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Award for Excellence in Teaching

University of Ottawa Award for Excellence in Teaching

Statement of policy and procedures

NOTE: A word used in the feminine gender shall include both genders. Words such as chair, dean or rector shall designate the person, male or female, in the indicated position or role. These interpretations shall be deemed to apply in their necessary grammatical forms and usages.


1.1 The UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING, hereinafter referred to as the award, is an award sponsored by the University of Ottawa (the University) and the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO).

1.2 Starting with the academic year 1987-1988, the award replaces the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching which was created in 1976 and was last awarded in the academic year 1986-1987.

1.3 One award shall be given in every academic year in which appropriate candidates are nominated.

1.4 The award shall be administered pursuant to policies and procedures set out herein or established in accordance with the provisions of this document.


The objective of the award is to focus attention on teaching at the University of Ottawa by recognizing annually a member of its teaching staff for outstanding contributions to university teaching.


3.1 The recipient of the award (the Teacher of the Year) shall receive an honorarium, as provided by the sponsoring organizations.

3.2 There will be a formal presentation of the award at the Reception for Excellence in Teaching that takes place every year in the fall and in which we pay tribute to all professors who have received important awards throughout the year. There will also be a promotional campaign to highlight the recipient’s contribution, his field of expertise and enhance the prestige of the Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Administration of the award and selection of recipients shall be the responsibility of the COMMITTEE FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING (the Teaching Awards Committee). The composition and terms of reference of the Committee shall be as set out herein.


5.1 It is intended that the award recognize outstanding contributions to university teaching. This should not be narrowly defined and should not necessarily be limited to classroom teaching. Rather, contributions to all aspects of teaching should be considered. Those in the following list, which is not intended to be exhaustive, are considered typical.

  • Course design and curriculum development.
  • Development of new pedagogy.
    Writing textbooks.
  • Development of cooperative education programmes.
  • Development of continuing education programmes.
  • Development of interdisciplinary programmes.
  • Development of new techniques for student evaluation and testing.
  • Laboratory design and supervision.
  • Conduct of graduate seminars.
  • Supervision and guidance of thesis students.
  • Relevant community involvement.

5.2 In making its selection of a recipient, the Committee will give cognizance to the differences among disciplines and the special requirements of professional schools.

5.3 Members with tenure or on a “tenure-track” appointment, hereinafter referred to as regular members as well as limited-term replacement professors, are eligible for the award


6.1 A nomination for the award may be initiated by any University of Ottawa student, alumna, faculty member, or administrator. Nominations should be addressed to the dean of the nominee’s faculty.

6.2 The teaching personnel committee of the faculty shall select the nominations which are to be forwarded to the Teaching Awards Committee. After selecting nominees and ascertaining their willingness to be candidates for the award, the teaching personnel committee shall prepare a brief in support of each candidate. The dean shall forward the briefs, along with appropriate supporting documentation and her own recommendation, to the Teaching Awards Committee.

6.3 Nominations for the award should be made as objectively as possible and should be broadly based. Any relevant evidence may be submitted to the Committee. The submitted documentation should, in any event, include:

(a) opinions of students and former students,
(b) peer evaluations, and
(c) recommendations of department chairs and departmental teaching personnel committees;

with appropriate modifications to (c) where necessary.

6.4 Each faculty is entitled to submit to the Committee 1 or 2 or 3 nominations if it has, on 1 September of the academic year in question, up to 50, or 51 to 100, or over 100 regular staff members, respectively. The Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, accept additional nominations.


7.1 The award ceremony shall be organized by the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT of the University of Ottawa, under the direction of and subject to approval by the Committee.

7.2 The University shall annually budget an amount it deems appropriate to cover publicity costs associated with the award. Publicity for the award is to be carried out by the MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE of the University of Ottawa, under the direction of and subject to approval by the Committee, within limits of available funds.


8.1 COMPOSITION The members of the Teaching Awards Committee shall be:

(a) the president of APUO, ex officio, as chair of the Committee;

(b) two members appointed by the President of the University;

(c) two members appointed by APUO (normally two most recent recipients of the award);

(d) one member appointed by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (a currently registered full-time student);

(e) one member appointed by the Graduate Students’ Association.

A secretary shall be elected by and from among the members of the Committee.

8.2 QUORUM The majority shall constitute a quorum.

8.3 VOTING All members are voting members.

8.4 REPORTING The Committee reports concurrently to the Rector of the University and the Executive Committee of APUO.

8.5 MANDATE The Committee shall administer the award and select recipients, subject to the provisions of this document. The Committee may decline to select a recipient in any year in which it finds that none of the candidates meets the criteria set out herein.

8.6 INFORMATION The Committee shall make its selection on the basis of the files submitted by the candidates’ deans and submissions by qualified persons whom the Committee invites to provide it with additional information.

8.7 ANNUAL REPORT For the benefit of subsequent years’ Teaching Awards Committees, the Committee should summarize its experience and lessons learned in a brief report to be completed at the end of the academic year.

8.8 OTHER AWARDS The Committee shall assist in the submission of nominations from the University of Ottawa for other teaching awards for which professors of this university are eligible (e.g. the OCUFA award), provided the Committee’s assistance has been duly solicited. In its deliberations, the Committee shall be guided by the criteria and procedures for the association or agency granting the award.


9.1 The Committee is to be established at the beginning of each academic year and should start its meetings in October to review procedures and selection criteria in light of preceding years’ experience.

9.2 In early January, the President will write to deans to request the cooperation of teaching personnel committees in the selection of candidates and the preparation of supporting files, and APUO will send guidelines for nominations to the faculties.

9.3 Nominations are to be submitted to deans by the end of the second full week of February and to the Teaching Awards Committee by the end of the second full week of March. The Committee is to complete its deliberations and select a recipient by the end of the second full week of April.


10.1 Each of the two sponsoring organizations shall determine its contribution to the honorarium from time to time, it being understood that a sponsoring organization will not decrease its contribution without at least 12 months’ notice to the other organization.

10.2 Each of the sponsoring organizations shall continue to contribute to activities related to the award on the same terms and conditions as prevailed on the date on which this document was approved by the two participating organizations.


11.1 The terms of this document may be modified at any time by mutual agreement of the two sponsoring organizations.

11.2 A sponsoring organization may withdraw from further sponsorship of the award upon giving the other sponsor at least 12 months’ notice of its intent to withdraw.

Amended December 10, 1991
Amended May 12, 1992
Amended April 23, 2001
Amended February 12, 2013
Amended October 10, 2013
Amended February 18, 2015
Amended April 26, 2017
Amended April 10, 2018