Nominations are being accepted for the O. Max Gardner Award. If you know of any colleagues who would fit the criteria for the award, please forward the nomination to C. Thomas Lambeth at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of today (Dec. 1). Nominees will then be screened by a committee, and a recommendation will be made to Chancellor Brady.
The O. Max Gardner Award, which has been given annually since 1949, was established by the will of N.C. Gov. Oliver Max Gardner to recognize faculty who have “made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race.” It is the only award for which all faculty members of the 16 UNC campuses are eligible, Lambeth notes, and is considered the UNC system’s highest faculty honor. The award, which carries a $10,000 cash prize, will be presented by the UNC Board of Governors.
Information about past award winners can be seen here: http://www.unctv.org/omaxgardner/
Among things to consider regarding the context and history of the award:
- The award is intended to recognize the faculty member who, during the current scholastic year, has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race. The term “faculty” shall embrace all persons, including instructors, engaged in teaching in any unit, institution or branch of service of the Consolidated University of North Carolina.
- The nominee’s contributions to the welfare of the human race, however technical the field, should be described in terms a layman can understand.
- Because the will provides that the award shall go to the faculty member “…who …has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race,” the award should not be viewed solely as one for community service nor for excellence in teaching. Through the years, the Board’s committees have been thinking in broad terms of service to the human race; any nominee, no matter how remarkable or unselfish his or her contributions may have been, is at a disadvantage if the service is limited to the particular community. Most of those chosen in the past have been persons who have made notable contributions of national or international scale or persons whose contributions, although local, have served as models nationally or internationally. (Most of the campuses already have their own awards for recognition of excellence in teaching, and many campuses have awards that specifically recognize community service.)
- Through the years, the committees of the Board have recognized that the selection procedure, which must begin in the fall, makes it difficult to adhere strictly to that provision of the will, which states that the award shall recognize a contribution made “during the current scholastic year.” In order to give as much weight to the clause as is feasible, however, the committees have usually looked for nominees who have recently made contributions or whose work and service have recently culminated in a major contribution.