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For a number of years before her death in 1997, Rozanne M. Brooks set aside funds to help establish a special annual award to be presented to a SUNY Cortland professor.
"One of the things that's bothered me over the years is that very often in academe, everybody talks about publishing, publishing, publishing," explained Brooks at the time, "Well, that's all very nice and those people are very often rewarded with merit increases and promotions. But a professor who's sitting home at a computer writing a book is not doing a damn thing for his or her students.
"Those individuals who are really dedicated teachers, who spend lots of hours in their office talking to kids, who go to all the events on campus, who do the committee work, who are really a force on the faculty and within the academic community, are the people not rewarded enough. It is my intention with this fund to do something about that."
The Rozanne M. Brooks Dedicated Teacher's Award was created and is presented to individuals who are outstanding teachers in the classroom, who spend considerable time with students and are very student oriented. These teachers are also active and worthwhile participants in the business of the College and involved with curriculum.
The award is funded by the Brooks estate, her former students, many friends and colleagues who made gifts in her memory. The recipient is chosen by the College's Brooks Dedicated Teachers Award Committee and can use the $5,000 award, in Brooks' words, "for experimentation, purchase of books and special materials, travel or to do whatever they want to do that they think might enhance their ability to teach"
The Award Committee seeks nominations from the current faculty. Self-recommendations are disallowed. The award is open to full-time teaching faculty who possess continuing appointment and have been employed at SUNY Cortland for a minimum of five years.
Nomination shall follow the same criteria as the Distinguished Teaching Professorship and the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Teaching with the exception of the publication expectation. The selection process includes observation of classes and preparation of a brief but appropriate dossier. This dossier should include the name of the nominating professor and a one- or two-paragraph statement summarizing the pertinent attributes of the candidate.