Provost Awards Program for Outstanding Teaching

Sponsor: Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Updated: December 2023

Provost Teaching Awards Program Nomination Guidelines


Exceptional teaching promotes student learning of any discipline and includes all aspects of instruction.  To acknowledge the importance and high value Clemson University places on teaching and learning, the Office of the Provost sponsors a Provost Teaching Awards Program.  In particular, the Provost Teaching Awards recognize efforts by instructors to improve student learning experiences. In particular, the Teaching Awards are designed to recognize efforts by instructors to adopt new teaching strategies and new pedagogies, incorporate experiential learning experiences, apply inclusive practices and universal design for learning, impactful teaching technologies, and other means to increase student engagement and success.  Demonstrable impact on student learning is key, whether through individual teaching, team teaching, peer mentoring of colleagues, and/or departmental leadership These awards recognize demonstrable positive impacts on the quality of teaching at Clemson University.


  • Provost Junior Special Rank Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Provost Senior Special Rank Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Provost Junior Tenure-Track Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Provost Senior Tenured Outstanding Teaching Award


All instructors, including Librarian faculty, are eligible. Tenured/tenure-track and special rank as defined by the Faculty Manual. Research faculty with under 50% time in teaching will be considered in the tenure/tenure-track award.  Other faculty roles not noted above with over 50% teaching and senior lecturers will be considered in the special rank category. The two senior awards include faculty having served more than 7 years at Clemson, not including experience as a teaching assistant or part-time faculty member. Nominees must hold a full-time appointment at Clemson University as an active instructional faculty member through May of the awarding academic term. Nominations must be submitted through the nominee’s primary college affiliation, through their dean’s or associate dean’s office. Nominees who do not receive a Provost Teaching Award in any given year are eligible for re-nomination through a new nomination package submission. Previous winners are not eligible for re-entry into the same category of award at the same level. However, winners of a Junior level award may re-enter for the Senior level award upon meeting the experience criteria for the latter.


For senior awards: This award recognizes the quality of recent achievements expressed through teaching philosophy, methodology, and self-assessment aimed at improvement and innovation. To make a truly compelling case for each senior award, the nominee should be able to demonstrate they have also applied these attributes broadly both within the academic community of Clemson University and the broader academic community as appropriate. If available, evidence of national visibility in the field may help strengthen a nominee’s case.

For junior awards: The award recipients are expected to demonstrate the quality of recent achievements involving teaching philosophy, methodology, and self-assessment aimed at improvement and innovation. The recipients are not expected to demonstrate these attributes broadly in the academic community outside of Clemson University.   

The provost-level review panel reserves the right not to name a winner in an award category due to insufficient meritorious nomination entries.


Winners will receive a one-time cash prize of $4,000 and $5,000 for junior and senior awards, respectively, and a certificate or plaque of merit. All winners receive an invitation to be recognized at a University Awards Ceremony.


Step in Process


Request for Nominations

January 2024

Colleges submit nominations to provost (see submission details below)

Friday, March 1, 2024

Merit Evaluation of Nominations

March 4-15, 2024

Notification to winners and non-winners

Starting March 22, after Merit Review

Awards Ceremony

May 6, 2024


The Awards Program evaluation is a two-tier process, including (1) a college-level review as needed to determine their respective nominations, and (2) a provost-level merit evaluation by a selection committee formed by the provost. The awards selection committee may include a combination of university faculty and administrators, immediate past winners, and a representative from the faculty senate, following strict rules governing conflict of interest.

Application Materials

Nomination from Dean/College Administrator: 

For each nominee, also provide the following additional content:

  1. Briefly comment on the degree to which nominee(s)
    (a) articulates a cohesive, impactful teaching philosophy, and
    (b) documents substantive expertise in evidence-based teaching. In other words, what is the nominee’s philosophy of teaching and how do they put it into practice? Explain how nominee improved their teaching, based on feedback from evaluations and assessments.
  2. Discuss how nominee’s teaching compares to others within the department, college, and university, and how their teaching demonstrates evidence-based practices.
  3. Include two other endorsements (who may be Alumni, Current Students or Colleagues)
    1. These endorsements should provide a brief accounting of nominee's excellence in and dedication to teaching and convey how the nominee’s special contributions distinguish them from other teachers.
Materials Provided by Faculty Nominee:

For your nomination packet, briefly provide demonstration of teaching quality in the following areas:

  1. List your most recent (3–5 year) teaching assignments.
  2. Provide a Teaching Philosophy that includes efforts and commitment to inclusive teaching practice.
  3. Document teaching quality by providing multiple (at least three) types of evidence per the Faculty Manual. Include an introductory statement explaining how the documented evidence (included) supports your teaching philosophy and is evidence of teaching excellence. Evidence can include:
    1. Evidence-based measurements of student learning (such as pre- and post-testing or student work samples) that meet defined student learning outcomes.
    2. Evaluation (by peers and/or administrators) of course materials, learning objectives, and examinations.
    3. In-class visitation by peers and/or administrators [provide observation letters describing the faculty member’s methods].
    4. Exit interview/surveys with current graduates/alumni.
    5. A statement documenting how feedback from student rating of course experiences or evaluation instruments above were used to improve teaching.
    6. Student rating of course experiences (per instructions below**)
      (From the Clemson University Faculty Manual, August 2022 (v1.0) p. 67-68)
  4. List the title and dates of any teaching awards you have received.
  5. Professional / Scholarly Activity: List professional development and scholarly activity supporting excellence in teaching as evidenced by intellectual accomplishments and pursuits related to teaching.
  6. Service to the Teaching Profession: Briefly document service such as leading teaching improvement initiatives, serving as teaching mentorship to other faculty, undergraduate, or graduate students, or other approaches supporting excellence in teaching, curriculum development, and student academic success.
  7. Service to Students: Provide a brief account of the degree to which you have contributed to student success through such activities as academic and career advising, undergraduate research, mentoring, supervising internships, competitive team activities, and similar service.
  8. Concluding statement

** When including student evaluations, follow the advice of professional associations such as the APA (psychology) and the ASA (sociology). Provide several semesters of data for individual courses, as presented by Faculty Success (or the equivalent, if older).  Provide comparisons only with similar classes (e.g., comparison of Gen Ed courses to other Gen Ed courses; comparisons of major, upper-level courses to similar upper-level courses). If evaluations cannot be provided as comparisons, please briefly explain why.

Submission Process

An eligible nomination from a college dean’s or associate dean’s office must be submitted as a single PDF document, in one email message addressed to Tom Kealy (, cc’ed to

File Naming Convention: The PDF document should be named using the first initial and full last name of the nominee. For example, the PDF name for Dr. John Doe would be JDoe.

Ndominations submitted after the posted deadline date and time will not be accepted for review.

Applicants must provide the following items as one collected pdf application:

  • Provost-supplied Information Cover Page and Personal Data Page - both included in the application pdf as fillable forms
  • Nominator Statement from Dean/College Administrator
  • Materials Provided by Faculty Nominee (see materials above for specific segments to include)
  • Two endorsement letters (single page each) from another source (alumnus or current student, and a colleague)

Awards Program Application

Applicants must complete the Provost Awards Program Application.

Awards Program Review Committee

A university-wide review committee will form per academic year. This will be the committee’s structure:

Committee Chair (One)
Term: Unlimited
(Executive Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation)

Faculty Senate President or Designee (One)
Term: 1 year
(Faculty Senate President or designee)

College Faculty Representatives from each college (Seven) plus libraries (One)
Term: 2 years
(Potentially the chairs of the awards committee from each college, who are usually elected from among instructional faculty)

Undergraduate Student Government Representative (One)
Term: 1 year
(Student leader appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from Undergraduate Student Government)

Graduate Student Government Representative (One)
Term: 1 year
(Student leader appointed by the Provost upon recommendation from Graduate Student Government)

 Clemson Online staff (One)
Term: Unlimited

Senior Associate Provost (One)
Term: Unlimited

Provost Administrative Support (One)
Term: Unlimited
(Faculty Affairs Project Director)