UACES Facebook C.E.S.P. 1-74: Extension Excellence Awards Program

Personnel - Awards

C.E.S.P. 1-74: Cooperative Extension Service Excellence Awards Programs

Date Revised: 4-11-2016
Supersedes: 4-21-2015

Summary: Establishes policy for seven major awards intended to foster teamwork, professional development, diversity, and innovation and creativity.

Extension Excellence Awards

Extension Excellence Awards recognize effort and achievement of full-time employees with 50% or greater Extension appointment or teams with 50% or greater Extension effort. Awards may not be conferred every year.

County Team Award

The County Team Award recognizes the county whose staff best demonstrates a consistent and cohesive team approach to programs and county office operations.  Only teams consisting of an entire county office (classified and non-classified staff) may compete.  Program enhancement funds of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team. Team members will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension.

Diversity

The Diversity Award recognizes efforts toward the promotion of an Extension culture that values, respects, accepts, and enables employees and clientele who are different with regard to national origin, race, color, age, disability, gender, socio-economic class, religion, and/or urban or rural location. Classified and non-classified employees are eligible. Teams and individuals may both compete.  Winner receives $5,000 in program enhancement funds and will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension.

Early Career Awards

The Early Career Awards are intended to recognize, reward, and motivate employees who, early in their careers with Extension, have demonstrated initiative, involvement, leadership, and excellence in support of the mission and goals of the Cooperative Extension Service.  Individual classified and non-classified employees with 0-5 total years of service with CES are eligible regardless of type of position or time in a particular position.  The recipient in each of the four categories below receives a bonus check of $1,500 (gross amount) to use at the employee’s discretion.

  • Classified Employee
  • County Extension Agent
  • Faculty
  • Non-Classified Employee (program technician, program associate, project/program administrator). Project/program administrators typically serve in a support unit: Communications, Facility Management, Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Printing Services, Program & Staff Development, or Sponsored Programs.

Employee of the Year

The Employee of the Year award recognizes performance “above and beyond the call of duty” during the previous year on behalf of Extension. Performance should be the “gold standard” for which all employees should strive. The individual recipient receives a bonus check of $2,500.

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award recognizes dynamic new thinking or processes that enhance Extension’s mission and/or operations.  It recognizes departures – entirely new ways to approach a problem – rather than rewarding successes achieved using established approaches or technologies.  Classified and non-classified employees are eligible.  Teams and individuals may both compete.  An individual recipient receives a bonus check of $2,000, whereas a winning team divides the $2,000 award among the team members (gross amount). 

Issue Team Award

The Issue Team Award recognizes exceptional achievement by a team composed of employees from across departmental and county boundaries.  Issue teams are formed for a specific project or convened to address a particular issue.  Classified and non-classified employees are eligible.  Only teams may compete - individual employees are not eligible.  Program enhancement funds of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team. Team members will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension.

Unit Team Award

The Unit Team Award recognizes the unit or department whose classified and non-classified staff best demonstrates a consistent and cohesive team approach to the programs and operations of the unit.  Only teams consisting of an entire unit or department may compete. Program enhancement funds of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team. Team members will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension.

The Committee

The Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension appoints a ten-member Extension Excellence Awards Committee, with representation from among the various categories of employees:  classified; non-classified ANR, FCS, CED, 4-H and Support Units; LRSO; county; and past award winners.   The Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension designates the committee chair.

Committee members are on staggered four-year appointments.  In addition to the ten voting members, an ex officio member will remain on the committee over time to coordinate and provide administrative continuity and stability.  After the first year, the ex officio member will not be eligible to vote or serve as committee chair. 

Membership on this committee is recognized as a job responsibility, with appropriate allocation of time, travel, and professional development credit. Travel associated with committee membership will be supported by Administration through county and departmental budgets.

Nomination and Selection

Each year, the Office of the Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension will call for nominations for the Extension Excellence Awards.   Nominations will be submitted online as instructed using the Extension Excellence Awards Nomination Form. The awards committee will recommend recipients for each award to the Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension. Winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the annual State Faculty Conference in December.

Award winners may not be nominated for subsequent annual awards on the basis of the same award-winning project, program, or achievement.

Teams may only be nominated for one team award per year.  Employees may be nominated for an individual award and also nominated as member of a team competing for a different award. 

Resubmissions with a current online Extension Excellence Awards Nomination Form are acceptable for a period of three years (the initial submission plus two subsequent years).

Administration reserves the right to cancel or reduce the amount of the awards when budgetary constraints adversely affect Extension’s operations.