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Chancellor's Award of Distinction

The Ryerson Chancellor’s Award of Distinction will be conferred on an educator recognized within the Ryerson Community as an exemplary model of life-long career commitment to teaching and learning as evidenced by significant contributions over time to advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson, by sustained educational leadership and by an outstanding and sustained record of teaching excellence.

The award recipient will receive a certificate of recognition and a one-time monetary award payment of $5,000 (subject to applicable deductions).

Key criteria: Teaching

Nomination guidelines

Who can be nominated?

  • Any tenured faculty member of the Ryerson Faculty Association is eligible to be nominated for the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction.
  • No individual can be nominated for more than one university-wide teaching award in any given year. However, the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC) reserves the right to reassign any nomination to a different category, based on the best fit with the evidence.
  • The nomination is valid only for the year in which it is made.
  • An unsuccessful nomination may be reconsidered the following year provided the nomination package has been updated to reflect any new contributions and/or achievements.
  • Any individual can receive the Chancellor's Award of Distinction only once.
  • By agreeing to be nominated, the nominee commits to cooperation with the nomination facilitator in providing supporting evidence. The nominee will also commit, if selected as the recipient, to:
    • attending the annual Ryerson Awards Night,
    • delivering a Convocation Address at a Convocation ceremony,
    • giving a presentation at the Ryerson Learning & Teaching Conference in May of the same year,
    • sharing their teaching philosophy with fellow instructors by making it available for posting on the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching website, and
    • to serving on the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee for the following year’s awards.

Nominations for the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction must be submitted by the faculty member’s Dean.

The nomination file should clearly address the two award criteria as described below.

Significant contributions over time to teaching and learning at Ryerson and sustained educational leadership

Since this award focuses on advancing teaching and learning at Ryerson, evidence of significant career-long contributions to increase the quality of education at Ryerson, significant contributions over time and sustained educational leadership will be sought. The range and diversity of support for the nominee (e.g. from students, alumni, colleagues, peers, administrators, collaborators) will be reviewed, as well as the range and complexity of contributions to teaching and learning at Ryerson, both within and beyond the nominee’s own Department/School and both within and beyond the nominee’s own Faculty.  

This can be demonstrated by one or more of the following:

  • Development of teaching programs, workshops, seminars, etc.;
  • Collaborative initiatives at the university level to improve quality of teaching and learning at Ryerson;
  • Educational planning and policy-making;
  • Significant contributions to curricular design and redesign, writing textbooks, creating other teaching materials or developing innovative teaching methods;
  • Involvement in educational research and its dissemination and the extent to which students were involved in this research;
  • Mentoring and consultations to other faculty members at Ryerson and elsewhere.

Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • Examples of dissemination of results and of their impact on the practice of others (e.g. consultations on teaching methods, mentoring, adoption of teaching materials by others, etc.);
  • Examples of work within organizations and associations of higher education;
  • Description of teaching and learning grants received;
  • List of publications on teaching and learning in higher education and on educational research;
  • Description of relevant educational initiatives and nature of involvement;
  • List of awards, internal and external, and other recognition received for contributions to teaching and learning;
  • List of presentations at educational conferences; keynotes, invitations and visits to share developed materials, programs, experiences with teaching and learning at Ryerson or elsewhere;
  • Evidence of recognition by a community of peers at Ryerson as well as within the external higher education community, endorsements from professional bodies, student councils, faculty associations, etc.;
  • Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, describing the nominee’s various contributions to teaching and learning at Ryerson and elsewhere.

Continuing teaching excellence

Outstanding teaching integrates best practices in instruction and assessment with well-defined student learning outcomes, demonstrates effectiveness of teaching strategies and provides evidence of student engagement. Continuing teaching excellence can be demonstrated by an outstanding and sustained record of undergraduate or graduate teaching, including one of more of the following:

  • Effectiveness of teaching strategies in the classroom, studio or laboratory;
  • Evidence of student engagement;
  • Nature of interactions with students;
  • Enthusiasm for teaching, innovative pedagogical approaches, use of best practices and grounding of one’s practice in learning theories;
  • Ability to motivate students, capacity as a role model for personal and professional development of students;
  • Integration of best practices in instruction and assessment with well-defined student learning outcomes.
  • Incorporation of inclusive values into teaching and/or curriculum;

Evidence in support of the criteria may include, but is not limited to, some of the following:

  • Description of specific teaching strategies that were developed to improve student learning, including their planning, development, execution and assessment;
  • Evidence of impact on student learning (e.g. improved exam performance, pass rates, acceptance rates to graduate programs, success in workplace placements, increased course enrollment, etc.);
  • Personal contact with students (e.g. mentoring, advising, consultations outside of class, field trips, small-group tutoring, laboratory, studio instruction, thesis supervision, etc.);
  • Evidence of transformative influence on student learning experience;
  • Evidence of impact of teaching on student learning (e.g. improved exam performance, pass rates, acceptance rates to graduate programs, success in workplace placements, increased course enrollment);
  • Evidence of grounding one’s work in good practice and connection to learning theories;
  • Letters from students, alumni, colleagues and administrators, describing the nominee’s teaching and its impact on students’ learning.

While some of the criteria and examples listed above are similar to those for other Ryerson teaching awards, it is expected that the recipient would demonstrate a greater depth and breadth of their record, as appropriate for the prominence of the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction.

  1. Obtain the nominee’s permission.
  2. Assemble the nomination package as described below.
  3. Submit the nomination package via the Online Nomination Portal.
  4. Nominees will be prompted by email to log in to the Online Nomination Portal and upload their CV.
  5. Nominee receives a confirmation email with a link to provide online consent before the deadline. This step must be completed before the deadline.

The nomination package should clearly address the Award Criteria.­­­ There are seven required components of the nomination for the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction:

  • A Nomination Brief (two page maximum) prepared, in collaboration with the nominee. The Nomination Brief should clearly address the nominee’s achievements according to each of the awards criteria.
  • A Citation (100 word maximum). Highlight why the nominee deserves this award and any notable achievements. This citation will be included in related university communication if the nominee is selected.
  • The nominee’s Statement of Teaching Philosophy (three page maximum). This statement shows evidence of reflection on one’s practices related to fostering student learning and intellectual growth, to teaching and learning contributions at Ryerson that transcend the Faculty and to contributions to teaching leadership at the campus-wide level and the broader educational community.
  • A Summary of Teaching Evaluations (one page maximum) over a minimum of five consecutive years. Faculty Course Survey (FCS) data will not be used as evidence of teaching effectiveness, but can be used to support claims made about the impact of teaching methods on student experience. Nominees are welcome to submit the data they feel best represents their achievements in teaching. Please do not submit copies of raw data, instead tabulate (or provide a graph of) the relevant information on a single page. Frequency distributions rather than averages must be used. 
  • Letters of Support (one page maximum each) that provide specific examples of why the nominee should be considered for the award. Try to ensure that, when read as a group, letters cover all relevant aspects of the award criteria. There should be no more than five letters in total. The supporting letters must include:
    • Two letters from colleagues and/or administrators other than the nominee’s Dean;
    • Three letters from students (undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/alumnus). Students writing support letters should disclose their relationship with the nominee (current student, former student, research assistant, working under nominee’s supervision, etc.). If the nominator is a student, the letters must come from students other than the nominator.;
  • Supporting Materials (six page maximum) containing additional evidence for how the criteria have been met. Make sure to include factual evidence to support the narrative provided in the supporting statement and the letters. It is essential to provide meaningful captions or descriptive information for all supporting materials, describing how the evidence demonstrates that the nominee meets the criteria for the award. Because of the capacity for visual elements to add richness and nuance to a nomination package, the use of these elements within the supporting materials is encouraged.
  • A modified Curriculum Vitae (four page maximum) focusing on the nominee’s teaching, educational leadership, achievements and other contributions to teaching and learning, as distinct from a standard CV pertaining to the nominee’s field of expertise. For example, do not include field-specific research publications, but do include presentations at the Learning & Teaching Conference and other educational conferences, workshops on teaching and learning, textbooks, teaching awards, etc. Nominees will be prompted by email to submit this portion.

When preparing materials:

  • Use a standard 12-point font with one-inch margins.
  • Each page and scan must be legible.
  • Please do not include active URLs, the committee will not review any material beyond what is included in the nomination package.

The Ryerson Chancellor’s Award of Distinction recipient is selected by the University Teaching Awards Selection Committee (UTASC). The UTASC has an overarching goal to help advance teaching and learning at Ryerson through the university-wide Teaching Awards Program by ensuring that high quality candidates whose achievements meet or exceed the awards criteria are selected for the available university teaching awards.

Following notification to all nominees and nominators, the Provost will make a public announcement regarding recipients.

December 10 by noon: All completed nomination files for the award must be submitted online. 

January 14: Deadline for the UTASC to complete their deliberations. The Committee reserves the right not to confer the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction in any given year if no suitable candidate is identified. 

January 21: Results are communicated to the recipient’s nominator and to all unsuccessful nominees and nominators.

Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching
Michelle Schwartz
Educational Developer
michelle.schwartz@ryerson.ca
416-979-5000, ext: 552094

Celebration details

This award is celebrated at Ryerson Awards Night and included in a Convocation Ceremony to present a Convocation Address.