The Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award

This award is presented to encourage and recognize the professorial career of tenured faculty in their performance and commitment to teaching and advising; research and publications; extension and public service; faculty governance; and participation in professional associations. The award, which was first presented in 2003, also memorializes the unique mission and rich history of the public land-grant university and exemplifies the continued opportunities it offers for worldwide contribution to the betterment of humankind and to democratic institutions in an ever-changing environment.

The award is supported by the U of I Foundation Robert G.F. Spitze Educational Fund and the Hazel Taylor Spitze Educational Fund. Robert G.F. Spitze served as a faculty member in Department of Agricultural Economics beginning in 1960 and retired as professor emeritus in 1993. Hazel Taylor Spitze served as a faculty member in home economics education beginning in 1962 and retired as professor emerita in 1987.

The Award

Each year the college may present one Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award, which includes a $5,000 unrestricted personal award, a $1,000 unrestricted program award, an etched crystal award, and a certificate of recognition.


Nominees must be a member of the tenured faculty who holds at least a 50-precent paid appointment in College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences for the academic year in which the award will be presented; and have fifteen years of consecutive service in the college.

Individuals on disability, sabbatical leave, and leave without pay are not eligible during leave; however, these leaves are not considered interruptions of service time for subsequent years. Members of the faculty who are full-time administrators are eligible for the award. 

A faculty member may receive the Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award only once. If an issue arises concerning the eligibility for an award, the issue will be decided by the appropriate associate dean and policy committee chair, depending upon the award for which the nomination has been made.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline. 

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single PDF and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination: 

1. Nomination cover sheet(you must download the form from Box to complete it). The cover sheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, and relevant affiliations.

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include major contributions in the following areas: 1) overall evaluation regarding performance and commitment to the land-grant mission of teaching and advising; research and publications; extension and public service; faculty governance (reference the listing on the cover sheet) and participation in professional associations. Contributions 
supporting the unit and college goals of diversity, equity and inclusion should be noted (eight page maximum).

3. Curriculum vitae

4. Letters of support: No more than four letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as past or present colleagues or collaborators. One letter must be from a current ACES faculty/staff member (two page maximum).


Nominees will be evaluated in terms of sustained and comprehensive excellence in the academic performances heretofore identified as central to the land-grant mission. The award recipient will be selected by a selection committee from the college faculty. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for the committee’s operation. 

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean and unit head.