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Excellence in Academic Outreach Award

Award Information

On behalf of the provost, the University’s Academic Outreach and Engagement Council (AOEC) is soliciting nominations for the Excellence in Academic Outreach Award to recognize excellence in academic outreach by faculty. The Academic Outreach Award recognizes extraordinary contributions of faculty to the public that occur as an outgrowth of academic pursuits and are related to the university’s academic mission. The faculty award is based on demonstrated outstanding contributions to the public stemming from the academic expertise of the nominee.

Award Terms

The recipient of the Excellence in Academic Outreach Award also receives a monetary award in the amount of $3,000. Awards will be conferred at the Academic Honors Banquet on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

Academic Outreach

Academic outreach is defined as integrated scholarship that engages the institution’s academic missions of research, creativity, teaching, and service with the community at large. It involves the university’s faculty and students employing their academic expertise to engage the community in reciprocal, collaborative relationships to improve the quality of life for citizens. In turn, the relationships with the community inform the scholarship and learning of faculty and students. Scholarship in academic outreach can be demonstrated in the nomination and faculty member’s curriculum vitae with awards, grants, publications and/or other recognitions within the discipline and/or the community. Academic outreach scholarship is demonstrated across the three domains of the faculty role: teaching, research, and service. For a more detailed discussion of academic outreach in the scholarship of teaching, research or creative activity, and service, please see the attached document.


All tenure-track and tenured faculty, including the Institute of Agriculture, are eligible for this award. The award is intended to honor an individual faculty member who has exceeded normal expectations in their academic outreach activities and engaged scholarship. Previous award winners and members of the University’s Academic Outreach and Engagement Council are ineligible. All nominees should have a minimum of five years of continuous service at the University of Tennessee.

Nomination Process

Essential characteristics of academic outreach are integration of scholarship and engagement between the university community and the community at-large in vital, reciprocal, and collaborative relationships. Nomination materials should address how the nominee’s scholarship demonstrates these characteristics.

The steps of the nomination process are outlined below:

  • Nominator submits a completed nomination packet via the online form. A completed nomination packet includes:
    • A letter of nomination, not to exceed two pages. A nominator may only nominate one person. The letter should be submitted by the nominee’s department head or immediate supervisor. The letter of nomination should highlight the nominee’s academic outreach and engagement activities.
    • A curated copy of the faculty nominee’s curriculum vitae, not to exceed ten pages.
  • All materials should be submitted as a single PDF.

Selection Process

The Faculty Awards and Recognition Committee of the University’s Academic Outreach and Engagement Council will preside over the nomination and selection process. The selection committee will include representatives of the University’s Academic Outreach Council and the previous year’s award winner. The selection committee will review nominations and select the faculty member to be recommended to the Office of the Provost as the award recipient.

Nomination Deadline

  • January 17, 2024

Nomination Form