8.0 Employee Recognition Programs

8.1 Purpose

The University recognizes the contributions and service of its employees through several programs and University-wide communications:  Service Awards program, the Excellence in Community Service Awards, the Staff Excellence in University Service Award, and recognition of retirees. 

8.2 Service Awards Program

The Service Awards Program recognizes full-time regular employees in non-academic administrative, professional, and support staff positions for their service to Missouri State University as they reach each five-year milestone of service.

8.2.1 Eligibility

Service awards are presented annually to all full-time regular employees in non-academic administrative, professional, and support staff positions. Faculty members who transfer to non-academic positions become eligible for an award based on their total years of service at Missouri State University.

8.2.2 Recognized Service

  • Recognized service is based on an employee's total service with the University and includes all periods of full-time regular employment; this does not mean the service must be consecutive years.
  • Periods of service in part-time appointments, including appointments as a student worker or graduate assistant, are not counted.
  • Employees in full-time, nine-month positions receive credit for one year of service for each nine-month period completed.
  • An approved leave of absence (including lay-off) of one year or less is not deducted from the length of service.

8.2.3 Circumstances Affecting Service Recognition

  • Retirement - Employees who retire during the year in which they reached a service recognition milestone and who were in an active payroll status at the time of reaching that milestone will be recognized for their service. Employees who had not reached a service milestone date prior to being removed from active payroll status will be recognized as retirees but not as service award recipients.
  • Deceased employee - The immediate family (i.e., spouse, sponsored dependent, daughter, son, daughter-in-law, son-in-law) of an employee who dies after having reached a service milestone will be recognized for the service of the employee.
  • Lay-Off or Leave of Absence - An employee who is laid-off from work or is on an approved leave of absence during the year in which a service recognition milestone is reached will be recognized upon his/her return to work.
  • Termination of employment – If an employee terminates employment with the University in a year that he/she also reaches a service awards milestone, the employee will be eligible for service recognition provided the employee remains employed the entire calendar year, i.e., through the University's last official work day of the year in which the service milestone was reached.  

8.3 Community Service

The University encourages employees to participate in charitable, civic business, or other community service activities in the community. Community service ordinarily occurs outside the regular work day and should not interfere with an employee's on-the-job responsibilities. It is recognized, however, that community service activities may occur during the regular work day. When this occurs, employees may be granted occasional time away from work to participate in service activities or programs of value to the University or to one or more of its component parts.

Before accepting any responsibility for community service activities that may require time away from work, an employee must receive approval from his/her supervisor and vice president. After approval has been granted, an employee may be able to rearrange his/her work schedule or take a paid or unpaid leave of absence to fulfill the community service responsibilities. If paid or unpaid leave is taken, the time off must be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor.

The priority for each department is to accomplish its mission. Approval for time away from work for community service must not decrease a department's productivity, increase staffing costs including overtime, or reduce the service provided by the department to the University, students, or other constituencies. Administrators should consider fairness and work equity among all employees in the department when approving a request for time away from work for community service.

8.4 Excellence in Community Service Award

The Excellence in Community Service Award is designed to recognize employees who have made a significant contribution to the community through volunteering their time to serve worthy causes.

8.4.1 Eligibility

All full-time regular employees in administrative, professional, and support staff positions are eligible to receive the Staff Excellence in Community Service Award. In order to qualify for the award, recipients shall be required to develop and prepare a statement regarding their service and to participate in university in-service and other University related functions to encourage and assist other employees in similar service.

8.4.2 Nomination and Selection of Award Recipients

Excellence in Community Service Award recipients must be nominated for the award and can be nominated by any person knowledgeable about the community service of the nominee. Selection of recipients is done by the Excellence in Community Service Selection Committee and is based upon the following criteria:

  • Employment with the University for a minimum of three years
  • Demonstrated personal action to serve community causes
  • A significant and sustained record of volunteer service
  • A significant contribution to improve the quality of community life
  • Demonstrated values consistent with the betterment of society
  • Good standing with the University community.

Awards are available for full-time regular staff employees and are awarded based upon the recommendation of the Selection Committee and University administration. Excellence in Community Service Award recipients are not eligible for nomination for a second award.

8.5 Staff Excellence in University Service Award

The purpose of the Staff Excellence in University Service Award is to recognize excellence in service to the University among staff employees. These awards are intended to provide incentives for continued workplace performance for full-time staff employees who evidence significant contributions to the University community. There is no limit on the number of times that an individual employee may receive an award, but individuals may not receive an award in two consecutive years.

8.5.1 Eligibility

Full-time, regular employees in administrative, professional, and support staff positions from the Springfield, Mountain Grove and West Plains campuses who do not hold faculty rank and have at least one year of full-time employment at Missouri State University are eligible to receive an award. In order to qualify for the award, recipients shall be required to develop and prepare a statement regarding their service and to participate in University in-service and other University related functions to encourage and assist other employees in similar service.

8.5.2 Nomination and Selection of Award Recipients

Staff Excellence in University Service Award recipients must be nominated for the award and can be nominated by currently enrolled students, employed staff, faculty, administrators or groups. Selection of recipients is done by a Review Committee. Superior service can be demonstrated in many forms such as:

  • consistently superior service over an extended period of time
  • superior service for a significant project or program during a specific time period
  • performing duties above and beyond the call of duty in a special situation
  • exceptional job performance on a daily basis

Awards are available for full-time, regular staff employees and are awarded based upon the recommendation of the Review Committee and University administration.

8.6 Wall of Fame

In 2003, the University established the Wall of Fame award to recognize the rich heritage of outstanding faculty and staff who have contributed much to the success of the University. The Wall of Fame, which is located outside of the ballroom in the Plaster Student Union, recognizes and honors employees who have excelled at the University and significantly contributed to success and positive collegiate experience of students. While the University has had many outstanding employees, the intention of the Wall of Fame award is to recognize those employees who have had an impact on students which is considered to be truly noteworthy.

8.6.1 Eligibility

To be eligible for the award, a person must no longer be an active, full-time employee of the University, have had at least 10 years of full-time employment with the University at any time during the University's existence, and five years must have passed since the individual was last employed full time at Missouri State.   Individuals who have been honored by having a University facility named for them and/or who are recipients of the Bronze Bear Award are not eligible for the Wall of Fame award.

8.6.2 Nomination and Selection of Award Recipients

Wall of Fame recipients must be nominated for the award and can be nominated by any person from within or outside the University community. Selection of Wall of Fame award recipients is done by the Wall of Fame Selection Committee.  Up to six award recipients are selected each year, with not more than four recipients being staff employees.  Additional information may be obtained at  http://alumni.missouristate.edu/WallofFame.htm.

8.7 Retiree Recognition

The University recognizes the contributions and service of retiring employees as part of the University service awards program.

8.8 Emeritus Status

Emeritus status may be granted to retiring staff and administrative employees as a special recognition for exemplary work performance and outstanding, loyal, and dedicated service to the University. To be eligible for consideration for Emeritus status, an employee must be in retirement status from the University, must have at least 10 years of service in a full-time regular position, and must have the approval of the appropriate administrative officials and the Board of Governors.