Regents Honor 6 UT Dallas Educators for Excellence
Awards Recognize “Achievements of Faculty Who Deliver Superb Education”

Six faculty members from UT Dallas are among 72 educators within The University of Texas System who will share $1.8 million in awards recognizing excellence in the classroom.

Representing five of the University’s seven schools, the UT Dallas  faculty named 2011 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award winners are: Dr. Jennifer Holmes, Dr. Candice Mills, Dr. Robert Morris, Dr. Lawrence Overzet, Dr. Matthew Polze and Dr. John Sibert.

They will be honored at an Aug. 24 ceremony in Austin.

“The Board of Regents considers it a true honor and privilege to recognize another class of great educators from across The University of Texas System with not only a ceremonial event but with much deserved financial rewards,” said Regent’s Chairman Gene Powell. “The Board is committed to continuing the process of seeking out, hiring and rewarding great teachers, and the Board looks forward to holding these ceremonies for many years to come.”

Added UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.:  “It is our System’s responsibility to provide an exceptional education to our students, and we believe this award program not only furthers that goal, but helps promote a culture of excellence that produces better teaching, better learning and, ultimately, better prepared graduates to enter our work force. These awards have proved to be so successful in promoting outstanding teaching that we hope to expand the program to our health institutions as well.”

The cash awards are given to educators at UT System institutions who demonstrate extraordinary classroom performance and innovation at the undergraduate level. Among those honored, tenured faculty will each receive $30,000, tenure-track faculty will each receive $25,000, and contingent faculty will each receive $15,000.

“It is a great honor for our faculty members to be selected for this special recognition,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel. “These awards highlight the great achievements of faculty who deliver superb education to their students. We are grateful to these honorees, and indeed to all of our professors and instructors who work so tirelessly to benefit the students of today and tomorrow. Their work will affect many generations to come.”

Award nominees must demonstrate a clear commitment to teaching and a sustained ability to deliver excellence to the undergraduate learning experience. Candidates’ teaching performance over three years was rigorously examined by campus and external judges. 

Students, peer faculty and external reviewers considered a range of activities and criteria, including classroom expertise, quality of curriculum, innovative course development and student learning outcomes. A teaching portfolio was required to demonstrate pedagogical innovation, continuous improvement of course materials, overall teacher training experience and a statement of teaching philosophy and objectives.

The awards program – established by the Board of Regents in 2008 – has recognized 217 educators spanning more than 100 disciplines. The awards are the latest in a series of UT System-sponsored activities aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 UT System institutions.

Dedicated Educators:In Their Own Words

Although they teach a wide variety of courses, the six UT Dallas teaching award winners share a deep commitment to undergraduate education. Go here to see what they each have to say about why they're driven to teach.


Jennifer Holmes


Candice Mills


Robert Morris


Lawrence Overzet


Matthew Polze


John Sibert


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].