Awards Resources

Awards Resources

Major external awards are generally unachievable unless the candidate has previously won both institutional awards and smaller external awards. Many units do an excellent job of putting their faculty and staff forward for different types of recognition, and there is much to be learned from their efforts. Below are some best practices, as well as links to other useful sites around campus.

Best Practices for Schools and Other Units

  • Designate two people with the following roles:
    • Senior-level awards champion.  This position exists in many of the academic units already as the awards committee chair.  In the larger colleges, it’s standard for each school to have an awards chair and then the college itself to have someone coordinating all of those chairs.  At the college level, that position should ideally be held by an associate dean.  One person may be sufficient to oversee all of the awards in a smaller college or in a non-academic unit, whereas other units clearly need a multi-tiered approach.  Some schools prefer to charge a faculty member in “Retired but Working” status to chair the awards committee.
    • Awards administrator.  This person works closely with the awards champion and other key senior administrators in the unit to handle the nitty-gritty details of nomination submissions: staying on top of deadlines, collecting paperwork, and following up with the nominee or letter writers after the awards champion has made the initial contact.  This is likely not a full-time position (unless several units share one) but it’s important that the awards administrator remain consistent; these responsibilities should not vary depending on who might be submitting a particular nomination.
  • Recognize award winners.  Publicize accomplishments in unit websites and publications.  Small meals or receptions to recognize one or more community members’ achievements, and attendance at events like the annual Faculty & Staff Honors Luncheon and Student Honors Luncheon go a long way for morale.
  • Continuously strive to provide more recognition to hardworking faculty, staff, and students.  Some units, for example, offer awards themselves to members of their communities.  This is a relatively painless and inexpensive way to offer initial recognition to someone who might later leverage that award into a larger institutional award, followed by an even larger external award.
  • Bring successes of community members to the attention of the institute. 
  • Communicate awards opportunities to members of the unit, encouraging eligible faculty, staff, or students to step forward and be nominated.  The nature of these communications range from news stories to emails to personal conversations.
  • Understand that for some larger awards, it may be necessary to get faculty “in the pipeline” as they many need to be nominated for several successive years.
  • For big national awards, have certain packages on file electronically that can be easily updated for last-minute nominations.