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Nominations open for Kempers

Nominations are being accepted for W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence. Twenty $5,000 fellowships will be awarded to eligible faculty. Complete nominations are due in the Office of the Provost, 250 Strong Hall, by 5 p.m. April 2.

The changes to the process regard eligibility criteria for previous Kemper fellowship recipients; and a revised nomination format. The format revisions are designed to provide the committee with comparable materials from all nominees, a departmental statement on the quality of a nominee's teaching and advising, and evidence of nominees' focus on student learning and improvement of teaching/advising practices.


Full-time faculty who have completed a minimum of three years in a tenured or tenure-track position. Once an individual has received a Kemper fellowship, he or she will be ineligible to receive another for five years.


Teaching may be defined to include work with students at any level and in a wide variety of settings in which instructional activity occurs at a comprehensive university. Evidence of superior advising should illustrate the nominee's concern for student development beyond the normal expectations for advising held for each faculty member.

Four awards are earmarked for teaching and advising at the freshman-sophomore level on the Lawrence campus; four for teaching and advising in the academic major on all campuses; four for teaching and advising in health science on all campuses; four for teaching and advising at the graduate level on all campuses; four for teaching, advising and service in KU's public outreach efforts on all campuses. Nominators are asked to designate the category(ies) in which the nominee's strengths are best demonstrated, although members of the selection committee may exercise their own judgment in assigning categories.

Review Period

The selection committee will limit evaluation of the nominee's teaching records to the preceding three years.

Nomination Procedures and Format

Colleagues, departments, schools/colleges or recognized campus organizations and students may nominate individuals for the Kemper fellowships. The nominator, working with the nominee, is responsible for assembling the required material. In the case of nominations originating from students or campus organizations, the nominator may solicit help from the nominee's department in assembling the materials. Nominations will consist of a nomination letter, a specified set of materials prepared by the nominee, and a department nomination statement. Materials that are not prepared in this format will not be considered. Nominations must be sent to the department chair (where applicable) and/or to the appropriate dean.

A cover letter from the nominator, no more than two pages, describing the nominee's strengths and explaining why the faculty member was nominated must be included. If the nominee has previously received a Kemper fellowship, the nominator's letter should address the ways in which the nominee's current teaching/advising represents an advance over that which was recognized with the prior fellowship. The nominee should provide the following materials to help the committee assess the quality of the nominee's teaching and advising (intellectual content, teaching and advising practices, student evaluation processes) and his/her analysis and development of teaching expertise:

  1. A 2-page CV
  2. Lists of
    1. courses taught and the number of students in each,
    2. master's and doctoral advisees (include current advisees as well as those who have completed a degree in the last three years) and
    3. any other relevant instructional, advising and public service activities during the preceding three years (not to exceed two pages, use separate headings for each list).
  3. A one-page summary of numerical teaching evaluations (overall instructor, overall course, departmental semester mean) for courses taught in the last three years.
  4. Syllabus and assignments for two courses taught in the last three years (one graduate and one undergraduate, two graduate, or two undergraduate, depending upon the award category recommended by the nominator). NOTE: Nominees for teaching, advising and service in the university's public outreach efforts may choose to submit materials for one course and one public service activity at their discretion.
  5. Four paragraphs (two per course/public service activity) providing a rationale for the forms of evaluation selected and an outline (or rubric or evaluative statement) of performance standards for A, B, C, D, and F work in each course (not to exceed one page per course).
  6. A statement outlining how the organization and assignments of these two courses (OR course and public service activity) and current advising practices have been informed by past teaching, advising, and service experiences (not to exceed one page).
  7. A department nomination statement (no more than two pages in length) that addresses concisely the quality of the nominee's teaching and advising record in terms of (1) intellectual content, (2) teaching and advising practices, (3) student evaluation processes, and (4) analysis and development of teaching/advising expertise.

The materials prepared by the nominee (see items above) should be referenced in the nomination statement, as appropriate. Other information may be considered as well (e.g., peer observations, additional supplementary materials provided by the nominee, etc.), but such information is not required and should not be submitted as part of the nomination materials. The nomination statement provides an important departmental and disciplinary perspective for the Kemper selection committee. Points that departments can use as a guide in composing the nomination statement are listed below:

  • Quality of intellectual content
  • Appropriateness of the material for the topic and level of the courses
  • Intellectual coherence of the content
  • Congruence of the intellectual goals for students with the courses' content and place in the curriculum Quality of teaching and advising practices
  • Clarity and logical organization of the course content and activities over the course of the semester
  • Extent to which class assignments, course activities, and advising practices show evidence of innovative and creative practices designed to improve student understanding and to encourage their development as independent scholars Quality of student evaluation processes
  • Appropriateness of forms of evaluation and evaluation standards for the course goals and course level
  • Extent to which the forms of evaluation and evaluation standards enable students to demonstrate conceptual understanding and critical evaluation of the material
  • Extent to which the forms of evaluation and evaluation standards provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their development of the intellectual skills typical of the field Analysis and Development of Teaching and Advising Expertise
  • Evidence of critical analysis of past teaching and advising
  • Evidence of development in intellectual content, teaching/advising practices, or student evaluation processes based on past teaching experiences and consideration of student performance
A letter of endorsement from the nominee's chair and/or dean is required, unless the chair or dean has written the letter of nomination. Complete nominations are due in the Office of the Provost, 250 Strong Hall, by 5 p.m. Monday, April 2. Only the materials listed above will be considered by the committee. Any other supporting information submitted will be returned to the nominee's department or school. The membership of the selection committee will be kept anonymous. Questions about the nomination process can be directed to Mary Lee Hummert, vice provost for faculty development ( NB: Fellowship candidates from the KU Medical Center campuses in Kansas City and Wichita are being requested by separate solicitation.

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