Distinguished Teacher

Distinguished Teaching Award

Excellence in teaching is valued above all endeavors at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. To recognize this essential mission, the university initiated the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1965. It is the most prestigious honor bestowed on campus. Chosen by current students and alumni (within the last 5 years), our distinguished teaching recipients represent talented and caring educators–teachers who make a difference. The recognition wall honors that select group of individuals who have demonstrated excellence in their profession.

The purpose of the UWRF Distinguished Teaching Award is to recognize excellence in the teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate students.  Eligible for the award are all tenured and tenure-track faculty and instructional Academic Staff each of who has a minimum of three years of teaching experience at UWRF.

A Distinguished Teaching Award receipient is defined as one who is supportive, impactful in positive ways, effective at helping students learn and who provides an inclusive environment. 

"The award originated as a grant to the State University System from the Johnson Foundation. Formerly given every other year, an additional grant from the Murphy Foundation has made it possible for each of the nine state universities to make the award annually," according to the fall 1970 WSU-RF Falcon Features.

The teacher selected for the award will be honored at the Chancellor's Award Reception and the recipient will speak at Fall Commencement.  The recipient will receive a stipend from the Chancellor's Office. A teacher may receive the award only once. 

Funding is provided by the UW-River Falls Foundation.

Distinguished Teacher Wall 

Nomination Form

Nominations due by March 15, 2024

Nomination Guidelines

  • The recipient can be nominated by all current students and alumni of UW-River Falls.
  • Please reflect upon the various teachers you have had at UW-River Falls and select the one who most challenged and motivated you to learn.
  • Please list the name of that teacher on the survey and answer the questions listed in reference to that person.

Previous honorees are not eligible.

Selection Procedure

  • The Distinguished Teaching Award Committee is charged with selecting the Distinguished Award recipient. The committee will be chaired by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) Director (or designee) and will also include the Provost (or designee), a tenure-track or tenured faculty member selected by the Faculty Senate and an Instructional Academic Staff Member selected by the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Academic Staff Council and a previous Distinguished Teaching Award recipient nominated by the CETL Director and confirmed by Faculty Senate.  All Faculty and Academic Staff appointments will serve for three years.
  • The committee's selection will not be based solely on the number of nominations received but will also consider the survey responses.  The committee will use a rubric approved by the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee to evaluate those survey responses.