Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) awards allow our campus to recognize excellence in service, significant achievements and contributions, and outstanding individual and team performance. The Division of Student Affairs offers two types of monetary STAR Awards to acknowledge and reward exemplary performance by employees:
- Spot Awards ($500) are appropriate for “in-the-moment” contributions for a specific project or task, generally accomplished over a short time period. PPSM, MSP, and represented clerical (CX) employees are eligible for the award in career, contract or limited appointments. Student and Per Diem staff are also eligible.
- Achievement Awards ($2,000 – $10,000) are granted for sustained, exceptional performance and/or significant contributions above and beyond normal performance expectations, and may be awarded to an individual or a team. PPSM, MSP, and represented clerical (CX) in career or contract appointments are eligible for this award. *PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FOR FY22
To ensure STAR Awards are distributed in alignment with Student Affairs’ commitment to staff equity and inclusion— and to interrupt any systemic practices that may negatively impact some staff– the Student Affairs Executive Team offers the following guidance on the awards process:
- Supervisors are expected to make a reasonable effort to provide all employees equal access to participate in substantive opportunities, assignments, and special projects that may lead to an award nomination. These opportunities should be made available to staff on a nondiscriminatory basis by eliminating barriers, prejudices, and preferences that are not explicitly justified.
- Be inclusive – it’s a common habit to assign new/special projects to the same trusted high-performing staff, but this habit can also disadvantage others who are equally capable and interested in taking on the additional work. Consider the broadest group possible when special projects arise.
- Get creative – know your team members’ abilities, needs, interests, and professional development plans, then think comprehensively and outside the box to distribute special projects according to these factors.
- Take risks – assign important projects (that have manageable impacts) to new or developing staff, and those who are rarely assigned additional work, in order to provide the learning experience and opportunity to excel.
- Campus uses the Achieve Together criteria as the basis for STAR award nominations. Student Affairs leaders should integrate these criteria– along with our division’s pillars and strategic plan key priority areas– into their team culture to improve the substantive alignment of award nominations.
- When reviewing an award nomination for approval, supervisors should consider the limited availability of total award funds and prioritize awards for staff who:
- may not have been previously nominated/awarded for their contributions;
- are without current performance issues;
- successfully model a high performing culture for others.
Awards are not meant to be a replacement or substitute for stipends, merit, promotion, equity, or retention increases, nor are they a means of providing additional pay for performing normal duties and responsibilities as described in the employee’s job description.
Student Affairs STAR Awards Submission Process
To submit an award nomination, use the SA Spot & Achievement Nomination Form. You will be asked to enter basic information about the nominee, and to provide a description of your nomination.
A strong award nomination:
- includes a clear description of the exceptional behavior demonstrated by the nominee;
- is accompanied by examples;
- articulates alignment with one or more of the Achieve Together Criteria
Once submitted, award nominations are processed as follows:
- Nomination is routed to HR to confirm employee eligibility;
- Nomination is reviewed by the nominee’s supervisor for approval;
- Approved nominations are routed to the unit’s leadership team for selection. There is no further action for nominations that are not selected.
- Achievement Awards require SA Executive Team review and final approval;
- Approved awards are submitted into ServiceNow for payroll processing;
- Awardee is notified and receives a certificate and cash award in their upcoming paycheck.