College of Liberal Arts

Six Liberal Arts Professors Recognized by The University of Texas Board of Regents

Fri, Aug 21, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — Thirty-five faculty members, including six College of Liberal Arts professors from The University of Texas at Austin, among 73 inaugural recipients of the University of Texas System Board of Regents' Outstanding Teaching Awards, will share $2 million in awards.

The awards, which range from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on level of experience, are believed to be among the highest in the country for rewarding outstanding undergraduate faculty performance and innovation.

Winners in the contingent faculty category will be awarded $15,000 each, while those in the tenure-track category will receive $25,000 each. Tenured faculty awardees will receive $30,000 each.

"These awards demonstrate our commitment to maintaining excellence in our classrooms and send a clear message to our campus communities that we value exceptional performance and innovation," said Regents' Chairman James R. Huffines.

The awards program was established in August 2008 as the latest in a series of University of Texas System initiatives aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 University of Texas System institutions.

"Clearly, we have a mandate to provide an exceptional education for our students, but our universities also play a critical role in ensuring the economic vitality of Texas. We believe these efforts will foster success in the areas of pedagogy and research, and that they will significantly enhance the educational experience for our students and sharpen the competitive edge of our science and technology activities," said Francisco G. Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas System.

At the time, Regents authorized $15 million, $10 million of which was to be used for the teaching awards ($5 million at The University of Texas at Austin and $5 million at the eight other System institutions); and the remaining $5 million to create a research commercialization and technology transfer center at The University of Texas at Austin.

The teaching awards programs and the commercialization center will each distribute $1 million in awards over five years, beginning this year.

The award recipients from The University of Texas at Austin include:

  • Dr. James Cox, assistant professor, Department of English
  • Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, distinguished teaching professor, Department of English
  • Dr. Thomas Garza, distinguished teaching professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature
  • Dr. G. Howard Miller, distinguished teaching associate professor and Friar Centennial Teaching Fellow, Department of History
  • Dr. Karl Miller, assistant professor, Department of History
  • Dr. Penne Restad, senior lecturer, Department of History

A list of honorees from throughout the University of Texas System and the institutions at which they teach is available online.

"We believe these new initiatives, coupled with our previous efforts to elevate excellence at our campuses, further enhances our standing on the higher education landscape, substantially improving our ability to bring together the brightest students and faculty," said David B. Prior, the University of Texas System's executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. Candidates for the teaching awards were nominated at the campus level, then evaluated on several criteria, including student and peer evaluations, teaching portfolio (which includes pedagogical innovation and teaching objectives) and student learning outcomes.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847; Anthony P. de Bruyn or Matt Flores, The University of Texas System, 512-499-4363.

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