The Distinguished Teaching Award is a prestigious award bestowed upon up to five members of the Academic Senate, three non-Senate faculty members, and three graduate students at UC San Diego each year. The Distinguished Teaching Award was created because UC San Diego faculty recognize the important role excellent teaching plays at the University. This Award is a tangible expression of UC San Diego's commitment to excellence in teaching and to ensuring that this commitment is maintained. The Committee on Distinguished Teaching seeks to select those who exhibit creativity, innovative teaching methods, the ability to motivate students to actively seek out knowledge, and an extraordinary level of teaching commitment.
In 1999-2000, the establishment of an endowment in memory of Professor Paul D. Saltman extended the Distinguished Teaching Awards to non-Senate faculty members and graduate students who meet the award criteria and who also exhibit other qualities that emulate Professor Saltman's passion for teaching and learning.
Gifts of $1,500 are awarded to Senate faculty members, $1,000 to non-Senate faculty members, and $500 to graduate students. Recipients are honored at an annual reception. Funds for the awards and the reception are generously provided by the Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the donors to the Barbara J. and Paul D. Saltman Endowment Fund.