LAS Master Teacher Program

A professor lecturing


The primary goal of this program is to recognize and provide incentives for excellence in teaching, especially to those tenured faculty for whom teaching has become the major focus of their professional life. The initiative recognizes that a number of UIC faculty have developed approaches to teaching that are highly successful in terms of student learning and satisfaction. The efforts of such individuals often go unrewarded in the university system and unshared with colleagues within the university.

The Master Teacher Program seeks to recognize such individuals and to engage them in activities that are more focused on teaching and designed to disseminate and mentor high quality teaching approaches across the UIC campus and beyond. Those associate or full professors designated LAS Master Teachers will:

  • receive a one-time $10,000 addition to their base salary;
  • agree to a two-course increase in their annual teaching assignment;
  • become teaching mentors, available to assist others in their academic units and across the College develop their teaching practices;
  • engage in activities designed to share information on high quality teaching;
  • be evaluated for annual salary increases based on their redefined roles in their academic units;
  • be considered for promotion according to the standard LAS and UIC research criteria that apply to moving from associate to full professor.


It is anticipated that the Master Teacher designation would be a permanent change in the terms of appointment. In order to concentrate on these additional responsibilities, Master Teachers will not teach additional courses beyond the increased course load described in (2), either at other institutions or at other units within the university. However, as with all other faculty, they are eligible for course buyouts. If, in the opinion of the unit executive officer and the Dean, additional teaching represents an important opportunity for the faculty member and the College, this restriction may be waived by the Dean.

The Application Process


The designation as a Master Teacher is the result of a competitive process that begins with nomination by the executive officer of the faculty member’s academic unit. Departments or programs may nominate no more than one candidate per year as a Master Teacher.

The process may be initiated by the executive officer of the unit or by a faculty member. In either case, the applicant is expected to submit to the executive officer a teaching portfolio that includes a teaching statement, sample syllabi and course materials, peer observation reports, student evaluations, and one or more samples of student work that indicate what students learn and the quality of that learning. In addition, the departmental executive officer submits a statement indicating why and how the applicant will be an especially effective Master Teacher. This statement should include the ways in which the applicant will enhance the quality of teaching in the department and in LAS. For example, depending on the applicant’s profile and departmental need, a Master Teacher might take on supervision of courses with large numbers of sections taught by adjuncts, mentoring of junior faculty, or for those whose awards are based on significant innovations, dissemination of their innovative approaches.

Applications are submitted to the Dean of LAS, c/o Beth Allen, Room 425 UH by February 7, 2020. The LAS Executive Committee reviews the applications and submits award recommendations to the Dean. It is anticipated that successful candidates might fit at least two profiles:

  • A candidate who has developed innovative, exciting, and effective forms of instruction. These may, but need not, involve the use of technology.
  • A candidate whose teaching may involve no specific innovation but who, quite simply, demonstrates excellence through knowledge, skill, preparation, and performance.