Paul Weber Award
Established by Provost Shirley Willihnganz in October 2005, this university-wide teaching award recognizes departmental excellence in teaching at the University of Louisville. The award is named in memory of Dr. Paul Weber, a distinguished teacher, scholar and mentor at the University of Louisville.
About the Award
This award was developed to accomplish the following:
- Foster and sustain a university-wide culture of teaching excellence;
- Recognize departments who are engaged in sustained efforts to promote teaching excellence through implementing best practices in teaching and learning;
- Encourage collegiality and the development of an academic community and “esprit de corps” that values and prioritizes discussions about teaching;
- Reward departments with personnel who collaborate in exemplary ways to enhance student learning;
- Encourage and reward those who implement initiatives and engage in ongoing efforts to document student learning and tie these efforts back into curricular planning at the departmental and/or unit level; and
- Supplement departmental efforts to sustain meaningful innovations in teaching and learning.
Each year one department will receive up to $30,000. This award is intended to provide genuine incentive for departments to review approaches to teaching at all levels. For those who do not win the award, constructive feedback about ways of improving instruction will be provided by the selection committee. All departments are eligible to apply, including those who have won a Paul Weber Award in the past. Awardees may not submit a new application for three years from the date of the award.
In 2005, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee proposed that UofL create a departmental teaching award to support and encourage conversations about teaching at the unit level. The provost accepted the proposal and the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning was charged with administering the new Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching. Over time, the award was reconceived as an opportunity for departments to develop teaching initiatives in connection with the university’s quality enhancement plan, Ideas to Action (i2a). Winning applications represented both prospective and retrospective projects, and two awards were given as both a reward for ongoing excellence and as a grant for proposed teaching and learning enhancements. The award underwent a significant revision process during 2012-13. The goal of this revision was to refine selection criteria, streamline the application process into two stages, more intentionally include university teaching award winners on the award selection committee, and add classroom and departmental observations. Beginning with the 2013-14 awards cycle, the award has been given solely to recognize the established and ongoing teaching excellence of a single departments or small unit. This remains the primary objective of the award.