University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs


CLA 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 Executive Vice President 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, term faculty (non-regular), and academic professional (P&A) instructors, who are salaried through the University and are 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. Must teach students enrolled in baccalaureate programs;
  4. Professional and graduate programs, if they offer education to undergraduates, may nominate candidates;
  5. Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be renominated;
  6. Previous winners are ineligible.

Nominees are evaluated on the basis of a dossier documenting outstanding contributions to undergraduate education and potential for continuing contributions. The dossier should provide specific evidence of outstanding performance in one or more of the following 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.


Award numbers differ from academic year. In the 2016-17 AY, 5-8 awards will be available to University of Minnesota teachers. Recipients of the Morse-Alumni Award receive a one-time $15,000 award and become members of the University's Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Process, Guidelines, and Forms

The College of Liberal Arts hosts its own college-wide selection process, performed by the Instructional Awards Committee, before submitting applications to the University.

CLA nominations are due by November 4, 2016 to the CLA Office of Undergraduate Education. The office then contacts the home department of each nominated faculty member and provides guidelines for preparing a complete nomination dossier which will be due by December 9, 2016. The department prepares the nomination dossier for the faculty member which is due to the CLA Office of Undergraduate Education by December 9, 2016.

Once dossiers are submitted, the CLA Instructional Awards Committee reviews the dossiers and makes recommendations to the CLA dean, who may forward up to 6 dossiers to the University Morse-Alumni Award Selection Committee. The committee will announce the award recipients in March 2017.