Nominations for awards are generally called on the first Friday in September and the submission deadline is usually the last Friday in October each year (please refer to the dates for this year further down the page). The committee meets to select recipients in early to mid November. Nominations may be initiated by individual staff and should be supported by the nominee's manager.
It is generally not expected that staff will nominate themselves and nominations are usually made without refererence to the individual or team concerned (unless an evidence portfolio is required).
Note that staff may download and prepare a nomination at any time during the year in anticipation of the September call for nominations.
Further information about staff awards along with the nomination form follows. If you have any queries or require assistance with a Staff Award nomination please contact Mike Bell, Professional & Organisational Development Manager, Secretary to Staff Awards Committee.
History of Staff Awards at the University of Waikato
Staff Awards were introduced in 1989 by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wilf Malcolm, when they were initially separate academic and general staff merit awards, administered by separate advisory committees to Council. They were combined into a single Staff Merit Awards process in 1994.
In 1998 two new separate awards were introduced - a Vice-Chancellor's Medal for Excellence in Teaching and a Staff Citation. Neither award had a monetary component and the Staff Citation was only awarded three times. These awards were initially administered by the Vice-Chancellor's Office but a review of committees in 1999 saw their administration handed over to Human Resource Management Division, along with the Staff Merit Awards.
In 2006 the Staff Awards Committee reviewed the entire awards process and recommended to the Vice-Chancellor that the separate awards be replaced by a single Staff Awards process comprising awards for Teaching, Research and Administrative Excellence to better reflect the key activities of a university and to provide a more consistent approach.
In 2010/2011, in response to the Teaching and Learning Plan two new awards were introduced to recognise excellence in Research Postgraduate Supervision and innovation and excellence in eLearning.
The Human Resource Management Division had administered the Health and Safety Excellence Award since its inception in 2001 as a requirement for the annual ACC Audit for accreditation to the Partnership Plan. The Director of Human Resources recommended that administration of the award should be part of the annual staff excellence awards process and it was incorporated into the main annual staff awards process in 2010.
The Vice-Chancellor approved the additional awards and revised nomination processes for teaching excellence awards for 2010, with Postgraduate Researcher Support and eLearning excellence awards being introduced in 2011.
A 2012 review of committees saw responsibility for administration of staff awards passed from Human Resource Management Division to the Professional and Organisational Development Unit.
In 2013 a suite of Research Excellence awards were introduced to supplement and incorporate the Early Career Research Excellence award. These are awarded in a two yearly cycle and managed by the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research. A new Early Career Academic Excellence award was subsequently introduced as part of the main awards process from 2013 to recognise emergent academics who demonstrate excellence across the full range of teaching, research and scholarship, and service and external activity. The Administrative Excellence awards were extended to reinforce excellence in professional services and leadership.
In 2015, on the recommendation of the Research Committee the Research Postgraduate Supervision Excellence award nomination process was modified to align it with the other University awards; Research Excellence awards were also incorporated into the overall annual staff awards process.
In 2018, staff awards were simplified to ensure greater consistency and efficiency. Administration of awards currently sits with the Organisational Development and Wellness team in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor.
Categories of Staff Awards
Teaching Excellence and Nola Campbell Memorial eLearning Excellence awards are made in recognition of sustained excellence in teaching, both face to face and online. Awards are initially made at a Faculty/School level and recipients of these awards may be considered for a University excellence award. Nominations come from staff and students through an online nomination form.
Research Excellence awards are made to academic staff engaged in research.
Early Career Academic Excellence are made to early career academics (up to seven years after the conferment of their PhD) in recognition of excellence in teaching, research and scholarship, and service and external activities (see definitions below):
For the purposes of staff awards, "teaching" includes only those factors under the control of the staff member. Within this limitation, the term "teaching" is broadly defined to encompass classroom and online instruction and communication skills (including practical clinical teaching), team teaching skills, course content and instructional design (if within the scope of the individual’s contribution), Māori and English bilingual teaching ability, quality and relevance of content and teaching materials, relationships with students, organisational skills, assessment of students, and graduate and postgraduate supervision - as appropriate to the staff member's teaching area and responsibilities.
- Scholarship and Research
In recognition of the various types of original work undertaken by staff members the word "scholarship" is used to refer to research, scholarly publication, meritorious and advanced design, composition and original performance. A person displaying distinguished scholarship would be a recognized international authority in his or her own field and would make a visible contribution to a discipline. A scholar would be active in developing and investigating new ideas and applying these in practice. A high level of scholarship is synonymous with academic or professional excellence. Indicators of scholarship include:
- invitations to present keynote addresses and conference papers, exhibit artworks, conduct national orchestral groups;
- invitations to conduct applied research;
- research grants or contracts received;
- membership of editorial boards and/or refereeing for journals;
- recognition within the Māori oral tradition;
- "high level" consulting or problem solving completed as part of University work (i.e. applied research and development) - as distinct from "routine" consulting or private activity;
- recognition of excellence by a profession, for example, through the granting of a fellowship. (Service to a professional association as an office bearer would be included in the "External activities" area.)
Service includes all leadership/management, administrative and general contributions carried out within the University. These include significant contributions to the work of the University by participation in decision-making and management through committees or working parties, or effectiveness in guiding the work of a department, School or unit as a chairperson or otherwise through for example personnel management, budget management, group decision-making and goal setting. Leadership can also be demonstrated by setting an example to colleagues in pursuit of University, Faculty/School or departmental goals, such as developing and implementing a new programme of study, paper or area of research or leading a research team. Regard will be given to circumstances where Māori staff perform additional responsibilities including contributions to marae graduation ceremonies.
- External Activities
This area is concerned with the quality and extent of contributions to the general community or the professional area, nationally or internationally, relevant to the staff member's area of appointment in the University. It would be demonstrated through, for example:
- Representing the subject, Faculty/School or University to external professional, industry or business organisations, or to the community.
- International or national research collaborations.
- Significant contributions to the activities of centres for applied research and development in promoting professional partnerships between the institution and the external community.
- High quality contributions to the profession or professional association.
- Invitations to provide expert advice, join committees of enquiry etc.
- Significant contributions to professional practice, for example, in accounting practice, clinical practice in the health sciences, or raising community awareness of artistic endeavour.
- Initiating, or being invited to conduct, continuing education or in-service courses for outside professional groups.
- Public service which brings credit to the University.
The Staff Excellence category is intended to cover a broad range of activities including service to clients and the community, completion of significant projects, sustained excellence over several years and any other significant contribution to the life of the University which deserves formal recognition. They can also be used to recognise academic activity such as Postgraduate Supervision and eLearning excellence. These awards are applicable to all categories of staff.
Health and Safety awards are made in recognition of sustained or specific contributions of excellence made in the areas of staff and student health, safety and wellbeing.
There is no limit on the number of awards which can be made in each category, but a maximum of ten annual awards can be made across all award categories.
Vice-Chancellors Medal Recipients from 2006
Committee Administration and Staff Award Guidelines
Directory of Committees (see link to Committee Directory and look for Staff Awards Committee)
Purposes and process for University of Waikato Staff Awards
Staff Merit Award Recipient List 1989 to 2005
Teaching Excellence Award Recipient List 1998 to 2005
Health and Safety Awards from 2002 to 2009
Staff Awards from 2006
List of Faculty Teaching Excellence Award Recipients since 2009
Previous Awards Ceremonies
- Division Teaching Excellence award nomination deadline - 4 September
- University award nominations open - 4 September
- Nomination deadline - 23 October
- Committee/selection panel meets - 3 November
- Award recipients and unsuccessful nominees will be advised as soon as possible following the selection meeting and approval by the Vice-Chancellor
- 2020 Awards presentation ceremony - 14 December