Prestigious award to go to outstanding NIU professors

By Wendy Arquilla

If students have professors who they believe are brilliant educators, there is a chance out there to show them some appreciation.

Letters of nomination for the Presidential Teaching Professorships are due to the Office of the Provost by Oct. 19.

Jane Randolph, administrative secretary to the acting assistant provost, said, “The prestigious award goes to professors who are recognized as great educators at NIU.”

To be eligible for the award, a professor must be a full professor with tenure and must have taught at NIU for at least six years.

Randolph said that professors who are honored will receive a $2,000 increase in base salary and $5,000 a year for a four-year period that is to be used in the “legitimate pursuit of enhancing their educating abilities.”

Randolph said nominated professors are chosen on the basis of six criteria which include: instilling the intensity and appreciation for the subject taught, high standards and stimulation of student performance and commanding respect and esteem of students.

Nominated teachers also must demonstrate extraordinary commitment to students and their welfare, explore and develop effective instructional methods and work actively with the NIU community to improve NIU’s education system.

These standards are evaluated through the random selection of past students to evaluate a professor, as well as letters of recommendation from department chairs and professional peers, Randolph said.

“Anyone can nominate a professor who meets the requirements,” Randolph said. “We have had both faculty and students and even community members nominate professors in the past.”

Out of all nominees, six or seven finalists will be chosen and three of those finalists will become the recipients of the professorships. Randolph said that the three recipients must be approved by NIU President John La Tourette.

All winners will be honored at the May commencement ceremonies.