University Awards

Faculty and Academic Affairs manages the Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Education, the McKnight Professorships, the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award, and the Imagine Fund's Arts, Humanities and Design Chair Award. 

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Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Education

Two University-wide annual award programs recognize teachers' commitment to quality education.  Recipients of the Morse-Alumni awards and the Graduate and Professional Teaching awards are inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and carry the designation of Distinguished University Teaching Professor (faculty) or Distinguished University Teacher (P&A) throughout their careers at the University of Minnesota.

Candidates for the awards are nominated by their colleges.  These awards are made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

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

Each year since 1965, the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education has been given to a select group of teachers who reflect the University's emphasis on the importance of high quality undergraduate education.

The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education 

The Graduate and Professional award was established in 1999 to recognize contributions to graduate and professional education.  Recipients are chosen for excellence in instruction; involvement of students in research, scholarship, and professional development; development of instructional programs; and advising and mentoring of students.

McKnight Professorships

The McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program and the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program recognize professors at different career stages.

McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

The goal of the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program is to advance the careers of new assistant professors at a crucial point in their professional lives.

Distinguished McKnight University Professorship

The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status.

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

The Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award honors faculty who have done significant research, teaching, or service/leadership to advance Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the university, in the person's field of study, or in our broader community.

Awards for Academic Unit Service

Three awards are given in recognition of exceptional service that has strengthened the functioning and climate of the recipient’s unit at the University of Minnesota. These are:

  • University of Minnesota Unit Service Award (one award/year) 
  • Provost’s Unit Service Award (five awards/year)
  • Award for Excellence in Academic Unit Service (one award per unit)

These awards require nomination by the unit's head or chair. 

List of Recipients 

Arts, Humanities and Design Chair Award (Imagine Fund)

The Imagine Fund was established through a generous gift from the McKnight Foundation to provide competitive financial support for research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota. The Provost has established two University Imagine Fund chairs, each a two-year award during which the recipient carries the title of Imagine Fund Arts, Humanities, and Design Chair. During the two-year term, the faculty lead receives up to $100,000 to work with a group of faculty, staff, students, and other collaborators to create a program of activities for the University community and the community at large. The goal of these projects is to foster cross-departmental, multi-campus, collaborative work.

External Awards

Our office also encourages and supports nomination of faculty for external awards available from private, national, and international organizations. These include prestigious national academies, foundation-funded awards, and other major awards.

Information about these and other important faculty awards is available on the Scholars Walk web page. The names of numerous award recipients are displayed along the Scholars Walk, centrally located on the Minneapolis campus.