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Chancellor's Leadership Awards

Awards of Excellence

Established in 1999, the Chancellor’s Leadership Award is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff and librarians. The Chancellor’s Leadership Award complements the President’s Excellence Award. 

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Award demonstrate outstanding leadership and significantly advance the University’s mission to foster an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish. Each recipient receives $1,000. 

Nominations can be made in one (1) of three (3) categories:

  • Emerging Leader – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or librarian who demonstrates significant potential to assume more senior leadership at U of T; 

  • Distinguished Leader – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or librarian who demonstrates leadership excellence and contributes significantly to their own faculty / division / campus; and 

  • Influential Leader – presented to an administrative staff member (unionized or non-unionized) or librarian who has consistently demonstrated innovative leadership and achieved outstanding contributions to the tri-campus University community by motivating and empowering others. 

Whom can I nominate for a Chancellor’s Award?

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

An individual can be nominated for only one (1) category of the Chancellor’s Leadership Award each year. 

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

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 
  • Have worked at U of T for five (5) years or more by the nomination deadline 

Successful nomination packages will provide examples and details about the specific contribution(s) that the nominee has made to the University in accordance with the criteria below. 


Nominees in this category should demonstrate significant potential to assume more senior leadership at U of T. 

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s emerging leadership excellence, their impact on the broader University community, their commitment to acquiring new professional skills, and their contributions and achievements in one (1) or more of the following areas: 
  • Impacting the institution through sustained streamlining or significantly improving business processes to better serve the University’s mission, 
  • Leading by example in their dedication to service and / or support, 
  • Mentoring colleagues and encouraging professional development, 
  • Actively promoting, contributing, and demonstrating the University’s core principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion across three campuses, and / or 
  • Displaying an ongoing commitment to the University through outstanding volunteer service to the University beyond their job requirements. 

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of any Chancellor’s Leadership Award. 

distinguished leader SELECTION CRITERIA

Nominees in this category have demonstrated leadership excellence within their faculty/division, are dedicated to enhancing their professional skills, and significantly advance the work of their faculty / division. 

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s contributions and / or achievements over a prolonged period in one (1) or more of the following areas: 
  • Improving their faculty / division by creating new business processes or increasing the efficiency of existing business processes, 
  • Establishing inclusive practices within their faculty / division, 
  • Acting as a mentor to advise and guide junior colleagues, 
  • Initiating collaborative partnerships across faculties / divisions or with the broader community, and / or 
  • Demonstrating a commitment to support, participate, and collaborate on equity, diversity, and inclusion in programming or initiatives within their faculty / division. 

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of a Chancellor’s Leadership Award – Influential Leader OR a Chancellor’s Leadership Award - Distinguished Leader. 

influential leader SELECTION CRITERIA

Nominees in this category should have consistently demonstrated innovative leadership and have achieved outstanding contributions to the tri-campus University community by motivating and empowering others. 

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s achievements in one (1) or more of the following areas: 
  • Demonstrating sustained and exemplary support for University administration and / or teaching and research endeavours, 
  • Being highly regarded by colleagues, staff, students, faculty, and senior administration, 
  • Contributing regularly to the success of institutional initiatives, 
  • Creating intentional opportunities to include diverse voices, mentor colleagues, and inspire others, 
  • Communicating a vision and commitment to new and innovative initiatives, 
  • Fostering an inclusive workplace and embedding equitable practices and processes in projects and initiatives, 
  • Leading a group or pan-University project that has made a significant, sustained contribution and that exemplifies the University’s principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and / or 
  • Demonstrating achievements in support of the University’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives. 

Nominees for this category cannot be a past recipient of a Chancellor’s Leadership Award – Influential Leader. 

What is the nomination deadline?

The deadline for submitting a nomination is Friday, December 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm (EST). 

What nomination materials must I assemble?

A complete nomination package for the Chancellor’s Leadership Award must include the following: 

  • The completed nomination form
  • 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 (2) letters of support from colleagues / peers /students. 
    • A letter of support signed by multiple individuals counts as one (1) letter towards the total. 
    • If the 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 Chancellor’s Leadership 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 demonstrates leadership at the University both within and beyond the key responsibilities of their job. The nominee’s personal attributes, achievements, and output should reflect this sense of purpose and dedication. 

Letters should specifically address and illustrate one (1) or more of the above selection criteria and should also indicate the following: 

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


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 to your Divisional HR Office. The Employee Recognition & Engagement Team of the Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture will be administering 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. 

Whom should I contact if I need further information?


Please contact your Divisional HR Office if you have questions about the program or need some assistance in developing your nomination submission. 


What is the adjudication process?
The Selection Committee, chaired by the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture,  or their designate, will include: 
  • The CHRO or their designate, 
  • Request for participation from each of the VP Portfolios or designate at the CAO (or equivalent) level, and 
  • At least one (1) representative from the Institutional Equity Offices within the Division of People Strategy, Culture & Equity. 

The committee will meet in Winter 2022 to select recipients of the Chancellor’s Leadership 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.