Deadline set for Williams Fund nominations and proposals

Tom and Carol Williams

Nominations for fellows and instructional proposals for the Tom and Carol Williams Fund for Undergraduate Education in the 2020-21 academic year are now being accepted, with a deadline date of Feb. 1, 2020.

The Williams Fund provides funding to faculty members who are strengthening the quality of educational experiences for undergraduate students at the University of Oregon. Since 1996, funds have gone to 37 faculty members and 109 proposals.

Each year, the Williams Council accepts nominations and determines the recipients from career instructional and tenure-track faculty members who are challenging students academically, creating an engaged and inclusive learning environment, investing in their professional development, and improving the learning process through innovation and collaboration.

“This year marks the 25th anniversary of support for instructional innovation from Tom and Carol Williams,” said Sierra Dawson, associate vice provost for academic affairs. “Innovation is such an important part of the teaching and learning culture of our campus, allowing faculty to stretch and grow as educators as they design new learning experiences for the ever-changing student population.”

Fellows receive a $5,000 award, and a separate $5,000 goes to the faculty member’s department to help the teaching and learning experience of students in their disciplines.

Instructional proposals are welcome from individuals or groups who want to build opportunities for teachers to renew, broaden, restructure or develop classes or coursework that actively engage students in the learning process.

Nominations and proposals are reviewed by the council, which includes faculty members from across campus who are previous recipients of the Williams Fellowship, Distinguished Teaching Award or who demonstrate innovation and thoughtfulness in teaching undergraduate students.

To inspire and inform prospective applicants, the Teaching Engagement Program will host an event featuring a panel of former Williams Fund recipients to share insights and takeaways from their experiences.

“What a pleasure to start winter term by showcasing UO’s talented faculty as they imagine, problem solve, and innovate in their teaching and then brainstorm ways to put new ideas forward as Williams proposals,” said Lee Rumbarger, assistant vice provost for teaching engagement and director of the Teaching Engagement Program. “This event is an opportunity to be creative about teaching with resources — funds, support and collegial community — available to launch and sustain ideas that will enhance the educational experience for our students.”

The 2020 Williams Fund Showcase will be held Thursday, Jan. 9, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the Gerlinger Alumni Lounge. Faculty members interested in learning more about the Williams Fund and the work of past recipients are encouraged to attend. To RSVP, visit the Teaching Engagement Program’s website.

“We are indebted to the Williams family for believing in UO faculty and encouraging us to try, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, and never to be satisfied with the status quo,” Dawson said.

For information on how to submit a fellow nomination or instructional proposal, visit the Office of the Provost’s website.

—By Jessica T. Brown, University Communications