Presidential Teaching Professors - Call for Nominations


September 8, 2015

TO:       NIU Faculty, Administrators, and Supportive Professional Staff

FROM:   Anne Birberick, Vice Provost

RE:       Presidential Teaching Professorships - Call for Nominations 


The Presidential Teaching Professorships were established in 1990 to recognize those outstanding teachers who have demonstrated over time that they

  1. instill and develop in students an intensity of interest in, and an appreciation for, the value of the subject;
  2. apply rigorous standards to student performance, inspire students to become the best that they can be, and stimulate student growth;
  3. command respect and esteem as a teacher rather than merely being popular;
  4. demonstrate extraordinary commitment to students and their welfare, not only that the nominee is knowledgeable and prepared for class but is available to them outside of class for help with materials, for advising them, for listening to their concerns, and for assisting them with extra-class projects or activities;
  5. explore and develop effective instructional methods and technologies;
  6. work actively with students, faculty, and administrators to improve undergraduate and/or graduate education at NIU, and other activities directed toward the improvement of instruction.

Candidates must have tenure, rank of full professor, and at least six years of service at Northern Illinois University.

Up to two new Presidential Teaching Professors are named each year. Upon appointment each receives a base salary adjustment of $5,000. A grant of $5,000 per year for the four-year appointment is provided for the improvement of the professor's teaching and may not be used for personal salary. Sometime during the last half of the appointment, the professor will be released for one semester from teaching, research, and service responsibilities to permit generation of new course materials or the development of instructional methods. (Colleges will receive $4,000 towards the cost of that one semester release.) The award is not renewable and will end if and when full-time NIU employment ceases.

Each nominated professor who agrees to become a candidate will be asked to provide the Selection Committee with a portfolio including a current résumé, an essay (not to exceed 1,000 words) stating the candidate's philosophy of teaching, the names of two tenured colleagues (other than department chair), and the names and current addresses of five former students. The committee will request letters of support from each of these seven individuals. The committee will also invite each department chair or college dean to provide descriptions of the candidate's teaching performance and evaluations.

Letters of nomination for the 2016 Presidential Teaching Professorship award must reach my office by Tuesday, October 6, 2015. It is preferred that the letters be submitted electronically to Jeanne Ratfield at  A full description of the award is available online at or from Jeanne Ratfield in the Vice Provost's Office (815-753-8381).