Faculty Awards

UNH Faculty

Faculty Excellence Awards

Each year, the University of New Hampshire selects a small number of its outstanding faculty for special recognition of their achievements in teaching, scholarship, and service. Awards for Excellence in Teaching are given in each college and school, and University-wide awards recognize public service, research, teaching, and engagement.

Faculty Excellence is supported by the Dr. Norman Alexander Teaching Excellence Fund. Established by Arnold P. and Della Hanson, the fund honors Dr. Alexander for his exceptional career at the University where, from 1929 to 1948, he served as faculty member, dean of men, and chair of the government department.

Recipients of Faculty Excellence Awards


Frequently Asked Questions
Nomination Process
UNH Faculty Awards Committee

Nominations for Faculty Awards Letter  AY 2014-15 


Outstanding Faculty Award - Assistant and Associate Professor

The ideal university faculty member is someone whose accomplishments in the areas of teaching, research, and service are prodigious and of the highest quality. He or she is an inspiring, challenging, and effective teacher, whose concern and respect for students is evident both in and out of the classroom. Such a faculty member makes important and extensive contributions to his or her chosen field, and shares those contributions with peers through publication or other appropriate means. Finally, the ideal faculty member willingly and effectively devotes time and energy in useful service to the university, the profession, and the state. The recipients of these awards are those members of the university faculty who, in recent years, have demonstrated these qualities. Each year, two Outstanding Faculty Awards will be given, one each for an assistant and an associate professor. All UNH tenure track faculty members at those ranks are eligible.

Distinguished Professor Award

The purpose of this award is to identify and honor longstanding members of the UNH faculty. This singular university-wide award will be given each year to the faculty member whose overall record of excellent teaching, caring about students, devotion to the university community, and substantial record of scholarly achievement exemplifies what we would call a "distinguished longstanding career" at UNH.  Each year there will be no more than one Distinguished Professor Award.  Long-term UNH tenure-track faculty members at the rank of professor are eligible.

Award for Excellence in Research

This award acknowledges and honors a member of the UNH faculty who has demonstrated superior creativity and success in his/her research. Research is understood to include activities that result in the generation of new ideas or works of art, the solution of fundamental problems in a particular field, or the discovery of important new facts. This award is based on the quality, originality, and significance of the recipient's scholarly work. Since university faculty are expected to be effective transmitters as well as creators of knowledge, the willingness and ability of the recipient to share knowledge and research skills with colleagues and students should be evident. Each year there will be one Award for Excellence in Research. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except those who have received this award within the last five years.

Award for Excellence in Public Service

This award recognizes and honors exceptional achievements in the area of public service. Individuals who receive this award have engaged in outstanding service activities that are dependent on their academic expertise and that support the mission of the university. The types of activities to be honored should be related to a candidate's academic field and may include exceptional service to local, state or federal governments, to non-profit organizations or agencies, to business or industry, and to the university. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except those who have received this award within the last five years.

The Jean Brierley Award for Excellence in Teaching

The Jean Brierley Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes excellence in teaching by a faculty member over the course of a long-term distinguished career at UNH.  A bequest from the estate of Jean Brierley, Class of 1930, established this award. Professor Brierley established the endowed fund in 1973 to recognize teaching in any field or discipline at UNH. The recipient will give a presentation at an annual event sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to help celebrate and promote good teaching. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except those who have received this award within the last five years.

Excellence in International Engagement

This award recognizes exceptional international engagement by a UNH faculty member. Nominees should have a well-established and ongoing record of international activities while on the UNH faculty. Such activities should include several of the following: individual research, collaborative research, exchange teaching, encouraging student international involvement, program development, service on international boards and task forces, consulting and/or publications/performances. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except those who have received this award within the last five years.

UNH Faculty Awards Nomination Process 2014-2015

The process begins in the fall of each Academic Year when the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs sends a memorandum to all faculty, department chairs, directors, and deans soliciting nominations for specific faculty awards. The process is usually completed by March of the following year.

A formal nomination is required. Each nomination must include:

a. A letter from the nominator. Indicate the specific reasons the faculty member is being nominated for the specific award and provide evidence in support of the nomination. Be sure to address the award criteria.
b. The nominee's Curriculum Vitae (CV).
c. Two (2) letters of reference that address the nominee's qualifications for the specific award. Do not submit more than two letters of reference. (Note: Unless there is a compelling reason, do not include a letter from the nominee’s dean/director during the first round of review. The committee will solicit a reference letter from the dean/director if the nominee becomes a finalist for the award.)

Self-Nominations are acceptable. 
Such nominations must include a self-nomination letter, CV, and two reference letters, as described above.

Electronic submission required. 
All nomination materials must be submitted electronically by no later than Monday, February 2, 2015, 4:30 pm. All material must be submitted by the nominator in digital form only, using MS Word or pdf file attachments. The nominator must send all of the nomination materials, in one submission, to: teaching.excellence@unh.edu. Submissions will be acknowledged by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning within four business days. If the nominator has not received an acknowledgment of receipt by then, please send an inquiry to: teaching.excellence@unh.edu or call 862-0233.

Please note: The nominator should collect all of the nomination materials and submit them at one time to: teaching.excellence@unh.edu. All nomination materials—the nomination letter, nominee's CV, and two letters of reference—must be submitted by the nominator.  Februay 2, 2015 is a firm deadline for receipt of all materials in support of a nomination. Materials will be provided to faculty awards committee members the day following the deadline.  Nominators are urged to prepare and submit nomination materials prior to the deadline.

Address any questions to the Chair of the Faculty Awards Committee (Professor Victor Benassi, at: vab@unh.edu or call 862-1137).

1. The Faculty Awards Committee reviews all nominations and selects finalists for each award based upon the candidate’s CV, two reference letters, and the nomination letter.

2. Once the finalists for an award have been identified, the chair of the Faculty Awards Committee will request additional information from the nominator. In some instances, additional reference letters are solicited.  PLEASE NOTE:  Nominators of finalists for awards will be contacted on or about February 13, and have until February 25 to submit any additional requested material.  If a nominator is not going to be available during this time, she/he should designate a colleague to provide any additional information on the finalist.
a. For all awards that include teaching, a letter will be requested from the finalist’s department chair specifically requesting an assessment of the nominee’s qualifications for the award. This provision will be used for nominations involving the Outstanding Assistant/Associate and Distinguished Professor Award and the Brierley Award for Excellence in Teaching. It also may be used for other awards. If the chair of the department is not the nominator or a letter of support writer, the committee recommends that, as a courtesy, the nominator inform the department chair of the nomination. If the chair of the department is the nominee, the Faculty Awards Committee chair will request this letter from a senior professor in the nominee’s department.
b. For the finalists, the nominator will be requested to furnish a detailed assessment of recent student evaluation of teaching information for committee consideration.

3. The chair of the Faculty Awards Committee requests the dean of a finalist’s school/college to furnish a letter indicating his or her perspective on the finalist related to the specific award. (The committee recommends that nominators, as a courtesy, inform the dean about the nomination.) Upon request, the chair will send to the dean a copy of the candidate’s CV, nomination letter, and the letters of reference received in the original nomination packet.

4. Throughout the process, the Faculty Awards Committee relies upon the nominator to furnish additional information as required by the committee in order to complete its considerations. The Faculty Awards Committee may add finalists from the pool of nominees for its consideration after it has reviewed other finalists.

5. The Faculty Awards Committee makes recommendations for the awards to the Provost.

6. After making final decisions, the Provost informs each recipient’s dean of her/his selection. The dean informs the award recipient and the person who nominated the recipient. All nominees, nominators, deans, and appropriate university offices are informed of the decisions.

7. The Office of the Provost will maintain a file with all submitted materials related to the award recipients. All other submitted materials will be destroyed after award decisions have been made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a successful nomination?
It is essential that the original letter of nomination succinctly and cogently “make the case” for that nominee relative to the specific award. The committee is interested in the special and distinctive attributes this candidate presents relative to the particular award.

If a faculty member was considered last year, will he or she automatically be considered again?
No. No permanent files are maintained on the nominees or finalists. To have the same individual considered again, a new nomination (nominating letter + CV + 2 reference letters) must be made in accordance with this process.

Is it appropriate to discuss specific nominees with members of the Faculty Awards Committee?
Address any questions to the Chair of the Faculty Awards Committee (Professor Victor Benassi, at vab@unh.edu or call 862-1137).

What happens if a member of the Faculty Awards Committee is nominated?
If the committee member declines nomination, he or she remains involved in all actions of the committee. If, however, the committee member accepts nomination, he or she is removed from the committee (for one year) and is replaced by another faculty member.

What happens if a member of the Faculty Awards Committee nominates a colleague?
Nomination by a member of the committee is prohibited as a condition of membership.

What happens if a faculty member from the same academic department (or division at UNHM) as a member of the Faculty Awards Committee is nominated?
The member of the Faculty Awards Committee from the department or unit will not participate in considering the nominees for an award when another member of his or her academic department/unit has been nominated for a specific award.

What about self-nominations?
The Faculty Awards Committee solicits nominations and endorses self-nomination as one strategy to ensure that all who should be considered are considered.

Is it appropriate to use letters and other materials originally generated during promotion and/or tenure review to provide the additional information requested on semi-finalists?
No. Doing so would be a violation of university policy related to materials generated for promotion and/or tenure review.

If I want additional information, whom should I contact?
The Chair of the Faculty Awards Committee serves without vote and is available to assist nominators and answer questions concerning the process. Contact Professor Victor Benassi at 862-3180 or vab@unh.edu.

AY 2014-15  UNH Faculty Awards Committee

Professor Victor Benassi, Committee Chair, Nonvoting - Psychology and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Professor Pamela DiNapoli, Nursing - College of Health and Human Services

Professor John Kayser, Political Science - College of Liberal Arts

Professor Joel Johnson, Earth Sciences - College of Engineering and Physical Science

Professor Carole Barnett, Management - Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics

Professor Robert Macieski, History - UNH-Manchester

Professor Eleta Exline, Digital Collections, UNH Library

Professor Gay Nardone, Theatre and Dance, Faculty Senate Representative

Professor Andrew Conroy, Applied Animal Science - College of Life Sciences and Agriculture