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Excellence Awards Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The primary purpose of the University's Excellence Awards is to recognise and reward the excellent achievements of University staff.

(2) The Awards are intended to:

  1. recognise and reward excellence;
  2. instill notions of best-practice and excellence in all aspects of work at the University;
  3. boost staff morale and productivity;
  4. identify and support nominees for all award schemes;
  5. foster ongoing professional development;
  6. encourage loyalty and commitment to the University;
  7. strengthen the University's culture of scholarships;
  8. showcase commitment and improvement to Work Health, Safety and Wellbeing; and
  9. provide a platform to showcase staff achievements.

(3) The Awards support the strategic goals of the University and act as a channel for monitoring and celebrating achievements by individuals and groups.

(4) This policy should be read in conjunction with the Excellence Awards Procedures and information relating to each award category provided on the University Awards webpage.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) Each year there will be a call for nominations for awards to those whose outstanding dedication, creativity and excellence in performance and service have had, or are having, a significant impact on the University's progress towards the achievement of its mission.

(7) These awards will recognise:

  1. groups who demonstrate the capacity to collaborate effectively towards shared goals and who achieve excellence in outcomes in the nominated area of activity;
  2. individuals who demonstrate the capacity to work innovatively and in an exemplary manner and who achieve excellence in the nominated area of activity; and
  3. groups or individuals who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to service both within and beyond the institution.

(8) Currently employed staff who have worked at the University for a minimum of one year are eligible for individual nomination, or as leaders of group nominations. Sessional staff are eligible for Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Awards as per the Excellence Awards Procedures.

(9) For group nominations, staff and students who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria, but whose contribution to the Award initiative is to be acknowledged, may be included as members of a group nomination.

(10) On occasions, additional relevant Excellence Awards, under the listed categories, may be awarded to students, where specific outstanding performance has been identified. These are separate to student academic awards which are covered under the Graduation Policy.

(11) Winners of awards (either individuals or groups) in a particular category are not eligible for nomination (as an individual or group leader) in the following year in the same category. However, previous recipients of highly commended nominations may reapply if their nomination demonstrates progress form their previous year’s submission.

(12) Staff who implement initiatives and policies relating to Excellence Awards would not normally be eligible for individual nominations or as the leader of a group nomination, although their contributions to a group initiative may be acknowledged in a group membership.

(13) Excellence Awards are intended to recognise achievements over the previous one to three-year period, although in some categories of award it is anticipated that submissions may include briefly summarised background material from longer than three years ago in order to contextualise these achievements.

(14) Nominations must be made in the appropriate published method for each Award.

(15) Members of Awards Panels or support staff may make further enquiries, of a factual nature, regarding nominations.

Excellence Award Categories

(16) The categories of Excellence Awards are:

  1. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award
  2. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Professional Service Award
  3. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision Award
  4. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in University Engagement and Sustainability Award
  5. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award
  6. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research – Researcher of the Year Award
  7. Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Excellence – Early Career Researcher Award
  8. The College Award for Excellence
  9. Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research and Innovation) Research Excellence through Partnership Award
  10. Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research and Innovation) Excellence in a Research Interdisciplinary Group Award
  11. Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award
  12. Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Academic) Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award

(17) The Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award is awarded to a chosen nominee of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award and replaces that award. The University teaching awards are designed to align with the Australian Awards for University Teaching.

(18) Award details, including amounts, are provided in the Excellence Awards Procedures.

(19) Awards need not necessarily be made in every category or at both winner and highly commended levels.

(20) Multiple award winners may be recommended to the Vice-Chancellor for approval, at the discretion of the relevant Excellence Award Panel.

Funding and Expenditure

(21) The total allocation of funds for Excellence Awards and their distribution across the Award categories (with the exception of The College Awards) will be determined on an annual basis by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(22) The allocation of funds for The College Awards is determined by the Western Sydney University Enterprises Board.

(23) Award funds can be spent on either the further development of the initiative(s) for which the Award has been conferred, or the further professional development of the staff recipient(s). Award funds are expected to be spent within one calendar year. Individual winners may also elect to take their prize money as cash (paid through payroll) after tax. Where a group agrees unanimously to an equal allocation to each group member, the group can opt to take their prize money as cash paid to individuals (through payroll) after tax. Cash prizes can also be donated to a registered charity or as a contribution to superannuation. (Refer to the Excellence Awards Procedures for conditions regarding the expenditure and acquittal of the Award funds).

Administration of the Awards Scheme

(24) Overall administrative co-ordination of the Awards scheme will be undertaken by the Office of People and Success, with close liaison with relevant areas funding the award and choosing recipients. The Excellence Awards Procedures and the University Awards webpage outline the roles and responsibilities of these units, as well as the annual timeline for the scheme.

Excellence Awards Panels

(25) Details regarding each University Excellence Awards panel is provided in the Excellence Awards Procedures. Where member are unavailable, the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement, will approve substitute members. Each Excellence Awards Panel will consider nominations against the specified selection criteria and make recommendations, to the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(26) Representatives on The College Excellence Award Panels are determined by the Western Sydney University Enterprises Board of Directors.

Advice of Excellence Awards

(27) Awards will be presented at the University's annual awards ceremony. Announcements about Excellence Award recipients will be disseminated broadly across the University.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(28) See the Excellence Awards Procedures.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(29) Refer to the University Excellence Awards webpage.