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Updated 5:30 PM January 20, 2005




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Units urged to nominate best faculty for awards

The University employs some of the best faculty members in the nation and administrators in the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and Office of the Provost want to see the best of them put forth for consideration of U-M's top honors.

In her new role as director of faculty honors and diversity affairs at the Rackham Graduate School, Pat McCune is trying to get the word out about these awards, not only to increase the pool of applicants for the University's top awards, but to make them more diverse with the inclusion of underrepresented groups.

Deadlines for Rackham Graduate School awards:

• Distinguished University Professorships,
Feb. 28
• Faculty Recognition Awards, March 11
• University Undergraduate Teaching Awards, March 18
• Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards, March 24
• Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award
in the Sciences, April 15
• John H. D’Arms Faculty Awards for Distinguished Graduate
Mentoring in the Humanities, April 22
• Henry Russel Award, April 29
• Henry Russel Lectureship, April 29

"Increasing diversity in the pools is important, especially for groups underrepresented in their disciplines, such as men in nursing," McCune says. "I was surprised at how small the pools of applicants can be. This is changing on campus, but slowly."

The Rackham Graduate School coordinates eight major award programs on campus: Distinguished University Professorships (see story, page 1); Faculty Recognition Awards; University Undergraduate Teaching Awards; Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards; Margaret and Herman Sokol Faculty Award in the Sciences; John H. D'Arms Faculty Awards for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities; Henry Russel Award; and Henry Russel Lectureship.

McCune helps send out promotional materials; gathers returned forms, curriculum vitae and letters of recommendation; and sets up review committees and makes awards to the honorees.

"There are some departments, schools and colleges that nominate consistently and conscientiously, and others that do not nominate any faculty," McCune says. "There may have been timing issues or other holdups in the past; if there is something I can do to help people I want to know what it is so that we can implement changes."

A dean in one of the departments on campus was adamant recently when asked why his unit does not nominate more faculty members for the University's major awards.

"He said it was because he believed faculty in [his area] were not seriously considered for awards," McCune says. "He also felt the language citing criteria for the award did not clearly seek faculty from his department.

"So, we reviewed the language for each award and changed it where applicable to clarify the criteria."

The dean's reaction came from an e-mail McCune sent to deans, directors and department heads on campus. She will continue spreading the word to people who are responsible for awards and nominations.

"These awards get the faculty the recognition they deserve," Rackham Interim Dean Steven Kunkel says. "Some may appear to be small prizes, but in fact the faculty know the acknowledgement in these honors is very important for their careers and for the work of the University."

McCune says the Rackham Web site,, contains detailed descriptions, application materials and deadlines. Most nominations are due between February and the end of May.

McCune serves as the contact for Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Awards and the International Partnership Program.

In addition, she works with U-M's American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, who are the only people eligible to nominate other faculty for membership in that prestigious organization.

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