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E12.4 Staff Recognition Program

Scope: All staff who are regular employees of the university (see Policy E1.0) excluding divisional vice presidents and chief officers.

I. Policy Statement

  1. Purpose. Part of the Presidential Awards for Outstanding Staff, the university-wide Staff Recognition Awards recognize the contributions of individual staff members and/or teams of co-workers whose work has had a major impact on the university, who have excelled in the performance of their duties, promoted team work, and inspired excellence in other members of the RIT community. The purpose of the awards is to identify and reward staff for outstanding contributions to the university and to provide staff with an opportunity to recognize and learn from their co-workers.

  2. Sponsorship. This award program is sponsored and funded by the Office of the President and administered by the RIT Staff Council (RSC).

II. Award Categories/Criteria

These awards recognize staff members who have integrated RIT’s Core Values:

  • Student Centeredness

  • Professional Development and Learning

  • Integrity and Ethics

  • Respect, Diversity and Pluralism

  • Innovation and Flexibility

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

into their daily performance as demonstrated by the criteria below.

Up to six awards may be given annually to individuals and/or teams. Of these six, one may be designated a Rising Star award and one may be designated a Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship award.

  1. The Staff Excellence Award. This award recognizes staff members who have excelled in the performance of their duties as well as promoted team work and inspired excellence in others. Up to six awards may be given annually to any combination of individuals and/or teams. Prior recipients in any category will be eligible for an Excellence Award after a three-year waiting period. The waiting period is waived for an individual recipient nominated as a member of a team and for team awardees nominated individually.

    Criteria: Awardees will have made outstanding contribution(s) to RIT by demonstrating all of the following:

    1. Consistently performs job responsibilities at a level above and beyond normal expectations.

    2. Exhibits an exceptional ability to foster collaboration, communication, and cooperation among colleagues and university constituents.

    3. Exhibits a high degree of personal ethics and integrity.

    4. Has clearly earned the respect of colleagues.

    In addition, awardees may demonstrate one or more of the following:

    1. An exceptional contribution to their department’s level of service satisfaction.

    2. A significant contribution to the efficiency of an operation or unit.

    3. A significant contribution to student success, directly or indirectly.

  2. The Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship Award. This award recognizes a Staff member who consistently demonstrates a high degree of excellence, professionalism, and integrity in the performance of his/her duties and who has proven his/her willingness to extend himself/herself to help other members of the RIT community. The award was renamed in 2006 to honor Mrs. Dancy Duffus, RIT Trustee Emeritus, who has long been a staunch supporter of RIT staff and who energetically advocated to establish this Staff Recognition program. This award is given at the discretion of the Selection Committee to one individual who has not previously received the award.

    Criteria: In addition to the Excellence Award criteria, the recipient:

    1. Demonstrates exceptional service to university constituents.

    2. Exhibits outstanding leadership qualities.

    3. Serves as a model of service to the community.

    4. Shows imagination, creativity and innovation which embody the RIT spiRIT.

  3. The Rising Star Award. This award recognizes a staff member with three years or less of service to the university, as of May 1st of the current year, who has embraced the RIT spiRIT and made a unique departmental contribution. This award is given at the discretion of the Selection Committee to one individual who has not previously received the award.

    Criteria: The recipient:

    1. Presents progressive examples of high-quality of service.

    2. Has demonstrated willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues and university constituents.

    3. Shows imagination, creativity and innovation which embody the RIT spiRIT.

  4. Awards

    • Rising Star Award: $900.00

    • Staff Excellence Award: $1,700.00

    • Dancy Duffus Outstanding Citizenship Award: $2,600.00 to the recipient and $500 donated in the recipient’s name to a campus organization or charity of his/her choice

    Each award recipient will also receive a framed certificate and a personal memento. Recipients' names will be displayed on campus.

III. Procedures

  1. Nominations. Nominations may be submitted by any member of the RIT community. Nominations will be evaluated by the Staff Recognition Award Selection Committee. The Selection Committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of all nominations.

    A team is defined as a group of individuals that works together to accomplish a specific task or goal which is above and beyond normal job expectations (see Section 2 “Award Categories/ Criteria”) and has a measurable or tangible outcome.  The nomination of an entire college or division will not be considered.

  2. Recognition Event. A formal, public recognition of Staff Recognition Award nominees and recipients will be held annually in the fall. To receive an award, the individual must be an active employee of RIT, as defined by RIT Human Resources and the RIT Policies and Procedures Manual, when the award is presented. While not eligible for an award, retired or deceased individuals may be recognized during the event.

  3. Staff Recognition Awards Selection Committee. The purpose of the Staff Recognition Awards Selection Committee (the Selection Committee) is to identify team and individual examples of excellence and outstanding citizenship.

    1. Membership:

      • Co-Chairs: The RSC Vice-chair and the Staff Council Coordinator serve as Committee Co-Chairs, non-voting.

      • One voting member from Staff Council, appointed annually by Staff Council

      • One ex-officio non-voting member from Human Resources appointed annually by the AVP of HR

      • Six voting members from the RIT community at large, one staff member from each Staff Council voting bloc, approved by the Staff Council Executive Committee.

    2. Terms: Three year terms, staggered to replace one-third of the voting membership of the committee each year. In the event that a member cannot complete his or her term, an alternate will be appointed by Staff Council Executive Committee to complete the term.

      Terms begin on January 1st and end on December 31st of the calendar year, except for the RSC Vice chair, whose term runs concurrently with the RSC Vice Chair term.

    3. Responsibilities of members

      • Attend meetings throughout the term of membership and actively participate in the work of the committee. Significant absences from scheduled committee meetings may result in relinquishing committee membership.

      • Keep all discussions and materials surrounding the nomination process in strictest confidence.

      • Be objective in the selection procedure and remain uninfluenced by any personal relationships with the nominees.

    4. Organization and procedures: The Selection Committee will follow the procedures as set forth by the RIT Staff Council

      Any Selection Committee member who accepts a nomination for an award shall withdraw from the committee and a replacement shall be designated by the Staff Council Executive Committee.

      The awards are based on the merit of the nomination. The Selection Committee may decide not to name a recipient in a particular award category. In that case, no award will be presented for the category in that year.


Responsible Office:
Staff Council, 1145 SAU, 475-7656, stafcoun@rit.edu

Policy History:
Approved July 16, 1996 
Amended April 13, 2006
Amended March 29, 2007
Amended September 29, 2011
Amended March 10, 2014


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