Higher Ed HR Awards

Western Region Awards

Nominations for 2019 are now closed. Awards will be presented at CUPA-HR's spring and annual conferences.

Western Region Distinguished Service Award

This award recognizes an individual for outstanding, exemplary, long-term leadership and service to the region of CUPA-HR and to higher education human resources. Please note that this award may not be presented every year.


Consideration given to activities such as:

  • Long-term continued involvement in Western Region Activities
  • Demonstrated history of Western Region leadership
  • Long-term extraordinary practitioner of the human resource profession
  • Impassioned, positive team leader
  • Active in improving inclusiveness and workplace climate

*The Western Region’s Distinguished Service award was formerly the “Hugh Avery Award of Distinction” which recognized the valued contributions of Mr. Avery for his 21 years of service to CUPA-HR and the Western Region.

Western Region HR Excellence Award

Sponsored by AIG

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. Through the generous support of AIG, CUPA-HR will make a $1,000 contribution to the regional recipient’s institution.

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.

Western Region Chapter Excellence Award

This award recognizes a Western Region chapter that is making a significant impact through its commitment to CUPA-HR and to the higher ed HR community. Nominations may be submitted only by members of the chapter boards.

The recipient of the region award will be acknowledged during the awards presentation at the appropriate spring conference and will receive two scholarships to attend the conference where the award is presented. Scholarships include conference registration, airfare/transportation and hotel accommodations. The chapter will choose who will attend the spring conference to accept the award. The chapter will also receive a podium banner to display at its meetings/conferences.

The recipient of the regional award will be submitted to the national awards committee for consideration for the national Chapter Excellence Award. The recipient of the national award will be acknowledged at the CUPA-HR annual conference and will receive four annual conference scholarships (to include conference registration, airfare/transportation and hotel accommodations). The chapter will choose who will attend the annual conference to accept the award. The national Chapter Excellence Award recipient will also receive a podium banner to display at its meetings/events, and the chapter’s name will be engraved on a plaque that resides at the CUPA-HR national office.

Eligibility Note: A chapter is ineligible to receive an award more than once every three years.

  • Documentation of chapter procedures must be supplied with the award nomination.
  • All chapter board positions must be filled at the time of submission and clear procedures should be in place for recruiting new leaders on an annual basis.
  • Chapter must have a demonstrated history of good financial standing with documented business/financial procedures outlining core processes and accountability.
  • Chapter leaders must have promptly responded to national office staff regarding annual reporting requirements.
  • Chapter website should be up to date and regularly updated.
  • Chapter must have met one or more times during the last 12 months and two or more times during the last 24 months.
    • Include in nomination materials the dates, locations and the number of attendees at the chapter meetings/conferences for the past two years.
  • Chapter leaders must have engaged others within the chapter’s geographic area beyond the face-to-face event(s). For example, chapter listserv, discussions prompted by chapter leaders or other such outreach.
  • Chapter’s work must clearly support one or more of CUPA-HR’s strategic priorities and core values.