Lindback Nominations: December 6
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 Terry Conn at 3611 Locust Walk/6222
Criteria and Guidelines
1. The Lindback Awards are given
in recognition of distinguished teaching. "Distinguished" teaching
is teaching that is intellectually demanding, unusually coherent,
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 world view 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 of truth.
2. 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.
3. Distinguished teaching is
recognized and recorded in many ways; evaluation must also take
several forms. It is not enough
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.
4. 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.
5. 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
in a given year may be re-nominated in some future year and
receive the award then.
6. The Lindback Awards may be awarded to faculty members who
have many years of service remaining, or they may recognize
of distinguished service already expended. No faculty member
may be considered for the Lindback Award in a year in which
is considered for tenure or is in his or her terminal year.
All nominees should be members of the standing faculty. The
activities for which the awards are granted must be components
of the degree programs of the University of Pennsylvania.
7. The awards should recognize excellence in either undergraduate
or graduate teaching, or both.
8. 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
to look for an active relationship between a candidate's
teaching and the current state of scholarship in his/her
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
web site, www.archives.upenn.edu/histy/notables/awards/lindback.html which
includes recipients through 2003.
Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 11,
November 4, 2003