Gold Shield Faculty Prize


The Gold Shield Faculty Prize, offered by Gold Shield Alumnae of UCLA, annually provides  an unrestricted $30,000 award to an exceptional mid-career full professor who has a distinguished record of undergraduate teaching, research and University service. The funds are awarded in two $15,000 installments. Each spring of even-numbered years, an outstanding professor from the north campus (Arts and Architecture, Humanities, Social Sciences, Theater, Film & Television) is selected. In the spring of each odd-numbered year, a winner is selected from the south campus (Physical Sciences, Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Engineering). In 2017 the recipient will be selected from the south campus.


The purpose of the Gold Shield Faculty Prize is to recognize and reward UCLA faculty members who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment in undergraduate teaching and in research or creative activity, together with evidence of service within the University. In the belief that distinguished senior faculty receive significant recognition and reward, Gold Shield seeks through the Faculty Prize to recognize high-achieving faculty in the middle years of their academic careers.


The Gold Shield Faculty Prize, an award for academic excellence, was established in 1986 by Gold Shield Alumnae of UCLA to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary. Through a campaign conducted between 1983 and 1986, Gold Shield members and friends raised funds for a $250,000 endowment. Subsequent donations have brought the endowment to nearly

$550,000. Initially designed as a biennial award, the Gold Shield Faculty Prize is now given annually in order to recognize a greater number of deserving faculty. The amount of the Prize, originally $25,000 for the two-year award duration, is now $30,000. Since 2005, a new Gold Shield Faculty Prize winner has been selected each year, alternating between north and south campus disciplines.


The Gold Shield Faculty Prize Selection Committee will name one Gold Shield Faculty Prize winner for 2017. The recipient of the Prize will receive a $30,000 cash award in two $15,000 installments. Beginning July 1, 2016, awardees should spend or transfer the full award amount within three fiscal years of receiving the funds.

The winner will be announced at the Legislative Assembly meeting in June 2017 and will receive an elegant plaque. His or her photo will be placed on an honor wall in the Faculty Center. In addition, the recipient will be honored at Gold Shield’s fall event. It is customary for the Faculty Prize winner to be the guest speaker at a subsequent Gold Shield program.


  • Only nominees from the designated area of campus will be considered in a given year. In 2017, the recipient will be selected from the south campus disciplines.
  • Nominees must hold the rank of Full Professor and must have held that academic title for at least one year.
  • He/she may currently teach students at the graduate or undergraduate level.
  • Preference will be given to nominees who are in the middle years of their academic careers.
  • Preference will be given to nominees who have received a doctoral degree at least 10 years prior to being nominated for the Faculty Prize.
  • The nomination of a Full Professor in a department in which doctoral degrees are not awarded at UCLA, but who holds the highest degree awarded by that department and who meets all of the other criteria for eligibility, may also be considered.


In evaluating many outstanding professors, the main characteristics the Gold Shield Faculty Prize Selection Committee considers are an exemplary record in teaching undergraduate students, extraordinary accomplishment in research or creative activity, and evidence of University service. These should be demonstrated by excellence in the following areas:

  • A meaningful contribution to undergraduate education at UCLA (e.g., impacting students’ lives in a significant way)
  • A scholarly approach to teaching (i.e., through innovative teaching methods in the classroom, curricular innovation, and the impact such innovations might have at a local or national level)
  • Size, number, and diversity of classes taught
  • Influence on the professor’s field of research, including the eventual success of the research or creative activity; work in more than one field of research; and any national or international recognition
  • Support from colleagues
  • The nominee is committed to an equal learning environment


The Gold Shield Faculty Prize Selection Committee is composed of two previous Faculty Prize winners, two Gold Shield representatives, four Senate faculty, and one undergraduate representative.

The Selection Committee will review the nominations over a three- to four-week period following the nomination deadline. The Prize recipient will be selected in early April 2017 and announced at the June Legislative Assembly meeting.

Evidence of service within the University, at the departmental and/or campuswide level, as well as dedication to UCLA, enthusiasm, and creativity


The nomination period for the Gold Shield Faculty Prize will open on Monday, December 4, 2017.

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, February 16, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. 

 submit nomination


Nominations must be submitted by a UCLA faculty member other than the nominee. Self- nominations will not be considered.

UPLOAD A NOMINATION LETTER NO LONGER THAN FIVE PAGES. This letter is critical. It should describe what makes the candidate’s teaching, research and creative activity truly distinguished as opposed to good or merely satisfactory.

UPLOAD A CURRICULUM VITA. The judges need a concise presentation of the nominee’s degrees earned, career advancement, teaching experience, other teaching awards, publications, service and other creative work. Priority should be given to activities and awards that focus on undergraduate education, research, creative work and service. 

UPLOAD THE PROFESSOR’S TEACHING RECORD FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS. Please list the course titles with the year taught and approximate enrollment, and provide studentevaluations. Please include numerical ratings for the nominee along with average department ratings for comparison.

PROVIDE STUDENT COMMENTS for no more than the last five undergraduate courses taught. Student comments are given substantial weight in the judging process.UPLOAD LETTERS OF SUPPORT. Letters must be written by faculty who are in, or familiar with, the nominee’s field. While other letters also may be submitted, letters from faculty colleagues will carry the greatest weight in the judging process.Letters should discuss the professor’s success in and dedication to teaching and research and give specific examples of how the nominee fulfills the criteria for the Faculty Prize.