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Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence

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Award Details

The Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes outstanding teachers who embody Pepperdine University's commitment to excellence. The award honors teachers who inspire, stimulate, challenge, and motivate their students; teachers who develop in students the ability to think critically and creatively about the world; teachers who instill in their students a lifelong love of learning.

The award is named after Pepperdine's fifth president, Howard A. White. Throughout his nearly 30-year career at Pepperdine, White served in a variety of faculty and administrative posts. He was an effective history professor, a respected scholar, a gifted administrator, and a faithful steward of the University's mission. His life's work at Pepperdine as a teacher, scholar, and administrator exemplifies the commitment of the University and its faculty to students and to teaching and learning. 

 

 Award Description

Pepperdine University annually honors eight full-time faculty members with the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence. Six of the awards go to faculty who are tenured or have taught at Pepperdine for six or more years (Category One) and two awards go to faculty who are not tenured and have taught at the University for fewer than six years (Category Two).

  • Category One: Six faculty members are selected from this category, including two faculty members from Seaver College, one faculty member each from PGBS, GSEP, and the School of Law, and one additional faculty member selected from any of the University's five schools. Each honoree receives a $4,000.00 stipend.
  • Category Two: Two faculty members are selected from this category, including one faculty member from Seaver College and one from the graduate schools. Each honoree from this category receives a $2,000.00 stipend.

 Award Criteria

The Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence recognizes those full-time faculty members who are truly great teachers, those who embody the University's commitment to excellence. The nomination and selection of recipients of the award is based on the person's demonstrated excellence in teaching at the University, as evidenced by:

  • Ability to inspire independent and critical thinking;
  • Ability to encourage intellectual interests in students and to stimulate students to think creatively;
  • Enthusiasm and vitality in learning, teaching, and scholarship;
  • Mastery of the subject matter;
  • Commitment to academic rigor in the classroom;
  • Ability to organize course material and to present it cogently;
  • Active involvement with students outside of the classroom, including advising, counseling, and mentoring students;
  • Record of good academic citizenship through service to students, the University, and the community, and a commitment to scholarship;
  • Consistent demonstration of support for the University's mission.
  • Must not have received the award in the last five years.
  • Must be tenured or have taught at Pepperdine for six or more years (Category One) or not be tenured and have taught at Pepperdine for fewer than six years (Category Two).

 Award Process

  1. Solicitation of Nominations: Nominations for the award are solicited from alumni, students, and faculty. Announcements are placed in appropriate University and School publications and include a nomination form for the convenience of alumni and students. In addition, nominations are solicited through the provost's website, which includes an online nomination form. All nominations are directed to the University Committee for Teaching Excellence, in care of the provost's office, and remain on file for three years. Nominations for the 2021 awards, which will be announced in October, will be accepted through March 31, 2021. Nominations received after that date will be considered for the 2022 awards.
  2. Selection Committee: The University Committee for Teaching Excellence (the "committee" or "CTE") consists of former winners of the award and includes representatives from each Pepperdine school. One of the faculty members on the committee is the Associate Provost who serves as chair of the committee.
  3. Selection of Finalists: After the deadline for nominations has passed, the committee reviews the nominations received and selects a preliminary group of finalists for the teaching awards in both Category 1 and Category 2.
  4. Review of Finalists: The committee solicits information about each of the finalists from appropriate academic administrators, including division or department chairs, associate deans for academics, and deans. The committee sends each dean, associate dean for academics, and division chair a written request for additional information about the candidate's teaching ability. In the request, the committee includes the award criteria and a deadline for provision of the requested information. The committee holds any information provided in confidence and gives it appropriate weight in selecting the honorees.
  5. Selection of Winners: After the committee receives the requested information, it selects the recipients of the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence. As noted above, barring exceptional circumstances, the committee's selections consist of six faculty members in Category One (two faculty members from Seaver College, one faculty member from PGBS, GSEP, and the School of Law, and one faculty member from any of the University's five schools) and two faculty members from Category Two (one from Seaver and one from the four graduate schools). The committee selects the winners after meeting in person to consider each of the finalists (though the committee may, of course, avail itself of available technological tools to allow committee members to participate in the meeting from locations away from the Malibu campus). The committee forwards the names of the individuals selected by the committee to the provost, who, in consultation with the president, makes the final decision about the recipients of the award.
  6. Award recipients will be notified by the committee of their award prior to the fall faculty meeting each October. Each recipient will be invited to submit a brief statement of his/her teaching philosophy, consisting of no more than three pages of text. The philosophy statements will be posted on the Provost's website to highlight winners of the Howard A. White teaching award.