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The University of Texas at El Paso Academy of Distinguished Teachers

I. Vision

The UTEP Academy of Distinguished Teachers (UTEP ADT or Academy) vision is for UTEP to cultivate an inclusive community of engaged and reflective educators that provides an outstanding education to our diverse body of students and works to mentor other educators.

II. Mission

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of The University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards (UTROTA), UTEP’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers was founded in April 2019. The Academy’s primary purpose is to recognize, promote, and support excellence in teaching at UTEP. Excellent teaching changes lives and transforms communities by providing students the knowledge, skills, motivation and mentoring to effect potentially groundbreaking change through creative solutions to today’s social and economic problems in the local community and the world.

III. Goals of the Academy

  • Provide institutional leadership in teaching excellence at UTEP by advising the Provost and President on instructional matters and generally fostering educational discourse and initiatives
  • Recognize, celebrate, and reward outstanding teachers for exceptional contributions
  • Foster and promote high-quality, innovative pedagogy
  • Facilitate pedagogical training and support colleagues in their teaching efforts
  • Create a climate that values diversity and inclusion in teaching innovation and discourse

IV. Name

The name of the organization is The University of Texas at El Paso Academy of Distinguished Teachers. All activities of the Academy are to be governed by these Bylaws.

V. Organization

  1. Members of the UTEP ADT shall be recipients of the UTROTA, UTEP nominees for the UTROTA, or otherwise be a UTEP nominee or awardee for the Minnie Piper Teaching Award. Recipients of other significant and widely recognized teaching awards at the State of Texas and/or national stage will also be considered for membership in the Academy after a nomination and a rigorous review process conducted by the Membership Committee.
  2. The officers serve two-year terms and compose the Executive Council of the Academy, and includes the President, the President Elect, the Past‐President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Historian. All members will be eligible to hold office upon joining the Academy. The Executive Council is responsible for carrying out activities that support the Academy’s mission and goals.
  3. Committee Chairs. Committee chairs serve two-year terms. They will be nominated by the Executive Council and elected by the Academy Members at the Spring induction and business meeting.
  4. Duties of Officers. The President, or President‐Elect in the absence of the President, shall oversee all official meetings. The Treasurer shall provide oversight of the finances of the Academy, including an annual budget. The Treasurer shall manage all Academy funds, make disbursements under authorization of the Executive Council, and report financial statements at Academy meetings. The Secretary shall record the details concerning organizational activities, prepare minutes for each official meeting of the Executive Council and the ADT, and otherwise communicate with the ADT membership. The Secretary shall provide the minutes to the Historian, who will maintain an archive and other pertinent material of the ADT. The Historian is responsible for maintaining a living history of the organization, taking photographs, and maintaining a narrative of the organization. The Past-President will advise the incoming President and otherwise assist the Executive Council.
  5. Election of Officers. The officer position of President Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and Historian will be elected by majority votes cast by UTEP ADT members, including new inductees, during a period of voting during the Spring semester. Nominations will include a teaching & service CV and a candidate biographical sketch, which shall be circulated to Academy membership two weeks prior to the election period. Voting will be by anonymous ballot and electronic means, and occur over a two-week period. Upon completion of the two (2) year term, the President‐Elect shall succeed to the office of President for a two (2) year term. In turn, the President shall succeed to the office of Past‐President for a two (2) year term. The terms of the officers will begin June 1.
  6. The President‐Elect shall become the President in the event of a vacancy in the office of the current President. The President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, shall appoint an Academy member to fill any other vacant position on the Executive Council or any committee.
  7. Standing committees shall include:
    1. Membership Committee
    2. Events Committee
    The Executive Council may appoint additional ad hoc committees as needed that address specific needs of the Academy
  8.  Description of Standing Committees.
    1. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee is charged with non-automatic UTEP ADT member nominees. This committee will also help select the UTEP UTROTA nominees. This committee will also track membership attendance at events and keep updated rosters on committees and overall membership, and composition of membership categories.
    2. Events Committee. The Events Committee is charged with conceiving, planning, promoting and running all Academy events including the annual new member induction ceremony event. The Events Committee will propose Academy events to the Executive Council and all approved events will be advertised and presented on the UTEP ADT website.
      The Executive Council will identify the need for new standing and any ad hoc committees and shall formulate statements of charge for such committees. Non-UTEP-ADT members may be appointed, as non‐voting members, to ad hoc Academy committees in situations where they possess expertise important to the organization. Committee chairs and members will be appointed by the President with advice and consent of the Executive Council, after consultation with the members. All committees will have a chair and representative members. The Executive Council will decide how many members will serve on each standing or ad hoc committee.

VII. Meetings

The Executive Council will call all meetings of the UTEP ADT membership. These shall be a minimum of two per year, and at least one per long semester. These meetings may take place by an electronic medium or in person or hybrid/Hyflex. The Executive Council may call a meeting after a written petition from 1/3 of the UTEP ADT members, or when the Executive Council deems appropriate or critical to the Academy’s mission.

VIII. Membership

  1. Criteria for Regular Members. Recipients of the University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (UTROTA) and the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award shall be inducted into the Academy without a separate nomination and review process. Once inducted, members will remain in the Academy for the duration of their active faculty appointment at UTEP. UTEP nominees for the UTROTA and the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award shall also be inducted into the Academy. Recipients of other significant and widely recognized teaching awards at the State of Texas and/or national stage will be considered for membership in the Academy after a rigorous nomination and review process. Members will have the title of “UTEP Distinguished Teaching Professor.” Retired Academy members who are granted an emeritus title by the President and Board of Regents will be designated as Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus.
  2. Eligible members of the Academy will represent only the very best teachers at The University of Texas at El Paso. The requirements for membership will be of the highest order. UTEP ADT is intended to be a leading organization, with a membership based on excellence in teaching at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels, combined with extraordinary contributions to the educational mission.
    The Membership Committee will seek diversity in the Academy membership. The Membership Committee will utilize criteria to ensure diversity in membership across all disciplines. Membership in the Academy will be lifelong. The Academy expects the members to continue to perform educational effort at or above the level for qualified membership in the Academy. Members will act as ambassadors of the Academy to promote educational excellence. The Academy expects members to participate actively in committees, formal and informal programs, and activities that promote the Academy’s mission.
  3. Categories of Membership
    1. “Fellow” ‐ member who maintains active participation as reflected in the Bylaws.
    2. “Emeritus Fellow” ‐ member who has retired or resigned from a University of Texas institution.
    3. “Honorary Fellow” – member elected based on outstanding contributions to academics in general or the Academy.
    At induction into the UTEP ADT, a new member gains “Fellow” status. Fellows will serve on committees and vote. The Academy expects members to participate in activities that promote the Academy’s missions.
  4.  Criteria for “Emeritus Fellow.” A “Fellow” qualifies to become an “Emeritus Fellow” when they retire or resign as a faculty member at a University of Texas institution. This honorific status must be requested by the member and confirmed by final approval of the Executive Committee. An “Emeritus Fellow” may not serve on committees but is encouraged to attend meetings, although not as a voting participant. Members who transitioned to emeritus status because they left the UT System but later return to any University of Texas institution will be automatically reinstated as a “Fellow” upon their request. "Fellows" undergoing phased retirement need not apply for "Emeritus Fellow" status until that process is complete so long as they continue to meet Academy criteria by remaining active in Academy affairs.
  5. Criteria for “Honorary Fellow.” The Academy may elect individuals as “Honorary Fellow.” These individuals will have made outstanding contributions to the academic professions, and may have made outstanding contributions to the Academy, whether at UTEP or the broader community. The election of an “Honorary Fellow” requires a 2/3 vote of those present at a spring UTEP ADT meeting. Honorary Fellows may serve on committees, but may not vote.

IX. Revision and Amendment of these Bylaws

Changes to these bylaws will require a majority vote by the membership. A member may make a motion at a general membership meeting to request changes to the by-laws. A vote will follow and if a majority of the UTEP ADT membership votes in favor, the Secretary will initiate a review of the by-laws. The Executive Council will appoint an ad hoc committee that will undertake the revision. Voting will be by anonymous ballot and electronic means, and occur over a two-week period. The Executive Council may make non-substantive changes to the bylaws and notify the UTEP ADT membership.