The Academy of Distinguished Teachers is a program of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and promotes excellence in teaching and learning.


Former University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof established the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1999 in recognition of the importance of outstanding teaching to the University. Winners of both the Horace T. Morse - University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate, and Professional Education comprise the membership of the Academy. The Academy inducts award winners annually at a spring awards ceremony. Members of the Academy provide leadership to the University, serving as mentors, advisers, and spokespersons for the University’s teaching mission.

The Horace T. Morse – University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award recognizes excellence in contributing directly and indirectly to student learning through teaching, research, creative activities, advising, academic program development, and educational leadership. Given each year since 1965, the award represents the highest recognition by the University community of its most distinguished scholar-teachers. The award is named for the late Horace T. Morse, first dean of the General College (1934-60) and a national leader in the field of undergraduate education. The same year the Academy was established (1999), the Award for Contributions to Graduate, and Professional Education was initiated in recognition of faculty members for excellence in instruction, instructional program development, intellectual distinction, advising and mentoring, and involvement of students in research, scholarship, and professional development at the graduate and professional level.

Candidates for both awards are nominated through their colleges on all four University of Minnesota campuses. Students, departments, or other administrative units, student organizations or associations, and individual faculty members may initiate nominations. The Provost and the Senate Committee on Educational Policy approve awards to recipients.