The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers


In 2012, the Academy of Distinguished Teachers was established to recognize outstanding educators across The University of Texas System academic institutions. See a list of the Academy Fellows by year.

Purpose of the Academy

The Academy recognizes educators who have demonstrated leadership in education and are committed to improving learning across the UT System. Members of the Academy serve as the System-level advisory and advocacy group dedicated to fostering classroom innovation, promoting interdisciplinary educational perspectives, and catalyzing the sharing of best practices across campuses in the UT System.



To actively advocate for exemplary undergraduate learning across the UT System.


Goals of the Academy

The Academy is a formal organization of distinguished scholars of the first order recognized for their teaching excellence, and is committed to the advancement of teaching and learning across the UT System.

The goals of the Academy are to:

  • Recognize and reward outstanding educators for their exceptional contributions
  • Foster and promote improved teaching and learning across the UT System
  • Foster and promote education innovation across the UT System
  • Foster and promote educational discourse and initiatives across the state



The Academy is intended to be an elite organization, with membership based on excellence in teaching at the undergraduate or graduate levels combined with extraordinary contributions to the educational mission of the UT System. Membership in the Academy will be lifelong. The Academy expects the members to continue to perform educational effort, to promote educational excellence, and to participate actively in the activities that promote the Academy’s mission.


Selection Process for Academy Members (2016-2017)

Using a campus-based selection process, each institution will identify its nominees and submit them for consideration.  Nominees must have received a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and have tenure or equivalent rank for contingent faculty (senior lecturer and above).  Nominations must be submitted to UT System by the president or provost. Each institution may nominate no more than two past Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners for Academy consideration.


Selection Criteria

All Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners are excellent teachers. Membership in the Academy will be based on extraordinary contributions in the classroom and to the educational mission of the UT System, as demonstrated in:

  • Sustained teaching excellence and extraordinary commitment to teaching
  • Innovation in the classroom
  • Impact on students’ intellectual and career development
  • Effective and inspiring links between teaching and scholarship
  • Interdisciplinary perspective and fostering discussions across departments
  • Collaborating with colleagues at all levels to improve teaching practice and learning strategies
  • Pedagogical leadership
  • A clear vision for improving teaching within The University of Texas System


Application Materials

The nomination packet shall include:

  • A cover page listing the nominee’s name and title, department, university, and contact information.
  • An updated CV.
  • A one-page statement from the nominating institution (such as the provost or selection committee) demonstrating how the nominee is distinguished from other Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners, based on the selection criteria above.
  • A one-page statement from the nominee describing why he or she desires to be an Academy member.
  • The original Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award packet in a single PDF.  The nominee has the option to minimally modify their ROTA file through updates to tables, award lists and publications, etc., but is not to replace or add more letters of reference, essays or sections.

Nomination Packets should be submitted electronically to Weston Rose at Alternatively, a CD or USB flash drive containing all of the nomination materials can be mailed to Mr. Weston Rose, The University of Texas System, Office of Academic Affairs, 601 Colorado St., Austin, TX, 78701. All application materials are due to UT System by December 15, 2016.


Recognition of Academy Members

Academy membership is a prestigious honor. To maintain the high caliber of the Academy, membership will be recognized in both immediate and ongoing fashions.

  • Annual induction ceremony for new members
  • Ongoing recognition for all Academy members will include:
    • Designation as a member of “The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers”
    • Achievement widely acknowledged and publicized in System and university documents, such as department websites, letterhead, and email signatures
  • Due to the expected time commitment involved with Academy membership, institutions are encouraged to consider participation in the Academy as equivalent to a departmental service commitment.



The Academy approved its bylaws in March 2014. The current bylaws can be found here


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to be nominated for the Academy?

First, nominees must be past recipients of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards. In addition, nominees must be either faculty who have earned tenure (i.e., associate professor or professor) or non-tenure-track individuals whose primary role is teaching and who hold academic titles such as senior lecturer or distinguished senior lecturer.

Is a tenure-track faculty member currently under review for tenure eligible?

A tenure-track faculty member going up for tenure may be nominated to the Academy during the same year that his/her tenure case is considered. If the faculty member is selected by the review committee, his/her induction into the Academy will be contingent upon his/her earning tenure.