1. K-State home
  2. »Office of the Provost
  3. »Enrichment
  4. »Distinguished Teaching Scholars
  5. »Nomination guidelines

Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Guidelines for Nominations


Kansas State University has established the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars to symbolize the institution's commitment to excellence and provide leadership to the university community in the scholarship of teaching and learning at the undergraduate level. This commitment goes to the heart of our mission as a land-grant institution.

The Chair

The faculty member selected as the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars will hold the position for one academic year. Appointment to the chair carries the following benefits and responsibilities.

  1. A $5000 permanent addition to the person's base salary.

  2. Five-tenths release time from regular department, college, and university duties during the year in residence. Release time is the college contribution.

  3. Assignment of a graduate teaching assistant (0.5 FTE).

  4. An allotment of $2500 in state operating money to be used during the year of residence to support activities for the good of the university and $1500 for personal discretionary funds.

  5. The title of Coffman University Distinguished Teaching Scholar as a permanent designation to be retained for the rest of the faculty member's career.

During the year as Coffman chair, the recipient is expected to conduct the affairs of the chair with substantial personal discretion to promote excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning at Kansas State University. Activities could include sponsoring seminars and colloquia, commissioning projects by faculty colleagues, travel, inviting guest speakers -- any creative initiatives designed to provide leadership to the University community in efforts to enhance undergraduate education.

The Coffman chair is to make at least one public presentation to the K-State academic community. The presentation(s) will be treated as a formal academic event(s), but the scholar is invited to adopt a style and format that captures the spirit of invention and imagination. During the year following residence as the Coffman chair, the scholar will submit for public reading, a summary report of his/her experience and the benefits that have accrued to undergraduate teaching and learning as a result of these activities.

Procedures for Nomination and Selection

The provost will set a calendar for the submission and review of nominations.

The nominating process begins at the departmental level. Each department may, if its members choose, nominate one person per year. Eligible candidates may be renominated. Departments forward nominations to their respective deans.

Each college is limited to two nominations per year. The dean forwards the college nominations to the provost. Nominations should be submitted electronically in PDF format to the Provost’s Office at:

Provost Office University Awards (provounivawards@ksu.edu


The provost will appoint an advisory panel, which will include six members selected from the roster of K-State's outstanding undergraduate teaching award recipients. Panelists will serve three-year terms. The panel will review the nominations from the colleges and make recommendations for the provost's consideration. The provost will review the recommendations and appoint the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars for the following year.


This award is based on performance in undergraduate teaching. Tenured members of the Kansas State University faculty are eligible for nomination to the chair if they have made a significant contribution to the undergraduate education experience in a bachelor's degree program. Evidence of such a contribution should include, but not be limited to:

  1. Teaching an undergraduate level course in at least
    three of the previous five years.
  2. Demonstrated contributions to the scholarship of undergraduate teaching.
Criteria for Scholarship

Common qualitative standards of scholarship have been proposed that would apply to most, even all, of the work that scholars do.¹

  • Qualitative standards
    • Clear goals
    • Adequate preparation
    • Appropriate methods
    • Significant results
    • Effective presentation
    • Reflective critique

¹Charles Glassick, Mary Huber and Gene Maeroff, Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate, Jossey-Bass, Inc., Publishers, San Franscisco, CA, 1977, pg. 25.


Documentation should be prepared for submission in an electronic (PDF) format.

Supporting materials should document distinguished accomplishments in undergraduate teaching and learning. The portfolio should include (see a-g):

  1. A letter of transmittal and recommendation from the college dean.
  2. A letter of recommendation from the department head or chair.
  3. A curriculum vita, not to exceed two pages, that documents the nominee's leadership in undergraduate teaching, curriculum development, and teaching scholarship.
  4. A complete listing of courses taught during the past five years including the name and number of the course, year and semester taught, and enrollment size. A summary of student ratings of undergraduate teaching during the last five years should be included.
  5. The nominee's perspectives on undergraduate teaching and the role undergraduate instruction plays in the university community. Each nominee should feel free to choose a presentation format that best illustrates his or her own ideas on undergraduate teaching. (Note: This component should not take more than 10 minutes of reading or viewing time by individual members of the advisory panel.)
  6. A detailed statement of how the nominee would use time and resources provided to the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars during the year of residence to promote excellence in undergraduate teaching and learning at Kansas State University.
  7. Additional documentation may be included as deemed appropriate.

The provost's advisory panel will review each nomination for comprehensive excellence and scholarship in undergraduate teaching. They will weigh evidence related to classroom performance, curriculum work, evidence of championing undergraduate teaching with faculty colleagues at K-State as well as within the nominee's disciplinary community, the quality of scholarly work in teaching and learning, student advising responsibilities (if any), and other information supporting the nominee's case.