Faculty Recognition: Acknowledging Your Own Faculty Is Part of Professional Development

Executive Director
Secretary, Standards and Practices Committee Chair

Everyone likes to be acknowledged for his or her work, and recognizing what we do well is an important part of motivating all faculty. However, in today’s climate of competing priorities, faculty leaders can easily neglect to recognize our colleagues who are doing amazing work.  The ASCCC is committed to helping local senates uphold this pillar of professional development and recognize their faculty statewide. 

Each year the ASCCC offers three awards: 

  • one to recognize exemplary college programs;
  • one to acknowledge outstanding community college faculty who have a track record of excellence both in teaching and in professional activities and have demonstrated commitment to their students, profession, and college; and
  • one to honor faculty who have made outstanding contributions that positively impact diverse populations of students. 

Recognizing faculty and programs is not the only reason the local senate should consider nominating a program or faculty from their college.  The ASCCC awards offer an opportunity to share the good work of faculty with the Board of Governors and colleagues statewide through presentations and press releases.  Two of the three awards are presented before the Board of Governors: the Exemplary and the Hayward Awards recipients are provided with an opportunity to share their programs and faculty accomplishments with the Board. College faculty rarely receive opportunities to provide the Board of Governors with information about local programs and faculty accomplishments.  These awards allow colleges to promote their programs or faculty and to show the faculty how much they are appreciated.

But We Do not Have Time to Complete the Application Process.  

In the past, senate leaders and faculty have mentioned that the applications timeline does not allow for the development of the application for each award.  For this reason, the applications for the three awards are now available on the ASCCC website.  If the local senate starts its process early, the deadlines are not a barrier.  However, an easier way to complete the application process might involve delegating the identification of programs or faculty and the development of the application to an individual or group.

At the Spring 2015 Plenary Session, the delegates passed Resolution 12.01, Faculty Recognition.  Authored by members of the ASCCC Standards and Practices Committee, this resolution recognizes the importance of acknowledging faculty exemplary work while also understanding the workload for local senates.  The resolution recommends that local senates form an awards committee or appoint individuals to ensure that faculty from their college have the opportunity to be recognized for their work.  For example, Santa Barbara City College established a Faculty Recognition Committee for the purpose of “identifying potential opportunities to acknowledge faculty excellence in performing their job responsibilities and participating in campus leadership.”[1]  Resolution 12.01 S15 further recommended that local senates establish processes for nominating and submitting applications in a manner that aligns with the ASCCC timelines for each award. 

We have submitted applications in the past but they were unsuccessful. 

At the 2015 Faculty Leadership Institute, a breakout was held that shared with attendees key points to consider when developing an ASCCC award applications.  Some of the tips that were shared in the breakout were as follows: 

  • Exemplary Awards:
    • Distinguish your program from other programs (i.e., many colleges have a high school bridge program: how is your program different from all the rest?);
    • Rubrics:  Pay attention to the rubric. The readers use the rubrics to rank the applications. 
    • Provide data: the rubrics included with the awards provide detailed information about the type of data needed.  Provide tables, graphics, real numbers that supports the application.  For example, do not just say, “Early data demonstrate an increase in enrollment” without providing how that was determined. Was it a 20% increase? What are the numbers to support the 20%?
  • Hayward Award:
    • Provide as much information as possible to describe the faculty contributions, commitment, accomplishments, and community engagement.  Ensure that the information is detailed and concise while remaining within 200 words per prompt.
    • Be mindful of the rubric. Again, this is your guide and the only criteria the readers will use.
  • Stanback Stroud Diversity Award:
    • Demonstrate the faculty members’ commitment to diversity. Follow the rubric.
    • Provide direct and demonstrated evidence—both observable and measureable – in the form of qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Provide detailed examples.

The rubrics are the guide for applicants and the measuring tool for the application readers.  Successful applications provide as much detail and data as possible without relying on the readers’ interpretation.  Rather than expecting readers to grasp indirect implications, give them the information as directly and specifically as possible.

Application Information

  • Calls for the Exemplary Award go out the first week in October, are returned by second week in December, and are recognized by the Board of Governors at their January meeting.  Up to two programs will be awarded a cash prize of $4,000 each.  The theme for this year’s Exemplary Award is “Contextualized Teaching and Learning.” 
  • Calls for the Hayward Award go out the first week in November, are returned by the last week in December, and are recognized by the Board of Governors at their March meeting.  One part-time faculty member from Areas A and D and one full-time faculty member from B and C will be recognized and be awarded a cash prize of $1,250 each. 
  • Calls for the Regina Stanback Stroud Diversity award go out the first week of December, are returned the second week in February, and are recognized at the ASCCC Spring Plenary Session.  One faculty member will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000. 

Sadly, last year the ASCCC did not receive enough applications to present the Hayward Award to full-time faculty or the Stanback Stroud Award on diversity.  We hope that this article provides information about how local senates can create a process for nominating faculty and exemplary programs for statewide recognition.  Please visit the ASCCC website for the call for awards, applications, rubrics, and other information about the ASCCC awards as well as a few examples of successful applications (http://www.asccc.org/awards). 

If you have any questions, please contact us at info [at] asccc.org (info[at]asccc[dot]org)

[1] Hanna, K. (March 2009) Fishing in the Academic Senate's McElligot Pool. ASCCC Rostrum. http://www.asccc.org/content/fishing-academic-senates-mcelligot-pool