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2004 Models of Excellence Program

Dear Penn Faculty and Staff,

The Models of Excellence program recognizes staff member contributions to the University that are above and beyond job expectations and reflect extraordinary innovation, initiative, leadership, cost-effectiveness, and a deep commitment to service.

This program, introduced in 1999, supports the University's standards for excellence, provides models for emulation, and offers an opportunity to honor, award, and celebrate noteworthy accomplishments by Penn staff members.

 We know that each year there are many individual and team accomplishments worthy of special recognition. We encourage you to let us know of these staff member achievements through the nomination process described below.

Thank you for helping us to identify the important achievements and contributions of your Penn colleagues that ensure our continued success as a premier institution of higher education.

Judith Rodin, President
Robert Barchi, Provost
Clifford L. Stanley, Executive Vice President

Standards of Excellence

The following Standards of Excellence are used by the Selection Committee to identify individual staff members or staff teams as "Models of Excellence" for notable contributions to the mission of the University. 

Supportive Practices, Procedures, and Policies

•  Bringing about significant positive change for the University's mission

•  Eliminating significant obstacles to achieving the University's mission

•  Resolving, in unique/novel ways, problems that impede progress

Innovative and Proactive Leadership

•  Utilizing highly effective and/or novel practices to inspire and lead others to contribute constructively to the University's mission

•  Proactively identifying and resolving challenges that interfere with team/unit/school/center activities to further the University's mission

•  Encouraging a coordinated effort by a complex group and facilitating the group's ability to meet complicated goals

Extraordinary Service to Key Constituencies

•  Supporting internal and/or external constituencies in ways that exceed expectations and result in unexpected and very positive outcomes that support the University's mission

Substantial Cost-Effectiveness

•  Identifying improvements to University practices, policies and/or program designs that result in substantial cost savings or financial gain to the University while enhancing the organization's ability to support the University's mission

Exemplary Relationship Building Within and/or Outside of the Immediate Organization

•  Developing and utilizing strong, constructive and productive relationships that enable otherwise impossible goals to be met in support of the University's mission


Nominations of staff members* (individuals or teams) are welcome from any member of the University of Pennsylvania, including self-nominations. Nominations should apply to notable staff member contributions to the University during the previous academic year (July 1 through June 30) that are above and beyond job and performance expectations

Nominations should be typewritten and should include the following:

1. A brief description of the job responsibilities of the nominee(s).

2. A one-sentence description of the contribution and how it reflects one or more of the Standards of Excellence.

3. A description of the achievement, explaining specifically:

a. how the nominee(s) went above and beyond job responsibilities       and expectations,

b. what prompted this endeavor, and

c. what Standards of Excellence were utilized to allow for this extraordinary outcome.

4. The name, current title,  work address, e-mail, and work telephone number of the nominator, nominee(s), and two references (see "References" for more information). 

5. The name, title, work address, e-mail, and work telephone number for the supervisor of each nominated staff member along with a note of confirmation from the supervisor stating that a) the staff member did the work that is being nominated and b) he/she is appropriate for this honor.

* Please note: This program is designed specifically to recognize contributions of weekly and monthly paid staff members of the University of Pennsylvania. Please contact Human Resources with questions regarding eligibility (see "Questions?" for contact information).

Nomination materials (including references) should be sent by intramural mail to:

Human Resources
QOWL--Models of Excellence Program
527-A 3401 Walnut/6228

A step-by-step guide to preparing a Models of Excellence nomination is available at ( Nominator workshops also are available through the Quality of WorkLife (QOWL) Office. See "Questions?" below for contact information.


Each nomination should be accompanied by two (2) University references from individuals, other than the nominee's (or team's) supervisor,  familiar with the work cited. (No more or less than two references should be provided.)

References should confirm and expound on the nominated achievement, explain how the achievement surpasses job assignment and performance expectations and demonstrate how it involved the use of Models Standards of Excellence.

Each reference should address the contribution of every member of a team nomination, either as a group or in terms of each individual. 

References should be typewritten and limited to one page each. These references should be included as part of the nomination, in sealed envelopes labeled with the name(s) of the nominee(s).


All nominations are due by October 30, 2003.


Individuals and/or teams are selected as "Models of Excellence" or accorded an "Honorable Mention" when the contribution to the University is notable the accomplishment is significantly above and beyond job and performance expectations and Models Standards of Excellence were the basis for the outcomes.

Selection Committee

A committee representative of the diversity of our institution, comprised of Penn leaders, including the Provost, Executive Vice President, and Vice President of Human Resources, previous Models of Excellence award winners, and other faculty and staff members from across the campus, review all nominations and select the award winners.


Staff members chosen for these honors are notified in January and this information is publicized broadly to the University community.


A celebration in honor of the "Models of Excellence" and "Honorable Mentions" is held in the spring.


Staff members identified as Models of Excellence receive a cash prize of $500 each and a Models of Excellence award.

Staff members receiving an Honorable Mention receive a cash prize of $250 and an Honorable Mention award.


For more information about this program, see or contact Marilyn Kraut, Director, Quality of Worklife Programs, or (215) 898-0380.


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 3, September 9, 2003