University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs


Nominations for the Morse award are due by November 4, 2016. Dossiers are due by December 9, 2016.

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Contact Information

Barbara Schwab
Director of Administration, Scholarships, and Awards

115 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Morse-Alumni Award

Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

Purpose and Criteria

The Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, named for a former dean of the former University of Minnesota General College, is made possible through generous support of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Each year since 1965, the University of Minnesota has recognized a select group of faculty members for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in undergraduate education.

In addition to honoring individual faculty members, the award contributes to the improvement of undergraduate education at the University by publicizing their work to serve as a resource for the whole faculty.


  1. Current (tenured or tenure-track) regular CLA faculty members and term faculty (non-regular) salaried through the University and holding a 66 ⅔% time or greater appointment
  2. At least 5 academic years at the University of Minnesota (including the current academic year)
  3. Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be renominated.
  4. Previous winners are ineligible.

Nominees are evaluated on the basis of a dossier documenting outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. The dossier should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more—not necessarily all—of these 5 categories:

  1. Teaching: direct contact with students in undergraduate courses and programs and in co-curricular activities. Teaching activities include instructing groups of students in classes, seminars, and laboratories; and supervising individual activities, such as practicums, internships, field-learning experiences, tutorials, performances, exhibitions, and independent study, including supervision of UROP projects. The activities listed above are representative, not exhaustive.
  2. Advising: activities that aid individual students with course and major selection, career plans, and personal development, especially in ways that go beyond formal curricular advising; and those that provide guidance to student organizations or groups. Documentation should include information about accessibility to students, which ordinarily includes but is not limited to office availability. (Where advising is the exclusive or primary contribution, a candidate should be nominated instead, or perhaps in addition, for the John Tate Award for Undergraduate Academic Advising.)
  3. Research and Artistic Activities: such activities should be documented and discussed in terms of the relationship between these activities and the nominee's contributions to undergraduate education.
  4. Academic Program Development: such activities that contribute to the planning, design, or development of improvements in undergraduate education. Contributions in the area include, for example, new courses or a cluster of courses, general-education options in the undergraduate curriculum, and valuable programmatic innovations of any kind.
  5. Educational Leadership: extra-programmatic activities of any kind and at any level that constitute leadership and contribute substantially to undergraduate education; for example, presenting papers, holding a position such as national or regional officer or program chair in a professional association, or being a member of a college or all-University committee.


Award numbers differ from academic year. In the 2010-11 AY, up to 8 awards were available. Recipients of the Morse-Alumni Award receive a $3,000 continuous augmentation to their annual salary during their lifetime as a University of Minnesota faculty member.

In addition, each recipient's department will be given $1,500 annually for five years to be used by the recipient for professional development or research. Awards are announced in mid-March.

Process, Guidelines, and Forms

The Office of Undergraduate Programs contacts the home department of each nominated faculty member and provide guidelines for preparing a complete nomination dossier.

The department prepares the nomination dossier for the faculty member.

Once dossiers are submitted, the CLA Instructional Awards Committee reviews the dossiers and makes recommendations to the CLA dean, who may forward up to 5 dossiers to the University Morse-Alumni Award Selection Committee. The committee usually announces its decisions in mid-March.