Distinguished Instructor Award

Policy Category: 
Approved By: 
Effective Date: 
September 1988 [Revised 30 March 2001; 19 December 2002; January 2008; 23 January 2009; 15 January 2018]

The Distinguished Instructor Award is Lakehead University's most prestigious teaching award. It recognizes a significant contribution to teaching excellence at Lakehead University over a significant number of years (minimum of 10 years of university teaching in total with at least 5 years at Lakehead). As such, the award will only rarely be given to the same individual twice in their career, and only then if their teaching excellence was sustained at a high level over a period of at least two decades.

One award per year may be bestowed. The recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award will be honoured during a public Teaching and Learning event scheduled in the following academic year.  The recipient will be recognized at Senate and Convocation, and will receive an award of  $2, 000.00.

Given the nature of the award, the nomination package for this award is comprehensive. Nominators and Nominees are encouraged to seek assistance with the preparation of their submission from the Teaching Commons.


  1. All faculty with academic rank (see LUFA Collective Agreement 2016-2020, Article 2 - Definitions) are eligible for the award except for current members of the Senate Teaching and Learning Awards Sub-Committee.
  2. A faculty member is initially eligible after teaching for a period of at least 10 years, with at least 5 of those at Lakehead University. Time spent in administrative duties at Lakehead University may count towards the 10 year criteria as long as teaching activity continued during that time.
  3. A faculty member may receive only one award every 10 years.
  4. A faculty member who has already received a Distinguished Instructor Award will only be judged on teaching excellence demonstrated since last receiving the award.


Nominations for the award can be made by Deans, Directors, Faculty/Department/School Chairs and/or faculty members with academic rank. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Nominations will be called for by February 1st with receipt of nominations to be no later than March 31st.  The nomination involves completion of the nomination form and attachment of up to two supporting letters (each a maximum of two pages in length). Eligible nominees will be notified by the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic). Supporting documentation is to be submitted by eligible nominees no later than May 30th


The Awards sub-committee makes a recommendation to the full Senate Teaching and Learning Committee which then makes a recommendation to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).


Recipients of the Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award will be expected to have:

  • Established a reputation among students and colleagues for excellence in teaching, including the ability to interest and motivate students to achieve high standards,
  • Demonstrated clear and ongoing efforts to keep abreast of and implement new teaching methods, and to participate in course design and curriculum development, and
  • Made a leadership contribution to teaching and other educational activities and responsibilities of the University.


To be considered for this award, nominees must submit a teaching dossier that includes evidence of the nominee's demonstration of teaching excellence. The dossier should not exceed 100 pages, including all supporting materials and appendices.

At a minimum, the dossier must include the following:

  • A Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • A list of all courses taught over the minimum 10-year period
  • A list of teaching awards or recognitions received
  • The official summary table results of the Student Evaluation/Feedback on Teaching survey at Lakehead University (and comparable surveys at other universities, if applicable) over the minimum 10-year period.
  • A copy of the instrument(s) used by students to evaluate the nominee's teaching
  • A summary of pedagogical innovations or enhancements in teaching methods; contributions to course design and curriculum development; and leadership contributions to the educational activities and responsibilities of the University

Nominees may also include additional evidence of teaching excellence and educational leadership, such as the following:

  • Letters from colleagues and students that are clearly marked as "solicited" or "unsolicited"
  • Selected student comments from the Student Evaluation/Feedback on Teaching survey at Lakehead University
  • Selected examples of course materials (e.g. course outlines, assignments, assessment tools)
  • Pedagogical contributions to teaching and learning committees or centres, professional associations and other organizations, or special projects related to university teaching and learning
  • Documents from seminars, workshops, conferences or other events conducted on teaching and learning
  • Mentoring of university colleagues on teaching and learning methods
  • Research on the scholarship of teaching and learning (e.g. copies of papers, texts, newsletters, presentations or other publications to which the nominee has contributed)


Please address all correspondence to:
Chair, Senate Teaching and Learning Committee c/o The Teaching Commons