While called a "Leadership" award, eligible nominees are not necessarily restricted to appointed leaders (IT department or unit heads, for example). However, to be considered an IT leader, the individual must have exhibited, over an extended period of time, the types of vision, leadership, accomplishments, and recognition among peers that achieve a scope that extends beyond a single IT unit on campus.
- The IT Awards and Recognition Committee will compare any subsequent nomination to the above standards, and, if in its collective opinion, the nominee’s accomplishments and recognition meet the criteria, the committee may decide to award the "Elizabeth Unger Information Technology Leadership Award at Kansas State University".
- There is no mandate that this IT Leadership Award be given every year. The IT Awards and Recognition Committee can receive nominations at any time during any year, and will determine whether or not any nominee meets the standards referred to by Provost Coffman in citing the accomplishments of Dr. Unger as the mark against which all future nominees are measured.
- The IT Awards and Recognition Committee can also nominate a candidate for this award itself, and will use the same standards to determine whether or not a nominee is worthy of recognition in this way.
During his comments at the January 8, 2003 Information Technology All Unit Retreat, former Provost James R. Coffman commended those who were nominated for special recognition during the year for their efforts and service in the field of information technology.
He went on to retrace the IT accomplishments at K-State during the tenure of Dr. Elizabeth Unger as the Vice Provost for Academic Services and Technology …and … Dean of Continuing Education, citing such accomplishments as the:
- design, equipping and operation of 29 high tech classrooms, lecture halls and laboratories
- creation of K-State Online
- Integrated Information Initiative
- LASER Project
- groundbreaking uses of the Internet2
- recognition by Yahoo! Magazine of K-State´s accomplishments by placing KSU in the upper third it´s top 100 "wired" universities in the nation
Dr. Coffman went on to observe, "…that these extraordinary accomplishments don’t just happen. As you know by your awards and recognition process, it takes talented and energetic professionals with the best interest of the university in mind to get things done. But most of all it takes a true visionary to lead the effort."
In recognizing Dr. Unger´s extraordinary vision and leadership, Dr. Coffman bestowed the first ever "Kansas State University Information Technology Leadership Award" to Dr. Elizabeth Unger.
Dr. Coffman went on to suggest that, "should this award be bestowed again in the future… from this point forward, it be called, the ´Elizabeth Unger Information Technology Leadership Award at Kansas State University´".