Awards – Staff


Delta State University recognizes the outstanding service of support staff through the annual award of the H.L. Nowell Outstanding Support Staff Award and the DSU Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service, as set forth in this policy.


Support Staff:
 Full-time employees classified as executive, administrative, and managerial; other professionals (support/service); technical and paraprofessionals; clerical and secretarial; skilled crafts; or, service/maintenance.


H.L. Nowell Outstanding Support Staff Award

Nominees must have completed ten or more years of consecutive service as a full-time support staff member, as of April 1 of the year of nomination.

The Administrative Staff Council will call for nominations in March of each year. Nominations can be by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Delta State University and will be received during the month of March of each year. Nominations from previous years will not be retained and must be resubmitted. The deadline for submission is April 15th. The Vice President of Student Affairs, serving as the permanent Chair of the Award Committee, will receive the nominations.

Award Committee
The Administrative Staff Council Executive Committee will recommend to the permanent Chair of the Award Committee one representative from each of the following areas yearly to serve on the Committee:
  • Administrative/Managerial
  • Faculty
  • Professional Non Faculty
  • Clerical/Secretarial
  • Technical/Paraprofessional
  • Skilled Craft
  • Service Maintenance

No more than two members can be from the membership of the Administrative Staff Council. The permanent Chair of the Award Committee will make the appointments to the committee. Members may serve only two years consecutively. The Vice President for Student Affairs will serve as the permanent Chair of the Committee. Members of the committee will remain anonymous.

The staff person’s direct supervisor and vice president must second their nomination before they can be considered for the award. Each committee member will vote on the award if there is more than one qualified nominee. The Vice President for Student Affairs will vote in the event of a tie.

The award recipient will remain anonymous until the award presentation is made at commencement. The recipient will receive a cash award of $2,500 and a plaque commemorating the award. A permanent plaque with award recipients’ names inscribed each year will hang in the H. L. Nowell Student Union or a place to be designated by the Staff Council.

DSU Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service

About the Awards

The DSU Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service recognizes individual staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the university, their colleagues, or the university’s relations with communities in the region. The purpose of the awards is to encourage and recognize achievement by establishing an environment of success and commitment to excellence. There are three annual awards in each of the three areas of service for a total of nine awards each year. The awards are $3,000 each and will be added to the winner’s taxable income during the month in which the award is received. There are no restrictions on the use of the funds by the staff members. The funds come from an unrestricted gift provided to the university through the generosity of the Delta State University Foundation, thus the name of the awards.


By January 15 each year the Vice President of Finance and Administration will solicit nominations for the awards. Any full-time staff member whose employment and job responsibilities are solely with Delta State University may be nominated for the award. Academic Deans or individuals serving on the President’s Cabinet are not eligible for the awards. Information supporting the nomination must be based on accomplishments during the previous five years while employed at Delta State University. Nominations may be made by employees, students, alumni, community members, or the individual. Nominations must be submitted on forms available in the Office of Finance and Administration. Nominations must be submitted to the Vice President of Finance and Administration no later than February 15.

For the purpose of these awards, university employees are grouped in the following manner using the university’s Equal Employment Opportunity categories:

Category A:
  • Executive, Administrative and Managerial
  • Other Professionals (Support/Service)

Category B:

  • Technical and Paraprofessional
  • Clerical and Secretarial

Category C:

  • Skilled Crafts
  • Service/Maintenance
No award winner is eligible to receive another award in the same area for at least five years. Additionally, no individual may win in more than one area during the same year; although he/she can be nominated in multiple areas.

Selection Process

The Selection Committee will be appointed by the Vice President of Finance and Administration subject to the approval of the Administrative Staff Council Executive Committee and the President’s Cabinet. This committee will review each nomination based on the criteria stated. Upon review of the nominations, one individual from each category may be awarded a prize in each of the three areas, i.e. there will be nine total awards available.

The Selection Committee may ask nominees to submit additional supporting materials by March 1. The Selection Committee will be chaired by the Vice President of Finance and Administration as a non-voting member and will include four staff representatives (one from each vice presidential area plus one from either Athletics or Alumni-Foundation), one Foundation Board representative, one student representative, one alumnus, one staff emeritus, and one person from the community. Staff at large Selection Committee members shall serve only two terms.

Notification of Awards

The nine staff awards are announced in conjunction with the spring Staff Development annual event which typically occurs in May each year. The names of staff receiving awards shall be held confidential until the announcement. The staff will be honored at the Foundation Board’s spring meeting which typically occurs in June. At that time, the staff will receive their cash award and a plaque. The University Relations office is charged with publicity for the awards.


Nominations for each award will be evaluated in terms of achievement according to the following established criteria:
  1. Service to the University Award
    • exhibiting initiative and creativity, resulting in improved operating efficiency or innovative processes
    • promoting positive collaborative relationships with other institutions or organizations
    • providing outstanding service and commitment to Delta State University above and beyond regular job requirements
    • volunteering time, expertise, or personal resources to a special project which may fall outside of the scheduled work day
    • participating on university committees
    • attending/supporting University events
    • developing standards or guidelines to make a process more efficient or user friendly
    • improving upon departmental or university-wide operations
    • receiving awards or special recognition
    • feedback from various constituency groups
    • assisting campus visitors
2.  Service to University Colleagues Award
    • contributing to departmental collegiality, morale, and a supportive learning/working environment
    • promoting positive collaborative relationships with other university departments/colleagues
    • encouraging and supporting staff to attend workshops to improve their skills or develop additional ones
    • developing information sharing avenues such as creating specialized bulletin board, e-mail groups, or setting specific times for departments to gather to discuss upcoming events or projects
    • developing a system to keep information flowing between employees
    • assisting other departments, especially on a volunteer basis
    • supporting other departmental projects by attending their events
    • creating staff development programs for co-workers
  1. Service to the University’s Relationship with Communities in the Region Award
    • exhibiting initiative and creativity, resulting in improved operating efficiency or innovative processes
    • promoting positive collaborative relationships with other institutions or organizations
    • developing outreach avenues to assist individuals or groups gain access to the variety of resources available on the Delta State campus
    • exhibiting exemplary leadership through positive relationships with off-campus communities
    •  encouraging a positive relationship with off-campus entities
    • offering workshops or other services to the community
    • volunteering on community committees
    • community service
    • assisting campus visitors

Responsible Office
and/or Policy Owner:  Administrative Staff Council



  • “DSU Foundation Awards for Staff Excellence in Service” policy
  • University policy on Staff Awards



Change/Review/Approval Date:

  • Approved by Administrative Staff Council:  06/04/2014
  • Approved by Cabinet:  06/09/2014
  • Revised/Approved by Cabinet:  07/16/2018