Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award


The Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes outstanding academic leadership and vision by an executive officer within a college or campus unit. Recipient will be an exemplar of effective leadership who has led diverse groups through strategic improvements within her/his unit or campus. Up to two awards may be awarded annually. The award includes an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


  • Current or recent (i.e., within the past three academic years) service as an Executive Officer of a department, school, program, or center;
  • Has not won this award in the previous 5 years;
  • Campus-level administrators (e.g., in the offices of the Chancellor and Provost, or deans) are not eligible.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Fosters an environment wherein recruitment, development, and retention of students, faculty, and staff are key elements of the unit’s success;
  • Builds innovative and dynamic curricula and research agendas;
  • Takes the lead to promote excellence and diversity;
  • Uses sound and innovative financial management and resource development strategies; and
  • Demonstrates excellence in promoting and communicating the unit’s accomplishments and goals to the various stakeholders


The nomination is a two-stage process. The review committee will screen initial nominations; nominators will be notified whether their nominee will move forward to Stage 2.

Candidates may be nominated by faculty member(s) or dean(s). Self-nominations are not allowed. Nominators must notify the nominee that they are being nominated for a Faculty Leadership Award.

Stage 1 Requirements

  1. Each nomination must include a cover sheet. (Download from Box to complete.)
  2. A nomination letter/narrative that addresses the stated criteria and that demonstrates documentary evidence. (Max 3 pages.)
  3. Submit the nomination using the online form. The college’s dean must sign the nomination cover sheet (linked above in item 1) to indicate support of the nomination. A supporting letter from the dean is not required or accepted in Stage 1.

The review committee will determine semifinalists during the initial screening process. Nominators and nominees will be notified of their status after Stage 1 evaluations are complete.

Stage 2 Requirements

Nominators of semifinalists will be requested to submit the following:

  1. Nominee’s self-statement that discusses the nominee’s leadership philosophy, including guiding principles, key constituents, specific strategies, and desired results. (Max 2 pages.)
  2. Three letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as students, alumni, or faculty. Such letters should include specific examples to support the nominee’s distinction as an outstanding executive officer (e.g., leadership, vision, managerial skills, interpersonal skills, attitude, etc.). Letters of recommendation will only be accepted during Stage 2 submission. (Max 2 pages each.)
  3. A supporting letter from the dean that discusses the nominee’s qualifications and how they meet the criteria. The dean’s letter will only be accepted during Stage 2 submission. (Max 2 pages.)
  4. Submit the nomination using the online form by the deadline. Include the original cover sheet (submitted in Stage 1).


January 10 Deadline for Stage 1 nominations to be submitted.

Early-February– Nominators will be notified whether their nominee will move forward to Stage 2 as a semifinalist.

March 1 Deadline for Stage 2 packages (for semifinalists only) to be submitted.

*When a deadline falls on a weekend or campus holiday, nominations will be due the next business day.

Previous Recipients
Award RecipientDepartmentAward Year
Yook PakEducation Policy, Organization and Leadership2023
Mariselle MeléndezSpanish and Portuguese2023
May BerenbaumEntomology2022
Alan MetteSchool of Art & Design2022
Antony AugoustakisClassics2021
Jeffrey MooreBeckman Institute; Chemistry2021
Carla CáceresEvolution, Ecology & Behavior2020
Jan ErkertDance2020
Wendy HellerPsychology2019
Robert RauberAtmospheric Sciences2019
CL ColeMedia & Cinema Studies2018
William SandersElectrical & Computer Engineering2018
Matthew AndoMathematics2017
Rashid BashirBioengineering2017
Ariana TraillClassics2016
Dale Van HarlingenPhysics2016
Wojtek Chodzko-ZajkoKinesiology & Community Health2015
Dianne HarrisLandscape Architecture and Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities2015


For more information about Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership, contact the Major Awards Coordinator in the Office of the Provost at provostawards@illinois.edu.