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K-State Today

December 3, 2013



Seeking nominations for Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head

By Gail Zeak

The president’s office and the Curtin Companies are offering an award for an Outstanding Academic Department Head. An honorarium of $5,000 is provided with this award.     

Each dean may nominate up to two individuals from his or her college. Each nomination packet should include: 

  1. A letter of nomination from the dean that describes in detail why the nominee is deserving of this award (maximum of three pages),
  2. Nominee’s curriculum vitae,
  3. Letters of support (not more than three total) that come from faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, classified or unclassified staff, or others who work extensively with the nominee, (additional letters will not be considered),
  4. A description by the nominee of his or her philosophy on leadership and management of a department (one-page limit). 

Please submit all nomination materials electronically in pdf format to Gail Zeak, gaill@k-state.edu. 

Nominations must be received by the office of the provost and senior vice president by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. An advisory committee will make a recommendation to the provost.

Included below is information about the criteria to be used in the review of the nominations and the information to be included in the nomination packet. The letter of nomination from the dean is typically considered by the advisory committee to be a key element in the selection process. The award will be presented at a reception sponsored by the president’s office for all of the recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence. The recipient also will be recognized at the annual Fall Department Heads Retreat.  

This is an excellent way in which to recognize the efforts of your academic department heads, and I encourage each of you to nominate appropriate individuals from your college.  

Criteria for the selection of Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head 

The advisory committee will evaluate nominations on the evidence of qualities that distinguish the nominee as an outstanding department head.  Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: 

  1. Role and scope of the department.
    1. Brief overview of the nominee’s responsibilities. 
  1. Accomplishments and governance as a department head.
    1. Displays leadership qualities, e.g., is proactive and positive, fair and equitable, has a caring attitude, is able to make difficult decisions, is able to delegate when appropriate, and fosters an inclusive approach to accomplishing tasks, and manages conflict effectively.                                                                                                    
    2. Fosters a departmental environment that is a positive atmosphere for achievement.
    3. Displays vision for the department, and integrates departmental strategic planning and thinking with mission and goals for the university.
    4. Empowers the department faculty and staff.
    5. Is innovative with regard to new programs, infrastructure, facilities, and organization.
    6. Shows achievements in areas such as recruitment of outstanding faculty and students.
    7. Promotes professional development for all department personnel
    8. Participates in professional development opportunities both within and outside the university.
    9. Promotes diversity and understanding of difference among faculty, staff, and students. 
  1. Service/cooperation with other units in the college and university.
    1. Places emphasis on collaboration within and among departments.
    2. Is an active citizen of both the college and university. 
  1. Service to external clientele, professional societies and to the community.

Nomination packet

The nomination packet should contain the following items:

  • Current curriculum vitae.
  • Recommendation letter from the dean (three-page limit).
  • Up to three letters of support: These can be from faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, classified staff, or others who work extensively with the nominee, but need not come from all of these groups, (additional letters will not be considered).
  • Description by the nominee of his/her philosophy on leadership and management of a department (one-page limit).

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