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Online Excellence Awards

Digital innovation awards for Excellence in Online Education, have been created to recognize faculty and staff creativity in the transition to online-only education during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. More broadly, these awards are to recognize digital innovations in academic units across the U, not only during the emergency changes made necessary during the worldwide pandemic, but also as the University of Utah prepares for the global economy of the future.

The Online Excellence Faculty Awards recognize faculty members who have not only shifted coursework online, but also adapted pedagogy and practice in new and novel ways to help their students learn and retain knowledge via an online format.

The Online Excellence Staff Awards honor staff members whose work was critical to easing and/or maintaining the shift to digital formats.

Up to four Online Excellence Faculty Awards and two Online Excellence Staff Awards will be made during the 2019-2020 academic year. Each award will provide $1,000 to the recipient, and all recipients will be honored at the December 2020 Commencement.


Online Excellence Faculty Awards will recognize tenure-line or career-line faculty members who are established or emerging leaders with exceptional teaching skills and significant promise for continued online teaching innovation and who have built online infrastructure or communities that encouraged student communication and collaboration.

Online Excellence Staff Awards recognize staff members who support and facilitate the transition to online-only education. These may include collegiate and departmental staff, information technology (IT) staff, student services staff, academic advisors and others.


Deans may submit one Online Excellence Faculty Award nomination and one Online Excellence Staff Award this year. Brief written nominations are due June 8, 2021, to the Office of the SVPAA. Nominations should include a cover letter describing online achievements and centrality to the unit of the nominee, as well as the nominee’s CV. Nominations should be sent to Ann Holbrook at All awards will be named by July 1 for the upcoming academic year.