Vargo Teaching Chair

Named after Dr. Jim Vargo, a University of Alberta alumnus ('68 BA, '70 MEd, '72 PhD) and former professor in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta, Vargo Teaching Chairs are innovative, excellent teachers, who have shown leadership and mentorship of colleagues. This program is committed to supporting individuals who have a history of educational leadership, teaching innovation, and who are committed to enhancing the learning experience of students at all levels.

Vargo Teaching Chair Application and Selection Procedure (UAPPOL)*
* Note, the UAPPOL procedure and the administrative details below are intended to be used together when compiling a nomination for this award.


The procedure and submission requirements have been revised as of April 29, 2020, in order to adapt to the current pandemic restrictions. Please send an electronic original of the nomination package to the attention of the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) via email to by no later than 4:00 p.m. on June 15, 2020. A hard copy is not required at this time. The submission shall include these items in the following order:

a. A letter of support from the Chair/Dean
b. An outline of the project or activities planned for the award period
c. Highlights of a teaching dossier
d. Highlights of a research dossier
e. Highlights of an educational leadership and service dossier
f. An abbreviated curriculum vitae


Letter of Support from the applicant's Department Chair/or Dean if non- departmentalized

Letter of Support (2 pages maximum) should:

  • Include a short list of points at the beginning of the letter highlighting the candidate's key contributions in teaching, research and educational leadership, and how these contributions benefit the Faculty and the institution
  • Address the quality of the proposed application
  • Address how the application fits within Departmental/Faculty priorities and aligns with For the Public Good
  • State why the Vargo Teaching Chair would benefit the faculty member at this time in their career

The letter needs to provide a context for the award including:

  • The extent of teaching
  • The current research program
  • The extent of educational leadership

Please note, if the faculty member has joint appointments, they must have written support from all the areas/departments.

Outline of the Project and Teaching Related Activities

A brief proposal (3 pages maximum) for a program of activity during the tenure of the Vargo:

  • Describing priorities, objectives and expected outcomes for the project and related activities
  • Commenting on how the activities align with For the Public Good
  • Outlining how the funds will be used (a detailed budget is not required)
Abbreviated Teaching Dossier

Highlights of a teaching dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A statement of the philosophy of teaching, prepared by the nominee. [Nominees may wish to consult with the Centre for Teaching and Learning for further advice on preparing a teaching dossier.]
  • A synthesis of evaluations of courses taught in the last five (5) years with course title, course level, dates and class size
  • Evidence for Teaching Excellence (which may include):
    • A description of effective teaching strategies: examples of effective strategies showing reflection and change over time (why change was needed, what was done, rationale behind the changes, evidence for their effectiveness, a description of the learning outcomes)
    • Teaching awards
    • A description of course development efforts: examples of excellence in the (re)design of new courses (why change was needed, what was done, what is unique about the change and what is the evidence for its effectiveness?)
Abbreviated Research Dossier

Highlights of a research dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A description of the nominee's program of research
  • A list of recent (last 5 years) grant support, specifying agency, amount of award and title of project
  • A list of top 5 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows supervised and a description of their career trajectory. If applicants do not have access to graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, they must describe how they engage in mentoring students in research at the undergraduate level
Abbreviated Educational Leadership and Service Dossier

Highlights of an educational leadership and service dossier (4 pages maximum), including:

  • A description of engagement in leadership and/or service activities
  • A description of how these activities link to the applicant's disciplinary research and/or teaching
  • A description of the benefits of the activities to students, peers, the institution, and/or community-at-large
  • A description of recognition or awards received for leadership or service
Abbreviated CV (10 pages maximum)


a. Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is composed of the following members:

  • Vice-Provost (Learning Initiatives), Chair
  • Vice-President (Research) or delegate
  • A member of the GFC Committee on the Learning Environment appointed by the Chair
  • A tenured faculty member (GFC A1.1) selected at large by GFC Executive Committee
  • An Executive member of the Students' Union or delegate (one-year appointment and may be appointed for a second year)
  • An Executive member of the Graduate Students' Association or delegate (one-year appointment and may be appointed for a second year)
  • Resource persons as required in a non-voting capacity
b. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Training

The University of Alberta will provide training on equity, diversity and inclusion-including instructions on limiting the impact of unconscious bias-to all individuals involved in the selection process.

c. Selection Process

The quorum for the Selection Committee for the Vargo Teaching Chairs shall be that only one member may be absent from any meeting where decisions are made. Its proceedings are to be confidential.
The committee will ensure that the university's commitment, to "Build a diverse, inclusive community of exceptional students, faculty, and staff from Alberta, Canada, and the world" is upheld. (For the Public Good)

d. Announcement of the Award

The appointment will be formally announced at the annual Celebrate! Teaching. Learning. Research event.