committee will request from the Office of Academic Affairs the teaching evaluations of a group of faculty for review by the Committee.
The Selection Committee shall make its determinations in accordance with the Selection Criteria. In making its determinations, the Committee may consider the number of recommendations and point total received by faculty members, the quality of their teaching evaluations, the quality of comments included with recommendations, whether a candidate has been recommended in previous years, whether a candidate has been awarded the Prize in previous years, and such other factors as the Selection Committee may deem relevant.
The Chair of the Selection Committee shall notify the Chair of the Alumni Association of the Selection Committee's determinations.
Section VII: Amendments
Any amendment to these Regulations shall be approved by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association.
Updated November 3, 2008 by Gail S. Briggs to reflect changes adopted November 1, 2008.
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