NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

NSM Faculty Award for Excellence in Service - Comments Please

While the College offers award mechanisms for excellence in teaching and junior faculty research, none yet exist for outstanding service. We have drafted such an award opportunity for NSM faculty that was modeled after several similar programs, but most closely to that at Northwestern University. The guiding concepts were to provide faculty with the opportunity to be recognized for their outstanding and sustained service efforts and to extend this opportunity to more faculty by allowing the award to be won only once. The online form has not yet been created.

Please review the draft information below and provide feedback to Jim Briggs, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, (jbriggs@uh.edu) no later than September 17, 2021, so that the College can prepare a final version that will be implemented for the 2021-2022 academic year.

NSM Faculty Award for Excellence in Service

(Modeled after Northwestern University: www.northwestern.edu/provost/faculty-honors/award-for-service/about.html)

Faculty service is integral to faculty governance and excellence at the University of Houston (UH) and in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) yet is often performed without formal recognition or reward. The College of NSM seeks nominations of faculty members who provide outstanding service to their Department, College, and/or University. These faculty are expected to be exemplars of outstanding academic citizenship.

Nominations should clearly demonstrate how the faculty member has gone above and beyond in service that has had a substantial impact on students, faculty, and/or the University. Their service is expected to have significantly enhanced the quality of NSM and UH as an educational institution and community of scholars. Faculty should demonstrate a record of multiple service activities or a single major activity, over a sustained period.

Examples of outstanding service include, but are not limited to:

  • Application of their expertise through participation and service to University associated organizations, committees, and/or governance
  • Exceptional engagement with and in support of faculty, staff, or students
  • Significant contributions in informal roles “behind the scenes” and/or in formal roles
  • Significant involvement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion activities typically involving leadership level roles.

In general, it is expected that teaching and research activities will not fall within the scope of this award mechanism.

Award Amount:

One award in the amount of $5,000 will be made each year if at least four responsive applications are received. The winner will receive a plaque and will have their name added to a cumulative plaque displayed in the Dean’s Office. The awardees will be expected to participate in the NSM Commencement in May.


Full-time faculty of all ranks, including Tenured/Tenure-Track, Clinical, Instructional, and Research faculty in all NSM departments or associated centers, institutes, and programs are eligible for nomination after three years of full-time employment at UH. The Dean, Associate Deans, and Assistant Deans are not eligible. Department Chairs are eligible for service outside of their formal role as Chair. Prior winners of this award are ineligible.

Who May Nominate:

Nominations may be made by faculty, students, or staff. Departments may also nominate an individual. Self-nominations are permitted.

Nomination Process:

All nominations must be submitted using the online form. The nomination form requires a minimum of three letters of support for the nomination where at least one must come from a UH faculty member. The nominee may not provide a letter of support for their own nomination. The letters should explain the nature, extent, and significance of the nominee’s record of extraordinary service to the unit and/or university. The following supporting documentation is also to be submitted: the nominee’s CV; evidence of service, if available; and up to a two-page statement written by the nominee that describes their service. The primary nominator is responsible for collecting and uploading all required materials.

Nomination Deadline:

The annual deadline is the last day of February. If that day falls on a weekend, nominations are due the first business day thereafter.

Selection Process:

Nominations will be reviewed by an ad hoc NSM committee appointed by the Dean. The committee ranking and selection will be reviewed and approved by the Dean.

Additional Information:

Questions can be directed to Jim Briggs, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, NSM, jbriggs@uh.edu.