Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award

Definition:The process to be used to recognize one of our faculty members each year as the Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor.
Authority:President of the University.
Scope:CSUSM Faculty.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:07/22/2015
Implementation Date:04/15/2014
Originally Implemented:11/06/2002
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award Policy



The Faculty Awards Selection Committee shall recommend a Brakebill recipient to the president. The Academic Senate shall conduct elections for this committee during its Spring election. The committee shall consist of one faculty representative from each College/Library, one part-time faculty representative, one at-large member from former recipients of the Brakebill Award, one student (recommended by ASI), and an administrator recommended by the provost. Members of the committee may not nominate candidates for the award.


Although we recognize that there are many outstanding faculty members at Cal State San Marcos, each year we would like to honor one of our faculty to highlight exceptional accomplishments. This Award is given to faculty on the basis of outstanding contributions to their students, to their academic disciplines, and to their campus communities. The nominees are expected to have records of superlative teaching. Quality contributions in the areas of research, creative scholarship, and service to the campus and the community are also taken into consideration, but they shall not be a substitute for the basic requirement of excellence in teaching. The evaluation of a nominee's file shall focus on the transmission of the university values to students through evidence of excellent teaching practices and the impact of his/her teaching in positioning the University as a learner-centered institution.

A) Who can be nominated?
All Unit 3 members are eligible to be nominated for the Brakebill Award by colleagues, students, former students, alumni, and/or staff. Nominees shall acknowledge their willingness to participate by sending an acceptance letter to the Academic Senate Office. Members of the Selection Committee may not accept nominations for the award.

B) How are faculty nominated?
The individual nominating a professor must formally submit a letter that substantiates the nomination to the Senate Office. This letter shall indicate how the nominator knows the nominee, a statement of his/her qualifications as an outstanding professor, and, if a student, courses he/she has taken from the nominee. The same individual(s) shall assist the nominee in obtaining the necessary letters of support. It is recognized that most faculty have excellent records at Cal State San Marcos. However, the record of outstanding performance is often not well documented by the faculty members themselves. It is awkward for a faculty member to solicit such documentation on his/her own behalf. It is important that others in the campus community assist nominees in the development of a dossier that accurately represents the individual's performance and impact in teaching as well as the other areas of consideration. Individuals who are invited to submit letters of support should be aware that the dossier is open to the nominee who prepares it.

C) What are the criteria on which nominees will be judged?
The evaluation of a nominee's file shall focus on the evidence of excellent teaching practices and the impact of his/her teaching in positioning the University as a learner-centered institution. The committee shall make its recommendation based solely on the materials submitted. The file shall contain written statements from students (current and former), from faculty, and/or from members of the community which evidence excellence in teaching. A nominee's contributions to his/her academic discipline and the campus community shall be evaluated to ascertain their quality and the contribution of these activities to the nominee's teaching.

The file shall be collected in a small binder and organized according to the following:

  1. Nomination letter
  2. Complete curriculum vitae
  3. Written statements of support (each should identify the writer and describe the type of evidence used as a basis for judgment):
    (a) Up to 5 statements from colleagues, administrators, and/or community members
    (b) Up to 10 statements from present and former students
  4. Five pages (single-spaced, single-sided) of narrative of teaching philosophy, research activity and achievements as member of the campus and broader communities.
  5. Evidence of achievements as a teacher: One to four course packets that include syllabus, lesson plans, student evaluations with comment sheets, 1-2 other items of the nominee's choice.
  6. Evidence of achievements as a member of the profession (e.g., publications, funded grant proposals, research awards): One to three items.
  7. Evidence of achievements as a member of the campus and the broader communities (e.g., service awards, products of services provided): One to three items.

The office of the Academic Senate notifies all faculty nominated for award and provides detailed instructions. The Senate office will keep the identity of nominees, and all deliberations, confidential.

D) How is the Brakebill award recipient honored?
The University shall provide funds to allow a substantial award and meaningful recognition in honor of the Brakebill award recipient.


The following defines the process used at Cal State San Marcos to recognize one of our faculty each year as the Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor.


Spring: Call for candidates for the Faculty Awards Selection Committee. Committee selection shall be part of the Academic Senate election process.

First week April: Distribution of information on the Brakebill Awards, the timeline, and the nomination process by the Academic Senate office.

Third Week May: Last day to nominate for the Brakebill Award. Nominations due in Academic Senate Office no later than the last day of the semester.

Third week May: Selection Committee shall have met and elected its chair. Name of the chair shall be forwarded to the Academic Senate Office no later than the last day of the semester.

First week June: Acceptance letters due in Academic Senate Office from Brakebill nominees.

Summer: Preparation of Brakebill dossiers.

Third week September: Dossiers due in Academic Senate office. Selection Committee starts its review process.

Second week October: Recommendation for the Brakebill recipient due to the president.

Second week November: President informs campus community of Brakebill recipient.