Lindback Nominations: December 1
Nominations for Lindback Awards for members of the standing faculty,
and for Provost's Awards for full- and part-time associated faculty and
academic support staff are now being accepted by the Office of the VPUL;
send to Terri Conn at 3611 Locust Walk/6222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criteria and Guideline
- The Lindback Awards are given in recognition of distinguished teaching.
"Distinguished" teaching is teaching that is intellectually demanding,
unusually coherent, and permanent in its effect. The distinguished teacher
has the capability of changing the way in which students view the subject
they are studying. The distinguished teacher provides the basis for students
to look with critical and informed perception at the fundamentals of a
discipline, and he/she relates that discipline to other disciplines and
to the worldview of the student. The distinguished teacher is accessible
to students and open to new ideas, but also expresses his/her own views
with articulate informed understanding of an academic field. The distinguished
teacher is fair, free from prejudice, and single-minded in the pursuit
- Distinguished teaching means different things in different fields.
While the distinguished teacher should be versatile, as much at home in
large groups as in small, and in beginning classes as in advanced, he or
she may have skills of special importance in his/her area of specialization:
skillful direction of dissertation students, effective supervision of student
researchers, ability to organize a large course of many sections, skill
in leading seminars, special talent with large classes, ability to handle
discussions or to structure lectures--these are all relevant attributes,
although it is unlikely that anyone will excel in all of them.
- Distinguished teaching is recognized and recorded in many ways; evaluation
must also take several forms. It is not enough to look solely at letters
of recommendation from students. It is not enough to consider "objective"
evaluations of particular classes in tabulated form; a faculty member's
influence extends beyond the classroom and beyond individual classes. Nor
is it enough to look only at a candidate's most recent semester or at opinions
expressed immediately after a course is over; the influence of the best
teachers lasts while that of others may be great at first but lessen over
time. It is not enough merely to gauge student adulation, for its basis
is superficial; but neither should such feelings be discounted as unworthy
of investigation. Rather, all of these factors and more should enter into
the identification and assessment of distinguished teaching.
- The Lindback Awards have a symbolic importance that transcends the
recognition of individual merit. They should be used to advance effective
teaching by serving as reminders to as wide a spectrum of the University
community as possible of the expectations of the University for the quality
of its mission.
- Distinguished teaching occurs in all parts of the University and therefore
faculty members from all schools are eligible for consideration. An excellent
teacher who does not receive an award in a given year may be re-nominated
in some future year and receive the award then.
- The Lindback Awards may be awarded to faculty members who have many
years of service remaining, or they may recognize many years of distinguished
service already expended. No faculty member may be considered for the
Lindback Award in a year in which the member is considered for tenure or
is in his or her terminal year. All nominees should be members of the standing
faculty. The teaching activities for which the awards are granted must
be components of the degree programs of the University of Pennsylvania.
- The awards should recognize excellence in either undergraduate or graduate
teaching, or both.
- The recipient of a Lindback Award should be a teacher/scholar. While
a long bibliography is not necessarily the mark of a fine mind, or the
lack of one a sign of mediocrity, it is legitimate to look for an active
relationship between a candidate's teaching and the current state of scholarship
in his/her field.
Who has a Lindback? For a roster of Penn
faculty who have won Lindback Awards since the program's inception in 1961,
see the University Archives website, www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/notables/awards/lindback.html which includes recipients through 2000.
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