ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE: FACULTY AND STAFF AWARDS

Materials for the Nominator

"You can do it!"

You have decided that a colleague is worthy of recognition for the professional contributions made, that coincide with the criteria for a President’s Award, a Chancellor’s Award, or promotion to the rank of distinguished.  You will find that the preparation of a nomination package requires time, patience, and attention to detail.   Likely, you will find it one of the most satisfying activities you undertake, as you explore aspects of the career and commitments your colleague has made to his/her profession, Buffalo State, and our students.

The perspective you can best keep in mind is that you seek to enable strangers to understand how your colleague’s career specifically matches up with the criteria for the award/promotion.  This requires that you develop a nomination package in which everything relates to the award’s criteria.  Familiarize yourself (and other members of the nomination committee, if relevant) with the criteria, and do what you can to make the criteria explicit in every aspect of the nomination process.  You will find details about the criteria for each award, as well as the timeline, on the Awards section of the Academic Affairs web site, http://www.buffalostate.edu/academicaffairs/x473.xml

Nominee’s CV/vita

One of the most important parts of the nomination package is the nominee’s CV/vita.  The following guidelines were provided to the nominees in another section of this web site:  you can assist your nominee to reflect on his/her career by providing help or feedback on the CV. 

Nominees were recommended as follows: 

Provide an updated vita.  Be sure to include:

  • Current title, campus address, e-mail address
  • Current, complete information about relevant publications, presentations, awards, etc.
  • Additionally, this vitae should help all readers (those who know you, as well as members of award review committees) better understand what you did.  Rather than just listing “Advisor, typical advisement load of xx undergraduate and graduate students), consider an expanded section, using a format like those listed below:
  • Brief narrative descriptions of relevant initiatives or responsibilities you have undertaken in relation to the subject of the award.  These could be provided in paragraphs within your CV, or in a separate statement (depending on the format required for the award). 

Consider formats such as the following:

  • Initiative/accomplishments:
  • Challenge/solutions
  • Changes to previous strategies
Timeline

Work backwards from the deadline of each award.  Plan on the following:

Six months in advance of the deadline
Request from the nominee an updated vita and a list of individuals who can be asked for letters of support. 

Note:  You may need to work with the nominee to add narrative sections to his/her CV that specifically address criteria in the award.  Suggestions are provided regarding this in a separate section of this web site, specifically for nominees.

Five months in advance: 
Send out e-mails or letters to the individuals identified by the nominee, requesting a letter within the next six weeks.  Include the following:

  • A copy of the nominee’s CV.
  • A set of the criteria for the award/promotion.

Note:  be sure to ask each individual writing a letter to specifically address one or more of the award criteria (as recommended by the nominee).  This will make putting together the nomination package a lot easier.

Set up a system for tracking receipt of letters or promises of letters to come.  Note that in some cases, individuals will send e-mails of letters, without original signatures.  Check to see if this is acceptable, as per the award criteria.
Set up a file for received letters of support and materials received from the candidate, so that things are very well organized.

Share copies of the letters with your nominee as they arrive.  You will find that this is extraordinarily uplifting for you and your nominees.

Four months in advance: 
Send out one reminder to all outstanding persons who were on your nominee’s list.

Three months in advance:
Identify any criteria or types of letters of support that are missing, and follow up with new people.
Get any materials from the nominee (e.g., sample publications, letters from students, philosophy statements) to be included in the nomination package.  Work with the candidate to improve the materials provided, if needed.

Two months in advance: 
Prepare a summary of how the nominee meets the expectations for the award.  Although the description below comes from the Chancellor’s Award, the same type of summary statement is needed for the President’s Award and nomination to Distinguished Rank, to enable the review committee, and the Provost/Chancellor to understand the worthiness of the nominee:

Summary Presentation
The Summary Presentation provides the rationale for the campus’s nomination of a particular candidate and sets forth candidate merit for selection.  It should reflect the committee’s objectivity and impartiality in coming to its decision in what is generally a highly competitive campus process.  

The Summary Presentation is the only documentation available to those involved in the System-level review to explain the campus' rationale for nominating the can­didate for this honor.  It must address how the candidate excels in each criterion for selection for the award to which the candidate is nominated (e.g., if there are three selection criteria, then candidate’s performance in each must be described), the candidate's most outstanding qualifications and major achievements attained.  The quality of the evidence provided is critical to recommendation.  Although excerpts from the recommendations can and should be included, the Summary Presentation must be more than a testimonial.  There must be specific, concrete examples of how the nominee fulfills each criterion.

Consider making use of the following to write the Summary Presentation:

  • Reading the publications of your nominee
  • Having a conversation with your nominee about some of the criteria included in the award
  • Interviewing students/alumni/colleagues about their perceptions of the nominee, in relation to some of the criteria

One month in advance: 
Assemble the nomination package, including use of dividers and Table of Contents.
Show the completed package to a colleague, ideally someone who has had experience with this award.  Make revisions as needed.

One week ahead of deadline: 
Submit package