All great universities share one common trait: outstanding faculty and staff.
And while UNT has honored its faculty for many years, the process of honoring faculty took a giant leap in October 2012 with a week-long celebration -- Salute to Faculty Excellence Week -- to recognize the achievements of UNT's more than 1,500 faculty members.
"UNT faculty members are undeniably committed to their work as teachers, scholars and leaders. Recognizing the commitment and accomplishments of our faculty is just one of the many ways that we can foster loyalty and strengthen a sense of community at UNT," says Christy Crutsinger, vice provost for faculty success.
Salute to Faculty Excellence Week is a formal dinner at UNT's Apogee Stadium to honor top faculty members with a variety of awards, including three new awards supported by the UNT Foundation.
Strong faculty members not only excel in teaching, but also in research, service and leadership. The UNT Foundation chose to recognize the contributions of UNT's faculty all-stars by creating the Eminent Faculty Award, the Leadership Award and the Community Engagement Award.
Bruce Bond, a Regents Professor of English, was selected to be the first UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award winner. The Eminent Faculty Award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service. To be considered for the university's top faculty award, faculty members must meet the following criteria:
- Must have served the University of North Texas for a minimum of 10 years.
- Must be a full-time tenured professor in good standing at the time of the nomination.
- Must be well-rounded, with outstanding accomplishments in scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service, bringing honor and recognition to UNT.
- Must have contributed notably to the advancement and vitality of the university community.
Bond, an accomplished and internationally known poet, has been on the UNT faculty for 17 years. He has excelled creatively with 10 full-length books of poetry and four chapbooks. His poems and critical essays have appeared in anthologies and journals such as Best American Poetry, the Yale Review, The Georgia Review, Raritan and The New Republic.
Bond also excels in service and teaching. Upon joining the UNT faculty, he helped develop the creative writing program and he also helped to build the department's national reputation. His teaching evaluations for the last three years have averaged 1.09, on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest and five the lowest. Student reviews include comments such as "one of the most intellectually stimulating teachers ever" and "I have enjoyed this class more than even my highest expectations could have prepared me."
Bond was honored with a one-time $15,000 cash prize and a commemorative medallion. He also received a bronze eagle sculpture, which will rotate to the next eminent faculty award winner in 2013.
Also honored during the week were Arminta Jacobson, professor of educational psychology and founder and director of UNT's Center for Parent Education, and Mary Harris, Regents Professor of teacher education and administration. They were selected for the UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award and the UNT Foundation Leadership Award, respectively. Both awards required faculty members to be full-time tenure-track or tenured in good standing. Faculty members also must have been at the university for at least five years to qualify. Jacobson and Harris received one-time cash prizes of $5,000 and a commemorative medallion.
In addition to the three foundation awards, the university also presented 18 additional awards.
The week also included a lecture and reception sponsored by the Office of Research and Economic Development and featured UNT Research Award Winners, Angela Wilson, Regents Professor of chemistry and Jeffrey Bradetich, Regents Professor of music.