Skip to main content Skip to main content

Distinguished Service Awards

Committee Policies and Procedures

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was initiated in 1977 for the purpose of University employees to recognize the outstanding and unusual contributions of their peers, which are clearly above and beyond the norm.


I.  Purpose of the Distinguished Service Award

The "Distinguished Service Award" recognizes continuing and excellent service to and for Metropolitan State University of Denver and its mission in the following general areas:

A. Longevity - service on a permanent basis over a period of at least ten (10) years.
B. Breadth - high quality contributions over the years.
C. Significance – motivated by dedication and commitment to Metropolitan State University of Denver. 


II.  Criteria for Distinguished Service Nomination

A nominee for this award should have performed services in several of these areas.  Greater weight is given to work that directly supports the mission of MSU Denver. 

A.  Contributions to students, faculty, and/or staff.
B.  Contributions to department, school, administrative units, and/or University.
C.  Innovative curriculum, program, and/or management development, special contributions.
D.  Professional achievements, awards, recognition.
E.  Work with various campus groups, state/national groups, official appointment on any level, and/or community involvement as a representative of MSU Denver).
F. Other criteria that demonstrate distinguished service. 

back to top


III.  Procedures for Selection of Recipients

A.  Nomination Process

  1. Submission of nomination form and letter of nomination by nominator.
  2. Submission of two additional letters of support from others. No more than two additional letters shall be accepted.
  3. Each supporting letter shall not exceed three pages.

Note:  Incomplete nominations shall be returned to the nominator by the Chair of the DSA Committee without action by the DSA Committee.  The packet shall consist of the nomination form, and three letters of support (resumes or vitas are not accepted and are not part of the packet).  The letters must be responsive to the award criteria.

B.  Any person is eligible who:

  1. Is currently employed at MSU Denver.
  2. Has been employed by MSU Denver on a permanent basis over a period of at least ten (10) years and who is faculty   (chairs are nominated as faculty), exempt staff or classified staff.
  3. Has not previously received this award.
  4. For the Extraordinary Service Award only, the nominee has, in an exceptional case, provided service to MSU Denver that has far exceeded the scope of his/her duties and responsibilities and is not otherwise qualified for the DSA award, (This award is granted in exceptional cases and it is not given on a regular basis.  Recipients may include part-time or adjunct faculty).
  5. University organizations may nominate individuals.
  6. The nominee must be currently serving in the employee category for which they are nominated and have served in that capacity for a minimum of three years.  However, individuals may be nominated in a former employee category for up to one year after they change categories. 


IV.  The recognition shall include the following awards:

A.  President’s DSA Award (1)
B.  DSA Awards (3)
C.  Extraordinary Service Award (1 as appropriate)


back to top


V.  Award Process.           

A.  The DSA Committee chair will call for nominations for the DSA by February 15 of each year.  The Committee will make the final decisions by May 1 of each year. 

B.  The Faculty Senate Office will maintain all records of the DSA award and will duplicate the nomination packets and distribute them to Committee members, if requested

C.  Committee members will read and rank all applications for consideration and will meet at least once to give their rankings for each candidate and to discuss the candidates. After the discussion the Committee will establish a composite ranking list.  After discussion the Committee shall not make a decision. The Committee shall meet a second time and take a second vote and establish new composite rankings. Candidates for each category will be ranked separately. The President of the University generally attends the second meeting and discusses the ranking with the DSA Committee. The President is provided with copies of the nomination forms for the highest ranked nominees prior to the meeting with the President. 

D. There shall be a maximum of five individuals who receive the
awards.  There is no minimum and the DSA Committee does not have to issue any or all awards for a given year. 

E. The President’s award shall be determined by the President of MSU Denver following a consultation with the DSA Committee by the President. 

F. After the President of the University has selected the recipient, if an award is made, the DSA Committee shall choose up to four additional individuals for the DSA.


back to top


VI. The following criteria shall guide the DSA Committee in the selection of the individuals for the DSA and for the recommendation to  the President of the University.

A. Criteria

  1. Demonstrated dedication to the University.
  2. Demonstrated excellence in carrying out their job responsibilities.
  3. Demonstrated service to the University.


B. Examples of Distinguished Service

  1. Demonstrated exemplary service directly or indirectly to students.
  2. Activities that are clearly related to the mission of the University.
  3. Performs job in an exemplary manner and participates in other University related activities that are not part of the job duties.
  4. Takes exceptional steps to provide high quality service to the University and community over an extended period of time.
  5. Through community activities or related professional activities brings positive exposure to the University or as an expert in a field and is contacted for this expertise and brings positive exposure to the University over an extended period of time.   


C. Examples of Extraordinary Performance

  1. It is expected that this award will be given only occasionally and under clearly exceptional circumstances.  
  2. Develops a new process or procedure that increases service levels to students, faculty, staff, the community, or University or saves the University extraordinary resources in terms of time, money or other resources.
  3. Involved in the community in a way that brings extraordinary and exceptionally positive recognition to the University. 
  4. Receives national or international recognition for work related to the University.

VII. Number of Awards.

There will be a maximum of five (5) awards given.  The DSA Committee does not have to give any of the awards.

  1. The President’s Award.
  2. One faculty member.
  3. One exempt contract administrator.   
  4. One classified staff.
  5. One Extraordinary Service award (It is expected that this award will only be given occasionally).


back to top

VIII. Composition and Operation of the DSA Committee.

A. Composition

  1. One faculty member from each of the School of Business and the School of Professional Studies and two faculty members from the School of Letters Arts and Sciences.  
  2. Two representatives from each of the Council of Administrators and the Classified Staff Council.
  3. The Presidents of the Council of Administrators, the Classified Staff Council and the Faculty Senate. 

B. Chair - The chair of the DSA Committee shall be rotated among the Council of Administrators’ and the Classified Staff Council’s Presidents.  Each person shall hold the chair position for one academic year.  The chair of the DSA Committee shall not be eligible for an award. The chair shall be eligible to vote.  If a member of the DSA Committee is nominated for the DSA the committee member must resign and be replaced. 

C. Operation - The Administrative Assistant of the Faculty Senate shall serve as staff to the DSA Committee and the records of the DSA shall be maintained in the Faculty Senate Office.  In addition the Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant shall be responsible for coordinating the:

  1. Purchase of the plaques in coordination with the President’s Office.
  2. Posting of the pictures in the DSA Award Case.
  3. Payment of the stipends, in coordination with the President’s Office. 
  4. Reminding the DSA Chair of the need to announce the awards,
  5. Maintaining the DSA Award Case.
  6. Coordinating the letters and certificates for the nominees with the President’s Office.

D. Appointments to the DSA Committee - Each of the three entities (Council of Administrators, Classified Staff and the Faculty Senate) shall determine how to fill the positions on the DSA Committee and shall appoint the members of the Committee.


IX.  Award:

A. A plaque indicating the award will be presented to the recipient at the annual University award ceremony in the fall of each year. In addition, a plaque displaying the recipient’s photo will be displayed for one year in the commemorative DSA Case.

B. The award will carry a one-time stipend to be paid through Payroll Services and subject to applicable payroll taxes and withholding. The salary award will not become part of the recipient’s base salary. The Presidential DSA Award stipend shall be $2,500 and the other awards shall be $2,000.

C. Certificates of nomination along with a letter from the University President shall be issued to each individual nominated for the DSA.


back to top

Edit this page