University moves Lindback Award deadline

Alissa Ricci

The deadline for students to vote for this year’s Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching recipient has been moved up to tomorrow.

This yearly award recognizes one full-time faculty member who demonstrates excellence in classroom instruction. The University presents the chosen recipient with the award each May at the Commencement ceremonies. Student voting kicks off the selection process. Sophomore, junior and senior students are eligible to nominate up to three professors they feel are deserving of the award. Commencement programs need to be finalized by March this year, making it necessary for student voting to take place during the fall semester, according to Rick Eckstein, sociology professor, chair of the Lindback Award Committee and the 1999 Award recipient. 

In previous years, student voting occurred during the first two weeks of the spring semester. About 4,500 students are eligible to vote each year, according to Eckstein. 

“Student voting has plummeted over the past few years, and we are very concerned,” Eckstein said. Only 600 students voted for the Lindback Award last year, down from 1,200 student votes in 2008. 

UNIT and Eckstein worked together to set up a new electronic framework for student voting. Students who log into their MyNova homepage will see a tab for “Lindback Teaching Award” in the Personal Announcements section. Students are redirected to a page describing the award and rules regarding the selection process and presented with a link to cast their votes. Student input is essential to the selection process for the Lindback Award, according to Eckstein. From the student vote, the committee culls a list of between 10 and 15 professors that is voted on by faculty members. 

“The award is like the Nobel Prize for teaching at Villanova,” Eckstein said. The award carries distinction, immense prestige and a monetary reward. He notes that while faculty participation in the voting process is robust, student participation is not.

In addition to the CAT reports that students fill out for their classes, the Lindback Teaching Award presents a crucial opportunity for students to weigh in on the University’s excellent teachers, according to Eckstein. Last year’s Lindback Award recipient was Randy Weinstein, a chemical engineering professor.