Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award


The Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award recognizes a faculty member who has provided extraordinary leadership contributions across many dimensions of shared governance (e.g., committee work, chair of task force, service in the Senate) that advance the excellence of a unit, a college, and/or the campus, and who exemplifies the campus commitment to collaborative decision-making. This award is the highest accolade honoring a faculty member whose professional service has advanced progress toward the Illinois mission. The award includes an honorarium and a personalized commemorative plaque.


  • Tenure-system or specialized faculty member at Illinois
  • Provided committed service of significant value in several instances (committees, task forces, etc.)
  • Has not won this award in the previous 5 years
  • Senate Executive Committee Chair and Senate Educational Policy Committee Chair are not eligible for this award, nor are campus-level administrators (e.g., in the offices of the Chancellor and Provost, or deans, or directors of centers such as Beckman and IGB, for example)

Evaluation Criteria

  • Demonstration of the candidate’s strong commitment to shared governance
  • Demonstrated ability of the candidate to work with multiple constituencies
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the excellence of a unit, a college, and/or the campus through extraordinary leadership within a service capacity
  • Exemplary leadership skills that aid groups of individuals to advance novel initiatives or needed change


The nomination is a two-step 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 other faculty member(s), a unit executive officer, or dean. 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. A self-statement from the nominee that discusses their value of shared governance and strategies for effecting change across diverse issues and among multiple constituencies within the institution. (Max 2 pages.)
  2. Three letters of support from individuals other than the nominator, such as faculty members, unit executive officer, staff, or students.  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 s/he meets 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
William GroppComputer Science2023
Jennifer AmosBioengineering2022
Gay MillerPathobiology2021
Harley JohnsonMechanical Science & Engineering2020
Joyce TolliverSpanish & Portuguese2019
Ollie Watts DavisMusic2018
William MaherUniversity Library2017
Matthew WheelerAnimal Sciences2016
Nicholas BurbulesEducation Policy, Organization & Leadership2015


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.