Chancellor's Award Guidelines

The Chancellor’s Awards for Staff are the highest awards the University of Pittsburgh grants to full-time and part-time, classified and union staff members in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the University or their community.


The University is fortunate to have staff members who demonstrate continuous, meritorious performance. However, there are those whose performance consistently exceeds the standards and expectations set for their position or within the community.

Number and Description of Awards

The Chancellor’s Awards will recognize the diversity of all ranks of staff members and represent a cross section of campus responsibility centers and the regional campuses. Nominations will be evaluated to identify nominees who have made a significant contribution in one or more of the following areas:

  • Student Impact: A staff member whose efforts have helped our students succeed and grow as individuals, contributed to the quality of life for our students, demonstrated consistently excellent customer service, and promoted and supported a culture of diversity and respect on our campuses.
  • Research Impact: A staff member who has worked to advance the University’s research efforts, including, but not limited to conducting research and providing other forms of research support. 
  • Administrative and Operational Efficiency: A staff member who has made exceptional contributions toward the effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace, including implementing innovative approaches to improving productivity or developing cost-saving plans.
  • Institutional Citizenship: An employee who extends their commitment to the University by serving on committees, working on special projects, or volunteering to assist with events or programs outside of the normal work environment. 
  • Community Impact: An employee who has dedicated themselves to making their community a better place to live and to improving the quality of life for others.
  • Career Achievement: A staff member with more than 20 years of unparalleled service to the University who, throughout their career, has made exceptional contributions to the success of their department and the University, who has earned the respect of their peers, and whose efforts have defined what it means to be part of the Pitt community. 
  • Early Career: A staff member with three-to-five years of experience, who within that short period of time, has exceeded the expectations of their position, taken on numerous assignments, and demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the University. 
  • Diversity and Inclusion: A staff member who has contributed to the University’s diversity initiatives and worked to create a culture of inclusion in their department, business unit, or school and the University. 
  • Mentoring: An employee who serves as a role model and mentor to their colleagues, helping them to improve their skills, acclimate to new positions, or learn new processes so that they can achieve success in their careers at Pitt. 
  • Support and Service to the University: An employee who provides support and service to the University and thereby enhanced the overall quality of life for all members of the community.

Recipients of the Chancellor’s Award will be announced in the Pitt Chronicle, receive a $2,500 prize, and be recognized at a special reception. As a more permanent tribute, their names will be added to a plaque displayed in the William Pitt Union that is inscribed with the names of all recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards.

Nomination Process 

  • Nominators should review the Eligibility Requirements and Criteria for Selection sections of these Guidelines then complete and submit the Nomination Form online here
  • If eligibility is confirmed, the nominee, nominee’s supervisor, and nominator will receive notice of the nomination.
  • Nominees should then collect supporting information based on the Criteria for Selection and submitted by the deadline stated in the notice letter. Supporting information should include:
    • Three letters of recommendation supporting the nominee from individuals who have benefited from their services (e.g., faculty, staff, students, alumni, etc.). 
    • A listing of services that the nominee has performed for the University, including service on committees and task forces (e.g., process improvement teams, mapping teams, United Way, Staff Association Council, Equipoise, the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, etc.). 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominees must be part-time or full-time staff members at the University for a minimum of three years for individuals being nominated in the Early Career category and a minimum of five years for all other award categories.
  • A nominee’s annual review and continued performance must exceed performance standards, and he/she must be an employee in good standing at the University with no adverse employment actions within the last 12 months.
  • A staff member who was previously nominated may be nominated again. However, supporting information must be submitted to the Committee again.
  • If a nominee is a past recipient of a Chancellor’s Award, he/she is not eligible to be nominated.

Criteria for Selection

The successful nominee must satisfy the criteria described in these guidelines. These criteria should be addressed in recommendation letters and other supporting documentation. Recommendation letters should give specific examples of how the nominee demonstrated a consistent pattern of extraordinary dedication to the University that is regularly beyond the responsibilities of the nominee’s position. 


Any individual within the University community, including students and alumni, as well as members of the larger community, may nominate a staff member for an Award. Self-nominations also are allowed.

Awards Committee 

The Awards Committee is appointed by the Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Chief of Staff. The Committee consists of the following staff representatives all of whom are voting members: the President of the Staff Association Council, or their designee; a member from the prior year's Committee; a previous Award recipient; a Regional Campus representative; an Office of Human Resources representative; up to four at-large members chosen by the Chancellor, or his designee, to reflect the diverse population of the University staff; and the Chair. In addition, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources serves as a nonvoting member.