Nominations open for staff awards

Nov. 21, 2014

Dear staff and faculty,

You've heard me say before that one of UNT's best attributes is our warm, caring community. Much of that is thanks to you — our staff and faculty members — for the passion and dedication you bring to your work in supporting our students on their path to success.

It's always wonderful to see people who do more than their jobs require to make a difference for our students and for each other. We've made it a point to create more meaningful ways to honor that excellence and customer service. Starting in 2015, we will have a bigger and better Staff Appreciation celebration with new staff awards and a month-long series of events. In making this transformation, we've created new awards, events and opportunities for engagement to honor staff in distinct and important ways, much like we’ve done for faculty with Salute to Faculty Excellence.

Every year we will hold Staff Appreciation Month featuring university-wide and departmental celebrations, training and more. The centerpiece will be Staff Appreciation Luncheon during which we will honor outstanding employees for the year with the six awards below. The 2015 Staff Appreciation Month will be in February and the 2015 Staff Appreciation Luncheon will be Feb. 24.

If you have a deserving staff member in your department or division, now is the time to nominate them in one of the award categories below. Each staff award comes with a plaque and a taxable cash award. The deadline for 2015 nominations is Dec. 15. A committee of staff members from each division will evaluate the nominations and make recommendations. 

During our planning workshop in August, one of the things that came up repeatedly was that we needed to find better ways to value our employees so that we could create a stronger culture of service excellence. This is part of that process. We've made these changes based on a thorough analysis of what we could do to better recognize and reward staff members because you are so important to what we do. We received input from staff members, talked with focus groups, read through surveys, looked at best practices and consulted with the Staff Senate.

I'm looking forward to Staff Appreciation Month, and I'm grateful for what each of you does every day to help our students and our university be the best we can be.

UNT proud,

Neal Smatresk