Higher Ed HR Awards

Southern Region Awards

Nominations for 2018 are now closed. Nominations for 2019 will open in January 2019.

Southern Region Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is designed to recognize the member of the CUPA-HR Southern Region who most exemplifies distinguished service to the human resources profession and to CUPA-HR. 


To be nominated, the individual must:

  • Have a record of outstanding service to CUPA-HR within the past five fiscal years;
  • Have demonstrated professionalism in the field of higher education human resources; and
  • Have participated in CUPA-HR leadership activities.

Southern Region HR Excellence Award

Sponsored by VALIC

This regional award honors transformative HR work in higher education, recognizing individuals or teams who have provided HR leadership resulting in significant and ongoing organizational change within their institutions. The recipient of this regional award will be submitted to the national awards committee for consideration for the national HR Excellence Award. Thanks to the generous support of VALIC, CUPA-HR is able to make a contribution of $1,000 to the institutional endowment or scholarship fund of the award recipient’s choice.

Eligibility Note: Individuals who are employed by the association, individuals who are serving on the CUPA-HR national board of directors, and the institutions of those directors are not eligible to be nominated or selected for this award during their terms of service.

  • Identification of significant organizational change resulting from HR transformation.
  • Examples of HR leadership demonstrated by the nominee in bringing about this change.
  • Description of the impact of the change on programs and services.
  • Successful development and implementation of a different approach or a variation of a traditional process, procedure, or practice in one of the functional areas of human resources.
  • Successful and innovative partnership role in assisting another academic or an administrative unit in achieving its overall mission.
  • The successful practice has led to improved performance of the college or university, the unit in which the department resides or, the human resource department; and the achievement has advanced the profession and/or promoted better understanding of human resource management.
  • The institution and (if applicable) the specific person are members of CUPA-HR.

Southern Region Emerging CUPA-HR Leader Award

The Southern Region Emerging CUPA-HR Leader will join the 2018-19 Emerging CUPA-HR Leader cohort. The goal of the program is to identify potential leaders from across the country who have shown exemplary leadership and initiative within higher ed HR and exhibit the desire to play an active role in advancing the profession. Invited participants will have the unique opportunity to participate in the annual invitation only Association Leadership Program, to engage in problem-solving work groups and develop deep networks with peers while gaining an inside look at CUPA-HR's operations and structure. Throughout the year-long program, participants are encouraged to serve the association in a leadership capacity, lending a fresh and informed perspective. Program objectives and details can be found here.

Meritorious Service Awards

These awards recognize an individual from each state chapter who has made significant contributions to the profession, their institutions, and/or their CUPA-HR chapters. Chapters submit their nominees to the Board for consideration. If more than one nominee per chapter is submitted, the Board will make a selection based on the information provided.