Max Ray Joyner Award for Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education

Previous Recipients

Faculty Senate Resolution #02-22
Approved by the Faculty Senate: April 23, 2002
Approved by the Chancellor: May 8, 2002
Title Change Announcement April 17, 2012


The purpose of the Max Ray Joyner Award Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education (formerly Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service Through Continuing Education) is to honor an outstanding faculty member who has shown commitment and enthusiasm in teaching and mentoring off-campus students and who has demonstrated excellence in the delivery of courses offered through Continuing Studies, face-to-face and/or distance education. Hereafter, such classes, both distance education classes and face-to-face classes taught off-campus, will be referred to as distance education classes.


The Max Ray Joyner Award Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education was first awarded in 1998 as part of East Carolina University’s celebration of 50 years of service to the region through the offering of continuing education opportunities to adult learners. The award is named for Max Ray Joyner, a long time supporter and advocate of East Carolina University since his days as an adult learner who returned to school after military service and a former chair of East Carolina University’s Board of Trustees. He has endowed the award and has made possible an award of $1000 annually.  In addition to the monetary award, a plaque and an additional $500 in professional development funding will be awarded. The plaque includes a representation of the sculpture with recipient names, which located in Joyner Library. This sculpture, suggesting a flame, symbolizes the spirit of education as interpreted by its designers. Three students from the School of Art—Julie Spivey, Anne Partna, and Tripp Jarvis—designed the trophy. From the 1998 award to May 2003, the recipient was selected by the Continuing Education Committee based on nominations solicited from students. Beginning with the award to be given in May 2003, the award recipient will be selected by the procedures described below.

Selection Process

Each faculty unit is invited to nominate candidates for the annual Max Ray Joyner Award Outstanding Teaching in Distance Education.  Each unit is to determine its own method for selecting nominees based on Faculty Senate Resolution #91-29, “Seven Characteristics of Effective Teaching,” and should allow consideration of any eligible faculty member who requests consideration for nomination.  No more than one nominee for each ten faculty members in the academic unit can be nominated for the award.

Any full-time faculty member who has taught a distance education class and who has taught at ECU for 3 or more years is eligible to be considered for a teaching award.  Four years must have elapsed before a faculty member who has won this award can be considered again. Award recipients will be invited to place their portfolios and CDs in the Office for Faculty Excellence.

An announcement on the upcoming call for nominees will be distributed to all faculty and unit code administrators each year by the end of the spring semester.  Deadlines for the submission of these materials will be specified in the call letter for nominees each year. An official call for nominees will be distributed to unit code administrators at the beginning of the fall semester. This call will include a brief statement that each unit is to determine its own method for selecting nominees. Nomination letters from the unit code administrator must be received in the Office for Faculty Excellence no later than September 15 of each year (September 17, 2012).  The nomination letter, addressed to the ad hoc Joyner Award Committee in care of the Office for Faculty Excellence, shall include a listing of the names and departments of all nominees. Nominated faculty who wish to pursue the award shall submit the portfolio of all evaluative materials to the Office for Faculty Excellence, Joyner Library, no later than Thursday, November 1, 2012. The OFE will forward format guidelines to each candidate.=

(Nominees will also be asked to complete an information sheet with their name as it should be listed, academic rank, department/school, and college, as well as a photograph at least 2.5” x 3” with a minimum resolution of 300 ppi.  Nominees without a photograph can contact the OFE about having one taken.)

The candidate, once nominated by the unit, shall provide the following portfolio of evaluative materials to the ad hoc Joyner Awards Committee:

  • 2-page cover letter describing his/her philosophy, including efforts for effective teaching and learning in distance education,

  • current nomination letter from the unit code administrator,

  • list of all courses taught over the past 3 years via distance education, average credit/contact hours per semester, and representative samples of course outlines, tests, and teaching materials for distance education courses. Samples do not have to include all courses taught,

  • student evaluations for courses taught by distance education during the past 3 years, and the corresponding grade distributions for each course; nominees will be provided a format for the summary SOIS, SPOT, or other student ratings,
  • peer evaluations of distance education courses, if available, or other approved evaluation methods as listed in Faculty Senate Resolution #91-28, “Methods for Assessing Teaching Effectiveness”, and

  • three letters of support from former distance education students (not to exceed 2 double-spaced pages each). Include names, addresses, phone numbers of students, and the title and date of course attended.

Please note that finalists for the award shall provide a CD that demonstrates and summarizes their distance education classes. The technology used, community building strategies, examples of interactivity, and any other parts of the distance education classes that would be helpful to the selection committee shall be included (readily accessible formatting should be used). The chair of the ad hoc Joyner Award Committee will contact the finalists at a later date concerning arrangements for making CDs.

The total portfolio of materials submitted for this award should not exceed 50 single-sided pages. All materials must be up to date, using at least a size 12 font or be double spaced. The course materials counted in the 50 single-sided page limit do not have to be in a size 12 font or be double spaced. Packets that do not follow all specified guidelines will be eliminated from consideration.

The ad hoc Joyner Award Committee will consist of 2 members elected from the Academic Awards Committee, 1 faculty member appointed by the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, 1 faculty member appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, and 1 member appointed by the Division of Continuing Studies.  It will be chaired by a member of the Academic Awards Committee and have at least one member who is experienced in the delivery of distance education courses. The committee will receive the materials, which will be read by at least 3 committee members and evaluated using the criteria in Faculty Senate Resolution #91-29. The seven characteristics of effective teaching will all have equal weight.

The ad hoc Joyner Award Committee will contact the final pool of not more than twelve applicants. A copy of this correspondence will also be sent to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences for their information.

The ad hoc Joyner Award Committee will evaluate the materials, including CDs, and by scoring determine the winning candidate.

The name of the winning candidate will be announced during the annual teaching awards ceremony that is held at the end of the spring semester. The finalists will be publicly recognized at that time.