President’s Excellence Awards

Awards of Excellence

Established in 2021, the President’s Excellence Award is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff and librarians. The President’s Excellence Award complements the Chancellor’s Leadership Award.

Recipients of the President’s Excellence Award demonstrate outstanding service to the University and enhance the University experience for students, faculty members, librarians, and / or staff in accordance with the University’s mission. Each recipient receives $1,000.

Nominations can be made in one of three categories:

  • Emerging Excellence – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or librarian who demonstrates outstanding potential to enhance the U of T experience for students, staff, faculty members, and / or librarians;
  • Distinguished Excellence – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or librarian who demonstrates excellence beyond their job description and has made an exceptional impact upon their own Faculty / division / campus; and
  • Influential Excellence – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or a librarian whose ongoing contributions have had a far-reaching impact outside the U of T community, building U of T’s reputation as a world-class institution.

The Selection Committee reserves the right to move nominations to a different category if they believe another category reflects a nominee’s contributions more accurately.

 

Who can be nominated for a President's Excellence Award?

Any member of the University of Toronto community can nominate an individual for the President’s Excellence Award. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Whom can I nominate for a President's Excellence Award?

Nominees must be administrative staff (union or non-union) or librarians who have active status and are in good standing at the University of Toronto.

Successful candidates will normally have completed three years of service at U of T by the nomination deadline.

Past recipients of an Award of Excellence (including the Chancellor’s Leadership Award) can be nominated for a President’s Excellence Award, provided they meet the eligibility and selection criteria.

Successful nomination packages will demonstrate the nominee’s ability to meet the selection criteria (detailed below) by providing specific examples of their contributions to the University.

An individual can be nominated for only one category of the President’s Excellence Award each year.

EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA 

Nominees in this category should demonstrate outstanding potential to enhance the U of T experience for students, staff, faculty members, and / or librarians.

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s “Emerging Excellence” by identifying contributions or achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering for roles on Faculty / divisional working groups, advisory boards, and / or committees etc.,
  • Exemplifying excellence beyond their job description,
  • Frequently seeking opportunities to improve the broader U of T experience by demonstrating innovative thinking when approaching a problem or situation,
  • Embodying collegiality and creating an inclusive environment within the University,
  • Intentionally advancing and integrating the University’s principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into a project(s) and / or initiative(s),
  • Frequently receiving requests from institutional colleagues to provide advice or counsel,
  • Frequently receiving invitations to participate in and to support institutional consultation and collaboration for projects and initiatives, and / or
  • Regularly enhancing their own professional skills and those of their team.

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of any President’s Excellence Award.

DISTINGUISHED EXCELLENCE AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA 

Nominees in this category should demonstrate excellence within their Faculty / division and dedication to improving the work of their Faculty / division.

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s “Distinguished Excellence” by identifying contributions or achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering for roles on Faculty / divisional working groups, advisory boards, and / or committees etc.,
  • Demonstrating excellence beyond their job description,
  • Exhibiting a superior client-centred approach to their work,
  • Consistently seeking opportunities to increase efficiency or enhance sustainability within their Faculty or division, improving the Faculty / divisional experience for colleagues and students,
  • Using collaborative and / or innovative approaches to projects and initiatives,
  • Stewarding student-facing, Faculty-level, or divisional-level projects or initiatives that make a positive impact on their divisional experience,
  • Fostering an inclusive environment within their Faculty / division,
  • Intentionally supporting and uplifting initiatives that promote the University’s principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and / or
  • Being highly regarded by colleagues, staff, students, and faculty members.

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of a President’s Excellence Award – Influential Excellence OR a President’s Excellence Award – Distinguished Excellence.

INFLUENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA 

Nominees in this category should have made ongoing contributions with far-reaching impact outside the U of T community, building U of T’s reputation as a world-class institution.

Nomination letters should affirm the individual’s participation in city-wide, provincial, and / or national initiatives that reflect positively on the University. Letters should also demonstrate the individual’s “Influential Excellence” by identifying contributions or achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering for roles on Faculty / divisional working groups, advisory boards, and / or committees etc.,
  • Demonstrating innovative thinking when approaching a problem or situation that impacts the University or external community,
  • Ensuring comprehensive institutional consultation and collaboration for projects and initiatives,
  • Creating an inclusive environment that encourages external partners to engage in institutional projects and initiatives,
  • Actively promoting and modelling the University’s principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion and ensuring these principles receive ample consideration in all projects and initiatives,
  • Frequently receiving requests from institutional colleagues to provide advice or counsel, and / or
  • Inspiring others (both within and outside the University) to achieve.

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of a President’s Excellence Award – Influential Excellence.

What is the nomination deadline?

The deadline for submitting was Friday, December 15, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. (EST).

What nomination materials must I assemble?

A complete nomination package for the President’s Excellence Award must include the following:

  • The completed nomination form, available on the True Blue Recognition Platform,
  • A draft citation for the nominee that we can publicize if the nomination is successful,
  • A cover letter from the lead nominator (e.g., nominee’s supervisor), and
  • Two letters of support from colleagues / peers / students.
    • A letter of support signed by multiple individuals counts as one letter towards the total.
    • If the nomination and letters of support are not submitted by the nominee’s supervisor, an additional letter from the nominee’s supervisor or the Division Head endorsing the nomination is required.

In nomination letters for a President’s Excellence Award, nominators must identify, as specifically as possible, how the candidate has consistently exceeded the expectations of their position.

Nominations should illustrate how the individual contributes to the University within and beyond the key responsibilities of their job. The nominee’s personal attributes, achievements, and output should reflect a sense of service and dedication.

Letters should specifically address and illustrate one or more of the above selection criteria and indicate the following:

  • Innovation displayed by the nominee,
  • The nominee’s distinction and / or dedication to their Faculty, division, the University, or the community more broadly,
  • The level of responsibility related to the scope of accomplishments by the nominee, and
  • The nominee’s dedication to advancing the University’s principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Please review our guide “How to Write an Impactful Award Nomination” for additional details.

May I include additional material?

No, please do not submit more than the required number of documents / letters. The Selection Committee will not consider supplementary documents.

Where do I send the nomination package?

Please submit applications electronically through the True Blue Recognition Platform. The Employee Recognition & Engagement Team of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture will administer the selection process for this award on behalf of the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA).

Who will view the letters of support? Can I have them returned to me?

All letters of support are confidential; only the members of the Selection Committee will view them. Those who wish to view the letters for publicity or information purposes must first obtain permission from the individual(s) who wrote the letter. Once submitted, all application / nomination materials become the property of University Advancement and cannot be returned to the nominator or the applicant.

What is the adjudication process?

The Selection Committee, chaired by the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture or their designate, will include:

  • The Assistant Vice-President, University Human Resources or their designate,
  • Request for participation from the VP Portfolios or a designate at the CAO (or equivalent) level, and
  • At least one representative from the Institutional Equity Offices within the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture

The committee will meet in Winter 2024 to select recipients of the President’s Excellence Award in each category.

Members of the Selection Committee will review the nomination packages and the award criteria in advance of the meeting date. Committee members will discuss each nomination package and select the recipient(s) at the meeting.

The Selection Committee is empowered to recognize multiple recipients in any award category. Successful recipients will be chosen based on the application and the demonstrated impact of the nominee. The Selection Committee can also choose not to present the award or an award category.

Whom should I contact if I need further information?

Please contact the Employee Recognition & Engagement Team if you have questions about the program or need assistance developing your nomination.

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