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Award FAQs

Who may be nominated for an award?

All benefits-eligible, non-teaching employees with at least three (3) years of university service are eligible for nomination regardless of job classification, title, or level within the organization. This includes employees from the UH main campus, UH Sugar Land, and UH System employees. Employees of UH-Downtown, UH-Clear Lake, and UH-Victoria have their own awards programs and are not eligible for the awards program at the main campus.

Who can make nominations?

Any UH employee, student, or community member may nominate a qualifying employee for award consideration.

What are the qualifications for President's Award consideration?

Each award recognizes meritorious service, dedication, and contribution to the university beyond the requirements and expectations of the job. Characteristics of an employee’s performance, which contribute to excellence, include:

  • Superior job performance and a high degree of proficiency in their areas of responsibility;
  • Outstanding personal traits such as dedication, loyalty, reliability, courtesy, honesty, and initiative;
  • Continuous demonstration of service concepts necessary to support the department and the university;
  • Initiative in making improvements to work methods, standards, or operations; or developing new programs, services, or cost savings that enhance or support the department of the university; and
  • The ability to work cooperatively as a member of the work team

What are the qualifications for Community Service Award consideration?

This award recognizes University employees who engage in exemplary community engagement activities such as volunteerism, community-based learning, outreach, partnerships, curricular engagement or community-based research and collaboration are eligible for this award.  The award is intended to recognize outstanding UH and/or local community engagement.

  • Promotes and supports an environment of collaboration, understanding, and/or inclusiveness;
  • Improves and/or strengthens community relationships and connections;
  • Works to improve community particularly, but not necessarily, in the areas of Education, Health, Social Services, Economic Development,, Arts and Culture, or Sustainability.


What are the qualifications for Innovation Award consideration?

This award recognizes University employees who embody innovation and consistently put forth new and creative initiatives. They think outside the box to improve or create new processes, methods, systems, products, or services to improve the University and/or make UH a better place to live and work.

  • Develops imaginative ideas to drive organizational goals;
  • Comes up with creative, new ways of doing things;
  • Considers situations and problems from novel and diverse perspectives;
  • Addresses challenges in an innovative manner;
  • Finds ways to make the most out of existing resources
  • Converts ideas from general concepts into action plans and moves from ideas to implementation.

Can someone win more than one award?

One cannot win more than one award with monetary value during the same year.

Can someone win an award more than once?

The President's Excellence Award and the C.F. McElhinney Award can only be won once. However, an individual can win a Community Service Award or Innovation Award more than once, as long as it has been at least five years since the last time they won.

What is the deadline for submitting nominations?

Human Resources must receive completed nomination forms no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 15, 2022. In addition to the nomination form, up to four (4) recommendation forms may be submitted to provide further information for consideration. Only information provided on the approved forms will be accepted.

Who selects the winners?

The Award Selection Committee is comprised of individuals from each University division. They will evaluate all completed nomination materials submitted and select award winners from the categories indicated below.

  • Office and Clerical – 3 awards
  • Technical, Service, and Craft – 3 awards
  • Administrative and Professional – 3 awards
  • Effective Leader (Supervisors and/or Managers) – 3 awards
  • Community Service - 1 award
  • Innovation - 1 award
  • C.F. McElhinney - 1 award


What does an award winner receive?

In addition to their attendance and recognition at the President’s Awards Ceremony and reception, winners of the President's Excellence Award, Community Service Award, and Innovation Award will also receive a certificate and $1,000.

What does a McElhinney Award winner receive and who is qualified for nomination?

All previous President's Excellence Award recipients within the past three years will be eligible for nomination for the Charles F. McElhinney Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given for exemplary staff contribution to the university. The recipient of the C.F. McElhinney Distinguished Service Award will also attend and be recognized at the President's Awards Ceremony, receive a plaque, and $3,000.

The President's Excellence Awards represent a meaningful and tangible way in which the university can acknowledge and reward employees for all of their hard work and dedication to the university’s student education and mission. Please take this opportunity to tell us which of your colleagues deserves such notable recognition.