Award through Career and Employment Services

Student Employee of the Year Award

Awards and Honors through the Office of the Provost

K-State University Support Staff Award of Excellence

Award Nomination Deadline: February 6

This university-wide award was established to recognize exemplary performance and contributions of university support staff members who consistently excel in their positions and demonstrate integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of Kansas State University. The purposes of this award include:

  1. Publicizing the positive attributes and contributions made by university support staff;
  2. Rewarding and recognizing individuals who achieve excellence; and
  3. Encouraging a high degree of consciousness regarding excellence in the workplace for the entire campus staff.

Three award winners will be selected; one each from the following categories; Office and Clerical, Technical and Professional, and Service and Maintenance. The submitted paragraphs about each winner will be printed in the annual Employee Recognition program and will be read at the University Support Staff Employee Recognition Ceremony. Each winner will receive:

  • Letter of Acknowledgment from the University President
  • Gross Check for $1000.00 (reduced by any award payment received under the University Support Staff Employee of the Year Award.)
  • Acknowledgment in K-State Today
  • Name added to plaque located in Anderson Hall (winners will be added yearly)
Eligibility and Criteria

All university support staff benefits eligible staff members, full or part time, are eligible to be nominated for the K-State University Support Staff Award of Excellence if they have completed one or more years of consecutive service to Kansas State University and if they have not been recipients of the award within the past five years. Criteria for the award are the following:

  1. Outstanding Achievement and Performance: consistently and substantially exceeds the expectations of the position, performing at a level above and beyond normal job requirements; has made important and significant contributions in their area; has furthered the mission of the unit, college, and/or university.
  2. Inspirations of Excellence in Others: consistently and substantially demonstrates an ability and willingness to work positively, respectfully, and effectively with others; has significantly improved customer service or has increased student satisfaction in their area; demonstrates ability and willingness to manage changes in work priorities, procedures, and organization.
  3. Initiative and Creativity: has significantly improved a work process or system, or has significantly increased the efficiency of an operation or department/unit; consistently seeks to improve the quality of work assigned; demonstrates efforts to expand work responsibilities.
Nomination Process

Current faculty, staff, administrators, and/or students at Kansas State University may nominate university support staff members to be considered for this award. No self-nominations will be accepted and all nominations will be confidential. Nominations require the completion of the nomination form and three letters of support. Nominations will be forwarded to the K-State University Support Staff Award for Excellence Selection Committee.

Awards Selection Committee

A University committee consisting of 10 members: 9 voting & 1 ex-officio, selected from the Manhattan and/or Salina campuses, consisting of one University Support Staff Senate representative, one Faculty Senate representative, one SGA Senate representative, one university support staff at-large representative, one unclassified at-large representative, one student at-large representative, previous year award winners (3), and an ex-officio HR liaison will make up the K-State University Support Staff Award of Excellence selection committee. For the first year and only the first year, the selection committee will not include the previous year winners (3). University Support Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, and SGA Senate will provide the names for their respective representatives.

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources, at 532-6277 or e-mail

University Support Staff Employee Opportunity Fund

University Support Staff Employee Opportunity Fund donations are made to help with academic achievement, work expense not funded by their department or to reward outstanding leadership.

University Support Employee of the Year Award and Recognition Program Guidelines


The program provides an employee award and recognition system authorized by K.S.A. 75-37, 105. The program is designed to recognize an employee's contribution to the objectives of Kansas State University through excellence in performance and service.

Employees of the Year are selected based on either:

  • A notable event or achievement that is significant in scope, effort or impact on department operations or service to the campus community, or
  • Execution of duties of the position far beyond the service level commonly expected by the employee's customers that is of great benefit to, or reflects highly on, the department and or the university.

The award should indicate achievement well beyond the norm. In general, the minimum required level of achievement should not be so high as to be unattainable by employees who are generally recognized as performing in an outstanding manner, nor so low that the award looses significance by being easily attainable.


All university support staff benefits eligible regular, full or part time employees are eligible.

This award is limited to those employees who are recognized as Employees of the Year at the University Support Staff Recognition Ceremony in the spring.

Each fiscal year departments may select one employee for the award or two employees, as co-recipients, may be selected for the award.

Award Types

Departments may provide a monetary award to an employee or co-recipients not to exceed $300 (net of taxes) individually, under this program during a fiscal year. The award will be paid using department funds or foundation funds.

All monetary awards must meet the conditions for a discretionary bonus set out in 29 C.F.R. 778.211. The monetary award must meet each of the following conditions in order to qualify as a discretionary bonus:

  • The department head retains total discretion both as to the fact of the award and as to the amount and nature of any award;
  • The amount and the nature of an award, if any, is determined by the department head without prior promise or agreement;
  • The employee has no contract right, express or implied, to any award; and
  • The award is not paid pursuant to any prior contract, agreement, or promise.

In effect, discretionary awards are not anticipated or expected by an employee. For example, if an employee knows that an award will be given if he or she does "x, y, and z", the award becomes nondiscretionary. This type of award is not allowed under the state guidelines.

Program Procedures
Award Payment

Monetary awards must be paid through the payroll system and included in taxable gross income, and are subject to all applicable taxes and employer contributions. These include federal and state withholding taxes, OASDI, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance, and State Leave Assessment. Monetary awards are not subject to deductions under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).

The maximum allowable amount is $300 (net of taxes) per individual per fiscal year.

President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals

Purpose of the Award

The purpose of these awards is to foster excellence in the workplace by rewarding and recognizing unclassified professional staff who achieve excellence and/or make exemplary contributions to the mission and values of K-State through service as a team player, exceptional productivity, creativity or innovation, distinguished accomplishment, and/or leadership.

Eligibility and Criteria

All unclassified professional staff members with a minimum of three years of continuous service, who are employed at a five-tenths or greater regular or term appointment, shall be eligible for the award. The University Handbook defines unclassified professionals as "all individuals who do not hold academic rank and do not have a civil service classification."

Nominees are eligible for a maximum of one award in an application year. An employee may receive this award only once every five years.

Unclassified professionals may be nominated in one or more of the following areas of accomplishment. Additional information is provided on the nomination form.

  • Team Building, Group Activity, Service to the University - Participation in a cooperative/collaborate setting promotes teamwork, effective delegation, and attainment of the charge or goal of the group. The unclassified professional staff member is recognized as a valuable team player that engages others, works toward consensus, considers opinions from a diverse team and enhances teamwork.
  • Productivity, Creativity, Innovation - Increases in work productivity, and/or new or improved processes or services that result from the employee's contributions. The unclassified professional staff member contributes through creative effort — program development, marketing, use of technology, or other accomplishments — that yields significant benefit for their unit, the campus or the larger community.
  • Distinguished Accomplishment - An event or achievement that is significant in scope, effort or impact. The employee's efforts lead to notable recognition and/or benefit for Kansas State University, its employees, students, or its constituents, including citizens of the state of Kansas.
  • Leadership - Leadership of a unit, department or university organization that has made a distinct and positive impact. The employee has implemented significant, positive changes or improvements and/or led in a way that models and fosters an excellent team environment.
Nomination Process

Current faculty, staff, administrators, and/or students at Kansas State University may nominate individuals to be considered for this award. No self-nominations will be accepted. All nominations will be confidential. Nominations require the completion of the nomination form and are due February 6.

Nominations will be reviewed and awarded by the President's Award of Excellence for Unclassified Professionals Selection Committee.

Award and Presentation of the Award

Four award winners will be selected annually, one in each category. The award(s) will be presented in the spring of each year. The recipient(s) will receive a letter of commendation from the President of the University, a monetary award of $1000, and acknowledgment in K-State Today. The recipient(s) also will be recognized at a reception hosted by the President.

Awards Selection Committee

A university committee appointed by the president will consist of seven voting and one ex-officio member. Representatives will be selected from the faculty (1), university support staff (1), undergraduate students (1), graduate students (1), and unclassified professionals (3). After the first year, committee appointments will be staggered to provide continuity. Committee members will serve terms no longer than two years.

University Support Staff Senate, Faculty Senate, Student Governing Association and the Graduate Student Council will provide the names for their respective constituencies. Faculty Senate will recommend four individuals (one faculty member and three unclassified professionals). The ex-officio member will be appointed by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and will serve as the point of contact for the award. Broad representation across the various campuses, and inclusive of the offices of Research and Extension, is encouraged.

Contact Human Resources for additional information at 785-532-6277 or

Non-Monetary Award Ideas

  • Give the employee a Balloon (anchored with chocolate)
  • Hang a banner in employee's work area celebrating employee's accomplishment(s)
  • Give out Certificate of Appreciation
  • Decorate employee's work area in a fun way
  • Email to the employee acknowledging a job well done with a copy to their supervisor or department head
  • Select an Employee of the week/month for the unit/area
  • Send an "Exceptional Service" letter signed by the department head
  • Give Flowers
  • Have a bulletin board specifically for notes of recognition
  • Give immediate verbal or email feedback when employee does well
  • Lunch with department head
  • Nominate employee for university support staff award
  • Have a floating trophy that gets passed around for special accomplishments
  • Personal Thank You note (send it to the home address)
  • Place public acknowledgement(s) on a bulletin board, unit web site or newsletter
  • Hold quarterly or monthly dept./unit celebration for recognitions
  • Super stone - find a rock, decorate it, move it around as employees go above and beyond.
  • Take employee to Call Hall and buy them ice cream
  • Take employee to lunch or for coffee
  • Give tickets for an athletic or cultural event
HRIS Employee Self Service
University Handbook
KSU Policy & Procedures Manual