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CHANCELLOR'S DISTINGUISHED STAFF AWARD PROCEDURES

Purpose
The Chancellor's Distinguished Staff Award (CDSA) is designed to annually recognize Staff employees for their exceptional accomplishments and service to the University. Through this program, outstanding performance is encouraged in all Staff employees as they strive to win this prestigious award.

Eligibility
Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  1. Must be a permanent Staff employee of either University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (on or off campus) or University Administration on the Urbana-Champaign campus

  2. Must have at least two years of service as a permanent staff employee by the nomination deadline

  3. Must have a good work record

  4. Must have been in a status appointment during the calendar year if retired

Employees who have previously received the award are not eligible. The "Distinguished Staff Hall of Fame", a list of past winners, is in the nomination packet and will be updated yearly.

Nomination Process
Staff Human Resources will distribute nomination packets to those who are interested in nominating a Staff employee. Nomination Information Packets, that include the nomination form, may be obtained at the Reception Desk, Staff Human Resources. You may also download the packet from our web site here, or contact Athalia Hunt at 333-3101 or adhunt@illinois.edu.

Nominations may be made by any member of the campus community (staff, faculty or student). In the event multiple nominations are submitted for one employee, only the first nomination received will be considered for the award. Additional nominations will be returned to the nominators. Also, additional documents which are submitted with the nominations will not be considered and will be returned to nominators. Finalists will be chosen by February 9, 2015, and nominators notified if their nominee is a finalist. At that time, nominators will be asked to submit at least one, but no more than three, letters of support. A minimum of one of the letters must come from the nominee's current employing unit head or his/her designee. Nominators should have previously received agreement from those who will provide support. The nominating papers for each employee will be placed in his or her official personnel file. The name of the nominator will be released to the nominee on request. All winners will be notified of their nominator.

A nomination must include:

  1. Completed Nomination Information Form

  2. Nomination Statement

Nomination Statement
The nomination statement should consist of no more than 5 typed (or handwritten), double spaced pages addressing the following information:

  1. A brief description (approximately one paragraph) of the nominee's job responsibilities

  2. Descriptions of how the nominee meets only three of the five award criteria

Nominators must provide at least two specific supporting examples under each criterion in addition to a general description of the nominee's characteristics on this criterion.

Award Criteria
The award criteria were established after a thorough review of past winning nominations. Awards will be given based on the degree to which the nominee meets three of the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrates excellence in overall work performance

  2. Promotes positive morale through a congenial, supportive attitude and by providing service to others

  3. Puts forth an effort to improve self as well as to develop and recognize others

  4. Exhibits initiative and creativity resulting in improved operating efficiency of the department and/or University

  5. Enhances the image of the department and/or University

These five areas appeared most frequently in nominations of award recipients, and are qualities that are valued by the University. Since all employees perform different duties and possess different strengths, nominators will address only three of the five criteria which best showcase the nominee's excellence. All criteria are afforded equal weight in the evaluation process. Examples are given under each criterion on the "Nomination Criteria" page in the nomination packet to clarify what is meant by each criterion and to help nominators determine where specific examples or qualities are included in criteria. 

Selection Committee Composition
A standing committee appointed by the Chancellor will administer the award program. Generally, committee appointments will be made for a period of three years. A representative from Staff Human Resources will staff the committee and serve as Program Coordinator. Members of the Selection Committee will not be eligible for the award. The Associate Provost for Human Resources and the Chancellor will approve final recipient recommendations.

In addition to selecting finalists for the awards, the selection committee will be responsible for conducting an annual evaluation of the program in order that needed improvements be considered on an annual basis. The committee will also consider ways to encourage stronger participation from deans, directors, department heads and across all units.

Selection/Evaluation Process
Nominees will be categorized according to job groups and will be judged in comparison to their peers in the award category. Examples and achievements will only be considered if they are related to work in the department and/or at the University. There will be two rounds in the evaluation process. In the first round, each committee member will use a point scale to rate the nominees on the three criteria which were addressed. These ratings will be totaled to get a total score, which is then compared to others in the award category. According to the distribution of scores, a cut-off score will be set and nominees above the cut-off become finalists. After letters of recommendation are gathered, round two will begin. For round two, a ranking system will be used. All committee members will rank finalists in each award category from 1 (highest) to 6 (lowest). The nominee with the lowest total sum of rankings will win in the award category.

Allocation of Awards
The maximum number of awards allocated for each employee group will be based on the population of employees assigned to classes in that group as follows:

1 Award Executive/Administrative/Managerial & Professional
3 Awards Clerical & Secretarial
1 Award Technical & Paraprofessional
1 Award Skilled Crafts
2 Awards Service & Maintenance

Where there are no outstanding candidates in any category, no award will be given. Also, when possible, the clerical/secretarial group will be divided to separate lower level from upper level clerical/secretarial employees.

Awards
Each winner will receive $2000 (after taxes), a commemorative plaque, and will have his/her name inscribed on a permanent plaque in the Staff Human Resources. Winners will also be honored at a recognition banquet, usually held in April. Each winner will be allowed to invite one guest. Additional guests will be expected to pay for their meals. At the banquet, the Associate Provost will read excerpts from each winner's nomination and present the plaques and checks to the honorees. In addition, a photographer will capture the evening in a photo book to be given to each winner.

Acknowledgment Process/Key Letters
A letter will be sent to the nominators thanking them for making the nomination and explaining the review and award processes including the fact that their names will not be kept confidential. A letter will also be sent to the nominee's department head informing him/her of the nomination. The letter from the Chancellor to the nominees congratulating them on their nomination will be sent when nominations are closed. This letter will also inform them that the awardees will be announced in Inside Illinois and approximately when that announcement will occur. They will be informed that only the winners will be personally contacted. The letter of congratulations and the nominating materials will be placed in the personnel file of each employee nominated. Finalists who are non-winners will be notified in writing to advise them of the honor bestowed upon them in being named as one of the runners up. Their nominating and departmental administrators will be copied. Winners will be notified of their award by telephone (by the Program Coordinator) with a follow-up letter of congratulations from the Chancellor. A letter will be sent by the Program Coordinator which describes details of the awards banquet. A letter will be sent to the department of each winner encouraging the department to recognize the winner in some way at the work place.

Program Announcement/Publicity
The program will be announced by sending an unaddressed general campus mailing of brochures to faculty and staff as well as by sending a letter to Deans, Directors, and Department Heads. The program will also be advertised in the Daily Illini and Inside Illinois. After winners are selected, articles will be placed in these newspapers.

Financial
Each winner will receive $2000, after taxes, so the budget must allow for this additional expense. All expenditures will be assigned to the CDSA account. A budgetary report will also be made available at the end of the program.

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