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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 exemplary support of 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 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, 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. 

 

Whom can I nominate 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. 

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

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 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. 

EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD SELECTION CRITERIA 

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

Nomination letters should illustrate the individual’s “Emerging Excellence” by identifying contributions or achievements in one (1) or more of the following areas: 

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering or contributing to additional University working groups, advisory boards, or committees, 
  • 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 equity, diversity, and inclusion into all projects and initiatives, 
  • 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 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 (1) or more of the following areas: 

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering or contributing to faculty/divisional working groups, advisory boards, or committees, 
  • 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 equity, diversity, and inclusion, and / or 
  • Being highly regarded by colleagues, staff, students, and faculty. 

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. They should also demonstrate the individual’s “Influential Excellence” by identifying contributions or achievements in one (1) or more of the following areas: 

  • Showing commitment to community engagement and University citizenship by volunteering for or contributing to additional external working groups, advisory boards, or committees, 
  • 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 core 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 a complete nomination package is Friday, December 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm (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
  • 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 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 in the key responsibilities of their job and beyond. The nominee’s personal attributes, achievements, and output should reflect a sense of service and dedication. 

Letters should specifically address and illustrate one (1) 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 division, the institution, or the community 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, Equity & Culture 

The committee will meet in Winter 2022 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. 

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