Higher Ed HR Awards

Western Region Awards

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

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 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.

Western Region Emerging CUPA-HR Leader Award

The Western 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.

Western Region 
Regional Lifetime Membership

This award honors retiring or recently retired human resource professionals who have made outstanding contributions to their institutions, to CUPA-HR national and/or to the Western Region. Regional lifetime members receive free spring learning event registration for life. Please note that this award may not be presented every year.