Temple Law Professor Andy Monroe has been recognized with the 2023 Great Teacher Award, the highest honor bestowed by Temple University upon its faculty. She joins prior law school recipients Don Price, Nancy J. Knauer, Laura Little, David Sonenshein, James Shellenberger, and Alice Abreu.
The Great Teacher Award honors faculty who demonstrate excellence in their field and in the classroom through:
- mastery of the subject matter;
- development of effective and innovative methods and materials for teaching;
- continuous efforts to evaluate and improve one’s own teaching;
- development of new courses and modalities of instruction;
- academic and professional achievements of students;
- effective relationships with students; and
- prior recognition for outstanding teaching.
Monroe is widely acclaimed as a leading tax scholar with particular expertise in partnership taxation, one of the most complex specialties within the field. Her scholarship has been influential in guiding federal tax policy, and she is a contributor to the partnership tax chapters of the leading treatise in tax: Bittker & Lokken, Federal Income, Estate, and Gift Tax. For students, the opportunity to learn from a scholar with such a deep knowledge of the field can be transformative. As one graduate wrote in support of her nomination, “In law school, there are always those classes that other students warn you to stay away from, such as partnership tax, not because of the professor, but because the substance is complex and you could possibly be signing up for failure …. however, despite the warnings, I was set on taking partnership tax with Professor Monroe, and it was one of the best decisions I made …. she was able to make a complex and intricate subject understandable.”
Alice Abreu, who holds the Hon. Nelson A. Diaz Professorship and directs Temple’s Center for Tax Law, Policy, and Practice, noted that Monroe has been instrumental in opening up tax as a field where students can see themselves leading and making a difference. “Professor Monroe is a gifted educator whose commitment to our students goes far beyond the classroom,” said Abreu. “She not only helps them to understand that they have much to contribute to the future of the bar, but she stays in touch with them long after they graduate, often counseling them through job changes and contacting them when she hears of opportunities they might be interested in.”
In addition to her work within the law school, Monroe is also active with the Tax Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, where she served on a committee working to bring greater diversity to the tax bar. A representative of the Tax Section noted the importance of Monroe’s work: “Her most significant contribution was to establish a mentorship program that matches tax students with tax professionals in the Philadelphia area …. while all the members of the Tax Council supported the program, there is no doubt that it was Andy’s boundless energy that willed it into life and sustained it. I should also note that Andy’s experience in academia was enormously helpful when Tax Council set out to develop a diversity action plan for the Tax Section.”
Other former students offered praise for Professor Monroe’s leadership of Introduction to Transactional Skills (ITS), an innovative immersive course in which first-year students negotiate a business deal within a few weeks of starting law school. “ITS was where I first learned what it means to be a transactional attorney, and that transactional practice might be the right path for me,” wrote one graduate. “I currently practice at a large law firm in Philadelphia with a focus on corporate transactions and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Had it not been for Andy and ITS, I might not have realized that this is where I’m supposed to be.”
In addition to teaching Partnership Tax and leading ITS, Monroe teaches Torts and Introduction to Federal Income Taxation, and is a faculty editor for the Temple 10-Q, Temple Law School’s business law magazine. “Professor Monroe helps to shape the legal education of every student in our law school community,” said Dean Rachel Rebouché. “She brings our mission to life: intellectual rigor, academic excellence, service and leadership, and a deep commitment to her students’ success. We are extraordinarily lucky to have her and I am personally grateful for the many ways she contributes to who we are.”
“I’m honored to have even been considered for this award,” said Professor Monroe, “and humbled by the comments offered by my friends, colleagues, and former students in support of my nomination. What’s most meaningful about it for me is the award’s focus on teaching, because working and learning with our incredible students is one of the very best ways I can imagine spending my days.”