The UNL Academy of Distinguished Teachers has the following goals:
- To produce a sustaining group of skilled faculty who are advocates of teaching excellence at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
- To share their teaching acumen outside the UNL community when possible, and to exemplify the skills, talents, and characteristics of good teachers.
- To help at UNL, both as individuals and as a community of teacher scholars, when time and energy permits, to model effective teaching that will improve learning for students at all levels.
Membership in this academy was chartered with 10 active faculty members. These charter Teaching Academy members included the 1992-93 OTICA winners, the first and second place campus OTICA nominations from the 1993-94 slate of nominees, and six additional professors chosen in an open competition at the campus level in 1994. OTICA criteria and standards were used to determine these six professors, and the Teaching Council made the final selections. Up to and including the 1998-99 academic year, the professors nominated to enter the OTICA competition and prioritized in position number one and two were also inducted into the Academy. Starting with the 1999-2000 academic year, the competition for the two Academy memberships available annually was open to all members of the UNL faculty, although faculty members were encouraged to apply simultaneously for the OTICA award and membership in the Academy. Each year two additional members were selected. Criteria for membership in the Academy reflected the goals of the Academy. All Teaching Academy members were recognized by an appropriate plaque awarded at the UNL Honors Convocation and by a $2,500 stipend added to their salary.
In 2008 new John Weaver and Aaron Douglas Professorships of Teaching Excellence were created to honor faculty with sustained records of teaching excellence. At the same time membership in the Academy was closed.