Personnel - Awards
CESP 1-74: Extension Excellence Awards Program
Date Revised: 7-27-2022
Summary: Establishes policy for nine awards intended to foster teamwork, professional development and overall excellence.
Extension Excellence Awards recognize effort and achievement of full-time employees with 50% or greater Extension appointment or teams with 50% or greater Extension effort. Awards may not be conferred every year.
County Team Award
The County Team Award (up to 9 individuals) recognizes the county or counties whose staff (classified or non-classified) best demonstrates a consistent and cohesive team approach to programs and county office operations within or across county boundaries. Program enhancement funds of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team. Team members will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension. Nomination materials may include up to three previous completed calendar years, in addition to the current year.
State Team Award
The State Team Award (up to 9 individuals) recognizes the unit(s) or department(s) whose staff (classified or non-classified) best demonstrates a consistent and cohesive team approach to programs. Program enhancement funds of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team. Team members will determine a plan for spending the award dollars, subject to approval by the Associate Vice-President for Agriculture – Extension. Nomination materials may include up to three previous completed calendar years, in addition to the current year.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Award
The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Award recognizes special efforts to reach and serve underrepresented groups in Arkansas regarding nationality, ethnicity, race, color, age, disability, gender, socio-economic class, religion, and or other human differences. In doing such, these efforts will advance Extension’s endeavors of building a more diverse, accessible, and inclusive culture and environment, moving beyond the minimum requirements, when engaging with and working for all Arkansans. Winners of the award will exemplify the inclusive qualities of DEIA efforts in the execution of their roles within the Division. Classified and non-classified employees are eligible. Teams and individuals may both compete. An individual winner will receive $2,000 in program enhancement funds. A winning team will receive $5,000 in program enhancement funds.
- Diversity - seeking to ensure a range of people with various racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, cultural, sexual orientation, age, lifestyle, access, experience, and interest backgrounds are represented across Extension and our community.
- Equity - seeking to ensure fair treatment, regardless of equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to resources and information to all.
- Inclusion - seeking to build a culture of belonging by actively inviting contribution and participation.
- Access - seeking to expand access to Extension programs within business, communities, government leaders, online, and with others. Expanding the way Extension incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion into daily operations.
Early Career Awards
The Early Career Awards are intended to recognize, reward, and motivate employees who, early in their careers with Extension, have demonstrated initiative, involvement, leadership, and excellence in support of the mission and goals of the Cooperative Extension Service. Individual classified and non-classified employees with 0-5 total years of service with CES are eligible regardless of type of position or time in a particular position. The recipient in each of the five categories below receives a check of $2,000 (gross amount) to use at the employee’s discretion.
- Classified Employee
- County Extension Faculty
- State Extension Faculty (Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Distinguished Professor)
- Program Technician/Associate
- Project/Program Administrator (Project/program administrators typically serve in a support unit: Communications, Facility Management, Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Printing Services, Program & Staff Development, or Sponsored Programs.)
Employee of the Year
The Employee of the Year award recognizes performance “above and beyond the call of duty” during the previous year on behalf of Extension. Performance should be the “gold standard” for which all employees should strive. The individual recipient receives a check of $5,000.
The Senior Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension appoints a ten-member Extension Excellence Awards Committee, with representation from among the various categories of employees: classified; non-classified ANR, FCS, CPED, 4-H and Support Units; LRSO; county; and past award winners. The Senior Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension designates the committee chair.
Committee members are on staggered four-year appointments. In addition to the ten voting members, an ex officio member will remain on the committee over time to coordinate and provide administrative continuity and stability. After the first year, the ex officio member will not be eligible to vote or serve as committee chair.
Membership on this committee is recognized as a job responsibility, with appropriate allocation of time, travel, and professional development credit. Travel associated with committee membership will be supported by Administration through county and departmental budgets.
Nomination and Selection
Each year, the Office of the Senior Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension will call for nominations for the Extension Excellence Awards. Nominations will be submitted online as instructed using the Extension Excellence Awards Nomination Form. The awards committee will recommend recipients for each award to the Senior Associate Vice-President for Agriculture-Extension. Winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the annual Extension Employee Conference in December.
Award winners may not be nominated for subsequent annual awards on the basis of the same award-winning project, program, or achievement. Employees may be nominated for an individual award and also nominated as member of a team competing for a different award.
Administration reserves the right to cancel or reduce the amount of the awards when budgetary constraints adversely affect Extension’s operations.