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Part 1 - Introduction
 
Purpose and philosophy. The Reward and Recognition Plan is intended to honor full-time teaching faculty whose exceptional professional accomplishments, contributions, and activities support the mission of the college and the Virginia Community College System, promote a vigorous learning environment, and demonstrate extraordinary talent and potential in one or more performance domains: Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, and Service.
 
All full-time teaching faculty in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) are expected to meet high standards of performance expectations as prescribed elsewhere in this Faculty Development and Evaluation Model Plan. However, for faculty who substantially exceed those expectations in one or more domains of faculty activity, the college has designed this Reward and Recognition Plan to provide meaningful and timely recognition of professional excellence.
The Reward and Recognition Program is designed to acknowledge and laud exceptional faculty accomplishments, contributions, and activities that support the mission of the college. Because such instances of professional excellence among faculty may be observed by students, adjunct faculty, full-time teaching faculty, staff, or administrators, the Reward and Recognition Plan provides many opportunities for award nomination.  Nominations for Recognition may come from the faculty member or their dean/supervisor or any other stakeholder.  Nominations for Reward will come from a faculty member, dean/supervisor, or other employees of the college or VCCS. In addition, the Reward and Recognition Plan offers sufficient flexibility to honor a variety of extraordinary accomplishments, contributions, and activities that are relevant to teaching faculty.
 
The Reward and Recognition Plan adheres to a culture of evidence, in the belief that a faculty member’s documentary record of exceptional performance should be sufficient to establish the nature and extent of the faculty member’s participation, effectiveness, and achievement for which the reward or recognition is bestowed.
 
Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee
 

At the beginning of each academic year, the president of the college will appoint members of the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee. Full-time teaching faculty members shall constitute a majority of the membership of the committee. The committee membership will also include at least one academic dean or higher-level academic administrator, at least one Student Services representative, and at least one Human Resources representative.

The term of appointments to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee shall extend to the end of the academic year for which members were appointed. Members may be reappointed to multiple and/or successive terms of service on the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee.
 
A faculty representative to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee is eligible to be nominated to receive Reward and/or Recognition awards pursuant to the Reward and Recognition Plan during the member’s term of service on the committee. Committee members who are nominated for Reward or Recognition shall recuse themselves from reviewing their own applications.
 
The Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee will meet as necessary to properly administer the Reward and Recognition Plan.
 
 
The Faculty Recognition Program recognizes exemplary achievement by faculty. The Recognition program consists of two awards systems: The Learning Environment Awards Program and the Annual Faculty Recognition Awards Program.
 
Eligibility (Recognition Awards)
 
In order to eligible to receive an award in the Faculty Recognition Program, an individual must:
 
  • Be a member of the full-time teaching faculty
  • Have received an evaluative rating of “Meets Expectations” as of the most recently completed comprehensive faculty evaluation
  • Be current in the establishment, assessment, and satisfactory progress on Annual Performance and Professional Development Objectives.
 
Each year, a faculty member may receive multiple Learning Environment Awards as well as no more than one (1) Annual Faculty Recognition Award.
 
Learning Environment Awards
 
The college is committed to providing an invigorating learning environment for its students, faculty, and staff. To this end, the college has established the Learning Environment Awards Program as a means of recognizing, on an ongoing basis, extraordinary and exemplary contributions to the learning environment by full-time teaching faculty in one or more of the following areas: Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, and Service.
 
In order to acknowledge such behaviors and contributions by full-time teaching faculty, the Learning Environment Awards Program provides continuous opportunities for fellow faculty members, administrators, staff, students, and members of the community to identify full-time teaching faculty who should be considered for a Learning Environment Award. It is expected that Learning Environment Awards will be announced throughout the year and that these awards will be more numerous than the Annual Recognition Awards or the awards in the Reward program.
 
Nomination Process (Learning Environment Awards). Those who wish to recommend a faculty member for a Learning Environment Award may do so at any time by submitting a completed Learning Environment Award Form (Appendix J) to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee.
 
The Learning Environment Award Form (Appendix J) includes the name of the faculty member recommended for the award, the teaching discipline or academic school with which the faculty member is associated, a brief description of the behavior or contribution being recognized, the approximate date(s) that the behavior or contribution was observed, the name of the individual submitting the form, and the date of submission.
 
Review and Selection (Learning Environment Awards)
 
The Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee will review nominations for Learning Environment Awards in a timely manner, determine if the activity or contribution described is consistent with the intent and standards of the Learning Environment Awards Program, and notify nominees if they are to receive a Learning Environment Award. The committee shall also make award recipients aware of any further steps necessary to take delivery of the award.
 
The nature and value of Learning Environment Awards may vary and are to be determined by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee. In general, however, recipients of the Learning Environment Awards receive a certificate of recognition, recognition in the college newsletter and/or on the college website, a commemorative keepsake, and a certificate that allows the faculty member to receive a specific item of personal property that is minimal in value.
 
Annual Faculty Recognition Awards
 
Each year, the college presents a series of Faculty Recognition Awards to full-time teaching faculty who have been nominated and selected for exemplary achievements, contributions, or activities in the areas of Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, and/or Service. Each Faculty Recognition Award is associated with a specific area of faculty responsibility as indicated by the title of the award and the criteria for selection of recipients.
 
The Faculty Teaching Effectiveness Award
 
Awarded to a member of the full-time teaching faculty whose performance in the classroom or other instructional environment best exemplifies effectiveness in promoting student achievement, including
 
  •  Conducting extraordinary or innovative learning activities to the benefit of students
  •  Designing instructional materials to improve student learning
  •  Developing delivery modalities that expand student access  
  •  Demonstrating exceptional achievement of student learning outcomes.

 

The Faculty Scholarly and Creative Engagement Award

 
Awarded to a member of the full-time teaching faculty who has achieved a significant academic scholarly accomplishment through research, publishing and/or professional presentations, grant activity, or creative works, including
 
  • Research in the teaching discipline, instructional pedagogy, or instructional technology
  • Publication in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, or other recognized media
  • Receipt of a major grant or significant contribution to grant development or review
  • Production or public exposition of creative works in visual arts, performing arts, musical arts, literary arts, or other fine arts
  • Presentation and/or major speech at professional organizations or events
  • Honors, awards, or recognition from professional organizations.
 
The Faculty Institutional Responsibility Award
 
Awarded to a member of the full-time teaching faculty who has achieved a major accomplishment of significant or world-class quality that furthers the college's achievement of its strategic priorities, including
 
  • Providing leadership for a major strategic initiative
  • Chairing a committee or task force that leads to a significant improvement in student success, business processes, or instructional quality
  • Singly or jointly achieving a major accomplishment of significant or world-class quality that supports the college's strategic plan or the strategic goals of the VCCS.
  • The Faculty Community Impact Award. Awarded to a member of the full-time teaching faculty who has greatly impacted the college's image through community service and/or involvement, including
  • Involvement in a community event such as charity fund raisers, events to foster diversity awareness, or other events designed to benefit the local community
  • Volunteerism at a local community agency, school, or church
  • Service on the board of a local community service agency.
 
The Faculty Diversity Awareness, Inclusivity, & Multicultural Enrichment Award
 
Awarded to a member of the full-time teaching faculty who demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to helping the college celebrate the richness of different cultures and diversity, including
 
  • Conducting activities or events that are designed to enhance diversity awareness, foster inclusivity, and celebrate multiculturalism at the college
  • Developing and employing innovative teaching strategies that promote an inclusive learning environment
  • Challenging and motivating others to be respectful of diverse cultures, to remove barriers to inclusion, and to foster an atmosphere of acceptance and support in the classroom and throughout the college.  
The Faculty Leadership Award
 
Awarded annually to a member of the full-time teaching faculty who demonstrates leadership and commitment to the college, including:
 
  • Leadership and commitment to a strategic initiative
  • Leadership and commitment to a special project
  • Leadership and commitment to an organization unit
  • Leadership and commitment to a college committee.
 
Nomination Process (Annual Faculty Recognition Awards)
 
On or about March 1 of each year, the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee will solicit formal nominations for each of the Annual Faculty Recognition Awards. A faculty member may be self-nominated for an Annual Faculty Recognition Award, or may be nominated by an immediate supervisor, by a faculty colleague at the college, by an administrator at the college, by any other college employee, by a student or group of students, or by any other stakeholder.
 
Those who wish to nominate a faculty member for an Annual Faculty Recognition Award may do so at any time by completing and submitting the Annual Faculty Recognition Award Nomination Form (Appendix J) corresponding to the specific award for which the nominee is being recommended. The completed form shall be submitted to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee.
 
Each Faculty Recognition Award Nomination Form includes the name of the faculty member who is being nominated, the teaching discipline or academic school with which the faculty member is associated, a brief summary of the rationale for the nomination, the name of and contact information for the individual submitting the nomination, and the date of submission.
 
Review and Selection (Annual Recognition Awards). By May 1, the committee will complete its review and evaluation of all nominations and will select those nominees, subject to the approval of the president, who are to receive a Faculty Recognition Award. Recipients of Annual Faculty Recognition Awards are recognized at the year-end Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony.
 
The nature and value of Annual Faculty Recognition Awards may vary and are to be determined by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee. In general, however, recipients of an Annual Faculty Recognition Award receive a certificate of recognition, recognition in the college newsletter and on the college website, a commemorative keepsake, and a certificate that allows the faculty member to receive a specific item of personal property that is minimal in value.
 
Number, Nature, and Value of Recognition Awards. The number, nature, and value of faculty recognition awards will vary and are to be determined by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee. In general, however, faculty recognition awards should be more frequent and numerous than awards distributed through the Faculty Reward Program. Recognition awards are to be of non-monetary or de minimis value. The Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee should give due consideration to the potential for tax implications associated with certain types of awards. Recipients of faculty recognition awards are responsible for any tax liabilities associated with acceptance of these awards. Specific information regarding de minimis benefits can be found in the De Minimis Fringe Benefits section of the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/Government-Entities/Federal,-State-&-Local-Governments/De-Minimis-Fringe-Benefits.
 
 
The college’s Faculty Reward Program consists of the annual Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence which are awarded each year to those faculty members who substantially and demonstrably exceed performance expectations in one or more of the following areas:  Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, or Service. In order to be considered for a Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, an eligible faculty member must be nominated for the award and must submit the necessary documentation to support that nomination, in accordance with the guidelines prescribed below. In order to receive a Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, an eligible faculty member who has been nominated and for whom the necessary supporting documentation has been provided must be selected by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee to receive the award.
 
Eligibility (Faculty Award for Professional Excellence)
 
In order to eligible to receive a Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, an individual must
 
  • Be a member of the full-time teaching faculty who is not in the first year of full-time employment as full-time teaching faculty at the college
  • Have received an evaluative rating of “Meets Expectations” as of the most recently completed comprehensive faculty evaluation;
  • Be current in the establishment, assessment, and satisfactory progress on Annual Performance and Professional Development Objectives.
 
A faculty member may receive no more than one (1) Faculty Award for Professional Excellence per fiscal year.
Nomination Process (Faculty Award for Professional Excellence). An eligible faculty member may be self-nominated for a Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, or may be nominated by the immediate supervisor, by a full-time teaching faculty colleague at the college, or by any other employee of the college or VCCS.
Nominations are to be made by submitting the completed the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence Nomination Form (Appendix J) to the Office of Human Resources by March 15 each year (Table 3). The Faculty Award for Professional Excellence Nomination Form includes the name of the faculty member who is being nominated; the teaching discipline or academic school with which the faculty member is associated; a brief description of the extraordinary accomplishment, contribution, or activity for which the faculty member is being nominated; the name and signature of the individual submitting the form; the position held by the individual submitting the form; and the date of submission.
Upon receipt of a completed Faculty Award for Professional Excellence Nomination Form, the Office of Human Resources will notify the nominee and provide guidance to the nominee regarding the required supporting documentation and submission deadlines.
 
Table 3
Faculty Award for Professional Excellence Timeline
March 15
Nominations for Faculty Award for Professional Excellence due to the Office of Human Resources. Application portfolios in support of nominations may be submitted after this date but must be received prior to March 31.
March 31
Nominations and application portfolios forwarded from the Office of Human Resources to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee.
May 1
Recipients of Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence selected by Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee.
May 15
Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence presented.
 
The Application Portfolio (Faculty Award for Professional Excellence). The Faculty Award for Professional Excellence is presented to full-time teaching faculty who are able to demonstrate exceptional performance in one or more areas of faculty endeavor: Teaching, Scholarly and Creative Engagement, Institutional Responsibility, or Service. Nominees must submit an application portfolio that includes a completed Faculty Award for Professional Excellence application form (Appendix K) which provides a summary of the accomplishment, contribution, or activity for which they were nominated and also includes supporting documentation of exceptional performance. Evidence provided in the application portfolio should be sufficient to establish that the accomplishment, contribution, or activity was innovative or otherwise distinctive, impactful, and supportive of the college’s mission, vision, and values.
 
An application portfolio to support exceptional performance in the area of Teaching should contain clear and compelling evidence of extraordinary accomplishment in (1) instructional methodology, (2) student achievement and success, (3) student engagement, (4) learning outcomes assessment, (5) innovative use of instructional technology, and/or (6) offering a course in a new delivery modality (e.g. online).
 
An application portfolio to support exceptional performance in the area of Scholarly and Creative Engagement should contain clear and compelling evidence of extraordinary accomplishment in (1) continuing education, academic coursework, or degree attainment, (2) publications, presentations, or creative works, (3) activity in professional organizations, (4) scholarly research, and/or (5) grant activity.
 
An application portfolio to support exceptional performance in the area of Institutional Responsibility should contain clear and compelling evidence of extraordinary accomplishment in (1) special projects, (2) student advising, (3) administrative responsibilities, (4) leadership in one’s academic discipline, department, or division, and/or (5) other non-teaching duties.
An application portfolio to support exceptional performance in the area of Service should contain clear and compelling evidence of extraordinary accomplishment in (1) service to the institution, (2) service to the community, and/or (3) service to the profession.
 
The application portfolio, including the narrative summary and all supporting documentation should be complete, yet concise. As a guideline, the application portfolio should not exceed ten (10) one-sided pages in length. The application portfolio must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources by the prescribed deadline.
 
Review and Selection (Faculty Award for Professional Excellence). The Office of Human Resources will forward all nominations for the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, along with the corresponding application portfolios, to the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee by no later than March 31 each year. All nominations and portfolios will be reviewed and evaluated by the committee in accordance with a rubric specifically designed for this purpose. The committee will not review application portfolios that are incomplete or that do not conform to prescribed guidelines. Incomplete or non-conforming application portfolios may be returned to the nominee by the Office of Human Resources or by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee, but will be considered by the committee only if corrected, resubmitted, and received by the committee by the March 31 deadline (Table 3).
 
By May 1, the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee will select those nominees, subject to the approval of the president, who are to receive a Faculty Award for Professional Excellence and will coordinate communications with the Office of Human Resources and other units of the college, as needed, for the purpose of notifying recipients and bestowing the awards.
 
Nature and Value of Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence. The nature and value of Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence may vary from year to year and are to be determined by the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee. In general, however, the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence is to be of significant monetary value and is expected to be offered in the form of a bonus or in the form of professional development support, at the discretion of the recipient. As an additional alternative, at the discretion of the college and subject to the availability of funds in any given year, Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence may be offered in the form of a base salary increment.
 
The Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee should give due consideration to the potential for tax implications associated with the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence. Recipients of the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence are responsible for any tax liabilities associated with acceptance of this award.
All awards presented in a given fiscal year will be of equal monetary value. The monetary value of the award each year will be no less than $400 and no more than $1000.
 
 
The college’s Reward and Recognition Plan will be funded on a fiscal-year basis. For each fiscal year, contingent upon availability of resources, the college will provide funding equivalent to $150 per full-time teaching faculty position, including both filled and vacant positions, to support the Reward and Recognition Plan. Sources for the required funding are to be determined by the college president and the chief financial officer of the college in compliance with budgetary regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Community College System; however, the Reward and Recognition program may not be funded from state funded salary increases.
 
Funding the Recognition Component
 
Thirty-three percent (33%) of the funds provided for the Reward and Recognition Plan, the equivalent of $50 per full-time teaching faculty position, including both filled and vacant positions, will be allocated to the Recognition component of the Reward and Recognition Plan. These funds are specifically intended to support awards of non-monetary or de minimis value, in a variety of forms throughout the fiscal year, to individual faculty members who are selected to receive such awards in accordance with the methodology prescribed in Part II above.
The number of faculty who may receive a recognition award and the number of times an individual may receive a recognition award in a given fiscal year are limited only by the funds available to support the Recognition component of the Reward and Recognition Plan. However, faculty Recognition awards should be more frequent and numerous than Rewards.
 
Funding the Reward Component
 
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the funds provided for the Reward and Recognition Plan, the equivalent of $100 per full-time teaching faculty position, including both filled and vacant positions, will be allocated to the Reward component of the Reward and Recognition Plan. These funds are specifically intended to support annual awards of significant monetary value (at least $400 but no more than $1000), in the form of a bonus or in the form of professional development support, to individual faculty members who are selected to receive such an award in accordance with the methodology prescribed in Part III above. Each faculty member selected to receive such an award may choose to receive the award in the form of a bonus or in the form of professional development support. Bonuses shall be disbursed on or about May 15 of each year. Rewards in the form of professional development funds may be awarded in the immediately subsequent fiscal year in order to optimize opportunities for their intended use.
 
As an additional alternative, at the discretion of the college and subject to the availability of funds in any given year, Faculty Awards for Professional Excellence may be offered in the form of a base salary increment. Base salary increments will be effective with the faculty member’s next annual Appointment Proposal.
 
Each year, it is anticipated that 10% to 25% of the full-time teaching faculty at the college will receive an award in accordance with the Reward component of the Reward and Recognition Plan. If the number of full-time teaching faculty selected to receive an award in a given fiscal year is equivalent to or less than 10% of the full-time teaching faculty positions, both filled and vacant, that served as the basis for funding the Reward component, the monetary value of each award shall be $1000. If the number of full-time faculty selected to receive an award in a given year is greater than 10% of the full-time teaching faculty positions, both filled and vacant, that served as the basis for funding the Reward component, available funds will be divided equally among reward recipients. Table 4 provides examples for various potential distributions of awards and the corresponding monetary values.
 
To ensure a minimum award of $400 per recipient of the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence, the Reward and Recognition Committee is not permitted to grant awards to more than 25% of the full-time teaching faculty positions, both filled and vacant, that served as the basis for funding the Reward component unless the college allocates additional funding to the Faculty Reward Program. In no case shall the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence be less than $400.
  
Table 4
Examples of potential distributions of Awards for Professional Excellence
Percent of Faculty Receiving Awards
Monetary Value Per Award
25%
$400
20%
$500
15%
$650
12.5%
$800
10%
$1000
 
Reallocation of Unexpended Reward and Recognition Funds
 
In the event that all funds allocated to support the Reward and Recognition Plan are not utilized for the prescribed purpose, remaining funds may be reallocated to other operational areas of the college as needed or returned to the original funding source if appropriate, in a timely manner and in accordance with budgetary regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Community College System.  
 
 
On a biannual basis, the Faculty Reward and Recognition Committee will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the Reward and Recognition Program.  The assessment may include, but not be limited to, a survey of the full-time teaching faculty.  The survey will be designed to measure faculty opinion of how well all aspects of the program are understood by the faculty, how well procedural requirements and deadlines are communicated, how effectively the program is administered, how extensively and equitably rewards and recognition are distributed, how effectively the program encourages faculty to exceed performance expectations and to strive for professional excellence, and how effectively the program supports the mission of the college.
 
 
 

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