AUSTIN, Texas—Nine faculty members have been elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at The University of Texas at Austin. The academy is designed to recognize tenured faculty members who have made sustained and significant contributions to education, particularly at the undergraduate level.
Honorees are chosen on the basis of their outstanding teaching, their personal commitment to students and the learning process, and their ability to inspire and motivate students in the classroom.
The new members are Dr. Michael W. Adams, associate professor, Department of English; Dr. Robert H. Bishop, professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering; Dr. James D. Garrison, Archibald A. Hill Regents professor in American and English literature; David D. Heymann, associate dean, School of Architecture; Dr. David W. Robertson, W. Page Keeton Chair in Tort Law, School of Law; Dr. S. Martin Shankland, associate professor, School of Biological Sciences; Dr. Michael B. Stoff, associate professor, Department of History; Dr. J. Craig Wheeler, Samuel T. and Fern Yanagisawa Regents professor in astronomy; and Dr. Suzan L. Zeder, Theater for Youth Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance.
The new academy members were recognized at the 119th spring commencement on May 18.
When created in 1995, the academy was one of the first of its type in the nation. Members, who receive a permanent annual salary increase of $5,000, serve in the academy for eight years and may be re-elected. In addition to the salary increase, faculty members selected also will earn the permanent designation of Distinguished Teaching Professor, and will be afforded other perquisites normally available to holders of endowed faculty positions.
Deans of the colleges and schools nominated proposed members to the provost. An advisory committee of members from the academy, university administrators, faculty members and students, chaired by Vice Provost Lucia A. Gilbert, submitted recommendations for new members to the provost.
Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson said the committee did a superb job in selecting nine extraordinary teachers.
“Being selected is a clear expression of the high regard colleagues hold for the new members’ dedication and contributions to teaching and to our students’ intellectual development,” he said. “Every person nominated needs to be congratulated for contributing significantly to the teaching mission of this great university.”
Academy members serve as an advisory group to the provost on teaching excellence, and provide institutional leadership and guidance for the distinctive undergraduate experience available in a research university environment. In addition, members organize seminars, colloquia and workshops on teaching effectiveness and serve as mentors for new faculty.