Outstanding Achievement Award


This award may be conferred only on graduates, or former students of the University, who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions or in public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership on a community, state, national, or international level. The candidate's education at the University should represent a significant portion of his or her total postsecondary education. Nominees cannot be a current member of faculty or staff, or a sitting Regent, but retirees are eligible. Outstanding Achievement Awards are not awarded to encourage or reward financial contributions to the University.


The nominator must be a current member of the faculty or staff; or a member of the alumni. Anonymous proposals and self nominations will not be considered.

Selection Process
The All-University Honors Committee manages the process and submits recommendations to the president, who makes recommendations to the Board of Regents.

Nomination Dossier
It is important that the nomination dossier tells a complete and compelling story of the nominee. Toward that effort, make sure the dossier demonstrates that the nominee has achieved the following on a community, state, national, or international level:

  1. Unusual distinction in their chosen field or profession or in public service;
  2. Outstanding achievement; and 
  3. Leadership.

Format of Nomination Dossier
The eight documents described below should be submitted as a single PDF in the following order:

  1. Nomination letter
  2. Letter from campus leadership demonstrating support for the nomination
  3. Supporting letters
  4. Nomination summary
  5. Outstanding accomplishments
  6. Biographical information for the nominee
  7. Selected publications of nominee (if applicable)
  8. Contact information

Nomination letter: should focus on personal knowledge of the nominee's career accomplishments.

A letter from campus leadership demonstrating support for the nomination:

  • For all nominations from the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses, the letter would be from the chancellor. 
  • For nominations from academic units on the Twin Cities campus, the letter would be from the dean of the nominating college.
  • For nominations coming from non-academic units on the Twin Cities campus, the letter would be from the unit’s vice president. 

(Note: In each of the above cases, the chancellor, dean, or vice president may serve as the nominator.)

Supporting letters: three from the nominee's peers in and outside the University, requiring at minimum one from outside the University; again, these should focus on personal knowledge as above. These are in addition to the letter from the nominator and the letter from the dean or chancellor (again, the dean or chancellor may serve as the nominator).

Please refer to this document if you have specific questions regarding how many letters to include in your nomination dossier.

Nomination summary: 250 words or less, restricted to outlining the nominee's accomplishments, excluding degrees and appointments. Should your nominee be granted an Outstanding Achievement Award, the nomination summary you provide will be used to draft the official citation given to the nominee (see samples of official completed citations).

Outstanding accomplishments: one-page summary highlighting the individual's accomplishments.

Biographical information for the nominee: not to exceed five pages and to include current mailing address, email address, and telephone number, date and place of birth, education (graduate or attended classes), and current job title or last job title before retirement. Must contain full biographical information on the nominee and document in detail the particular achievements that are the basis for the award.

Selected publications: not to exceed five pages.

Contact information: separate document with contact information for nominee, nominator, dean or chancellor, persons writing supporting letters, and the award event contact person should the award be granted to the nominee. Include the preferred mailing address, email address, and phone number for each person listed above.


Submit to the honors committee of the appropriate college/unit, if one exists. The nomination is then forwarded by the campus honors committee to the All-University Honors Committee. If a college/unit does not have an honors committee, the nomination should be submitted directly to the All-University Honors Committee, c/o Erin Heath, at [email protected].

Nominations must be submitted as a single PDF file with the email subject line “Nomination Submission to the All-University Honors Committee.”


During the nomination process, no disclosure is to be made to the nominee or others. Efforts will be made to maintain confidentiality with respect to the nomination process, consistent with applicable law.


  • The All-University Honors Committee may reject a nomination either for lack of merit or for lack of adequate documentation. In the latter case the nomination may be revised and re-submitted.
  • In general, award and citation costs are borne by University Awards and Honors, award ceremony costs by the nominating unit, and travel expenses by the awardee. Units sponsoring honorary degrees are encouraged to provide travel support when funds are available.

If you have any questions about the nominating process, please contact Erin Heath, director, University Senate Office and University Awards and Honors, at [email protected] or 612-625-4805.