Faculty excellence is the cornerstone of any university of high quality.  There is no more important task at the University of Illinois than attracting and retaining the very best teachers and scholars.  The University Scholars Program is designed to identify outstanding members of faculty who represent emerging scholars in their fields of study, and to provide each with a modest amount of funds annually for a defined number of years.  The importance of these awards lies in the flexibility with which the funds may be spent.  Recipients may use the funds at their discretion to enhance their scholarly work, except for salary rate increases which are not permitted.  The awards are not made for a specific project or proposal; rather, they are a symbol of the recipient’s excellence and the University’s commitment to foster outstanding people and their work.  Therefore, the awards are made through nominations, not by application.

Awards of $15,000 per year will be made on a three-year basis to members of the faculty whose work is clearly superior.  Nominees for these awards will be carefully screened to ensure that those selected are, or show documented promise of becoming, among the very best in their fields.

Who can be nominated?

Eligibility for the University Scholars Program is limited to members of the University of Illinois faculty, as defined in the University Statutes (i.e., members of the academic staff who are tenured or receiving credit toward tenure) who hold full-time faculty contracts; with the exception that faculty members who hold named chairs, full-time administrators holding faculty rank, and past award recipients are not eligible.  In the event a member of the University Scholars Review Panel (USRP) is nominated, he or she must resign the USRP position and a replacement must be appointed to serve.  A nominee’s file will remain active for three years unless the nominee is selected for the award.

Who can make nominations?

All faculty members (i.e., members of the academic staff who are tenured or receiving credit toward tenure) and administrators holding faculty rank may make nominations.  There is no limit as to the number of nominees from any department/program or college.  No self-nominations are allowed.

Nomination Guidelines

  1. Nomination materials must include an up-to-date copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae and bibliography, and most importantly, a detailed statement of the justification for the award from the nominator.  The justification must make the case for the scholarly excellence of the candidate in both teaching and scholarship, as defined on this campus.
  2. Each nominator must obtain written permission from the nominee to review the nominee’s personnel file to assist in preparing the nomination.  Nominees may grant permission via an email message sent to UISfacultyfiles@uis.edu.
  3. No letters of appreciation or recommendation beyond the nomination letter should be included.

Review Panel

The Review Panel shall consist of one senior faculty member from each college (appointed by the Provost upon recommendation of the dean), one emeritus faculty member appointed by the Chancellor, and the Provost, ex-officio, as the Chair.  Faculty members of the Review Panel are ineligible to receive an award.

Processing Guidelines

  1. All nominations are due by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The nominee’s last name should be included in the names of all nomination documents. There are two options for submitting nomination materials:
    1. Materials may be emailed to UISfacultyfiles@uis.edu, or (particularly if materials are too large to attach to an email)
    2. Materials may be uploaded (drag and drop) to the Faculty Awards folder in Box
  2. The Review Panel shall make its recommendations to the Chancellor by Monday, March 7, 2022.
  3. The Chancellor shall subsequently notify the recipient of this award of her decision.  Funds will be available for fiscal year 2023, beginning July 1, 2022.
  4. The Provost/VCAA shall notify nominees not selected for this award.
  5. Nomination materials shall be placed in the appropriate faculty member’s personnel file following conclusion of the selection process.