Vargo Teaching Chair

This Teaching Chair is 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. A much-loved and respected scholar, he taught for 23 years at the University of Alberta before retiring in 1998. Dr. Vargo passed away in January 2003. Vargo Teaching Chairs are innovative, excellent teachers, who have shown leadership and mentorship of colleagues.

Note: Applications are now closed.


As outlined in the UAPPOL Application and Selection Procedure, the following was considered in the development of the adjudication criteria noted below:

  • Evidence of a career commitment to teaching excellence.
  • Evidence of a broad range of teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels in various settings.
  • Demonstration of creativity in teaching that enhances learning and engages students.
  • Evidence of educational leadership.
  • Excellence in mentoring of students and colleagues.
  • Innovation in the project or planned activities.
  • Impact of the project or planned activities on student learning and alignment with the institutional strategic plan(s)


Vargo Teaching Chairs at the University of Alberta have been created to foster excellence in teaching at the University. 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. During their tenure, the Vargo Teaching Chairs will be provided with funding to carry out a teaching-related project. The adjudication committee will consider the following criteria when reviewing the Narrative CVs: 

Required elements

  1. Impact of teaching (not all sub-criteria may apply)
    1. Commitment to teaching excellence throughout a career at the University of Alberta
    2. Course development efforts: examples of 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?)
    3. 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)
    4. Creativity in teaching that enhances learning and engages students. 
    5. Broad range of teaching at undergraduate and/or graduate levels in various settings (such as labs, studios, clinics, traditional classrooms, non-traditional classrooms, supervision, mentorship, land-based learning, experiential learning etc.).
    6. Engagement with a variety of assessment tasks for determining student learning.
    7. Intersections among applicant’s research program, community engagement, and teaching.
  2. Engagement with the Indigenous Strategic Plan
    1. How do you incorporate or engage with Incorporating or engaging with Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, teaching, learning, and being (Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta’s Indigenous Strategic Plan) or the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action (2016) in your teaching?.
  3. Engagement with equity, diversity and inclusion
    1. How do you engage with the institutional commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion?
  4. Project or Planned Activities Description
    1. Innovation in the project of planned activities
    2. Impact of the project or planned activities on student learning and alignment with the institutional strategic plan(s).
NOTE: Vargo Teaching Chairs will be expected to develop creative endeavours in teaching, which are specifically explained in a proposal for a program of activity. Chairs will be expected, during the tenure of the appointment, to contribute to other groups on campus dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in teaching such as the GFC Committee on the Learning Environment, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and new professor orientations. To fulfill these expectations, the Vargo Chairs must have the time to devote to teaching and the promotion of learning. Therefore, candidates normally will hold only minor administrative positions. 
NOTE: Funds in the amount of $20,000/annum will be available for approved teaching initiatives. The funds may be used for a variety of purposes and in a combination of ways (e.g., hiring a graduate teaching or research assistant, developing a new teaching technology, travel to conferences, or partial payment of a postdoctoral scholar). No portion may be taken as salary for the applicant. Funds are held by the University of Alberta and spent as outlined in the approved application and in accordance with University of Alberta policies and procedures. The Provost and Vice-President (Academic) may request the return of unspent funds following completion of the Chair’s term.

The university communities are encouraged to support applications for these awards as part of our commitment to inclusive faculty excellence.


Note: Applications closed April 8, 2024

Phase 1
The multi-modal submission for consideration for the Vargo Teaching Chair shall include: 

  1. Narrative CV (maximum 5 pages)
  2. Project or Planned Activities Description and Budget (maximum 2 pages)
  3. Names of 3 references (including, but not limited to: students, supervisors, colleagues, community-at-large members, etc.) 

NOTE: The adjudication committee will contact the references of the long-listed applicants

TEMPLATE Narrative CV, Project Proposal & References (Awards for Faculty Excellence Vargo Teaching Chair)

Modality Formatting Guidelines
Using a chosen submission modality* (e.g. video, text, multimedia, etc) and language**  please follow the guidelines below when completing your application:

Text: adherence to the following guidelines ensures reader accessibility: 

  • Typed, single space
  • Calibri, 11 point font
  • Standard letter size (8x11)
  • 1-inch margins 
  • One accessible PDF document

Video: there is no minimum requirement (maximum 5 minutes)

NOTE: The Digital Scholarship Centre offers support for the creation and production of multimedia resources, including access to a new media studio, assistance with video production, and free consultations with knowledgeable staff

* If we haven’t yet thought of the way in which you would like to submit your Phase 1 application, please let us know at

** Translation services are available upon request at no cost.

Phase 2

All applicants will be contacted following the Awards for Faculty Excellence Adjudication Committee adjudication meeting. Additional materials supporting the application will be solicited from the long listed candidates. Examples of requested materials may include, but are not limited to: student feedback, syllabus, assignments, lecture notes or recorded lectures, student presentations (with permission) etc..  

Please contact should you have any difficulties with your submission.


Awards for Faculty Excellence Adjudication Committee

The quorum for the Committee shall be that only one member may be absent from any meeting where decisions are made. Its proceedings are to be confidential.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Training 

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

Announcement of the Award

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


A final report on the Vargo Teaching Chair project or planned activities is due within three months of the end of the term.

There is no template for the final report. A brief summary (up to 4 pages) highlighting the Vargo Teaching Chair project activities and the outcomes realized during the term is sufficient for final reporting purposes. An electronic copy of the report should be sent to the Vice-Provost (Learning Initiatives) at