Outstanding Academic Unit Head Leader

Award Overview

The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is pleased to present the Outstanding Academic Unit Head/Leader Award. This award recognizes an academic unit head, division head, or school director who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in multiple domains. The award recipient will receive $5000 in professional development funding, $2500 of which is for the head and $2500 of which is for the unit.


Current unit heads/directors, as articulated in Article 31 of the collective bargaining agreement with at least twocompleted years of service.

Award Criteria

The Unit Head Advisory Group has established the following award criteria. Evidence of an outstanding academic unit head may include, but is not limited to:  

  1. Demonstration of effective leadership qualities (e.g., has a vision for the department, is proactive and positive, fair and equitable, has a caring attitude, can make difficult decisions, can delegate when appropriate, fosters an inclusive approach to accomplishing tasks, and manages conflict effectively).
  2. Facilitates high levels of achievement among departmental faculty and staff and promotes professional development.
  3. Is innovative with regard to new programs, infrastructure, facilities, and organization.
  4. Fosters an environment that exemplifies diversity and inclusion for faculty, staff, and students.
  5. Creates and/or maintains an environment that promotes academic excellence.
  6. Emphasizes collaboration within and among departments/units/colleges.
  7. Is an active citizen of both the college and university.
  8. Participates in professional development opportunities both within and outside the university.
  9. Manages fiscal resources effectively and responsibly.
  10. Utilizes human capital resources effectively and efficiently.

Submission & Selection Process

For consideration, submit nomination packets as a single PDF to Melissa Hobbs by
February 14, 2020.

Colleges may only nominate one unit head. If more than one nominee emerges in a college, that college will develop its own internal process for selecting the nominee it forwards to the Office of the Provost for consideration.

The selection committee, which will consist of a unit head, a dean or his/her designee, and an administrator in the Office of the Provost, will evaluate nominations on the evidence of qualities that distinguish nominees as an outstanding unit head or director.

The nomination packet must contain the following items:
• A letter of nomination from a faculty member, staff member, student, or administrator that
outlines how the candidate meets the award criteria (1000 word maximum).
• A letter of support from the Dean that addresses the award criteria and speaks to the
nominee's outstanding performance as a unit head (1000 word maximum);
• A curriculum vitae;
• Up to two letters of support (1000 word maximum) that address what makes the nominee an
outstanding leader. Letters may be from faculty members, graduate and/or undergraduate
students, staff, or others who work extensively with the nominee, but need not come from all
these groups.

Please direct questions to Keisha Love, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Special