CU-Boulder faculty are eligible for numerous awards, including those offered by the University of Colorado System, Boulder Campus, and the deans.  A list of these can be found here.

Awards and recognition at CU-Boulder include:

Honorary Degree

As the highest award the University can bestow, Honorary Degrees are awarded in recognition of outstanding intellectual contributions, University service, and public service. To receive the Honorary Degree, the selectee must attend a University commencement within a two-year period following his/her selection.

The nomination process requires submission of a nomination form accompanied by at least three letters of support outlining the nominee's accomplishments. A vita or resume is also required. Current University employees may not be nominated, and no person may nominate him or herself. For forms and complete information, contact Cheryl Espinoza, Assistant Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents at 303-860-5667. The deadline for completed nominations is usually mid-November, and selections are typically announced at the March Board of Regents meeting.

University Medals

University Medals are awarded in recognition of those persons who have had outstanding achievements and contributions associated with the University. The nomination process is described under the section entitled Honorary Degree.

Distinguished Service Award

Distinguished Service Awards are awarded in recognition of those persons who have had outstanding achievements and contributions associated with the state and/or nation rather than the University. The nomination process is described under the section entitled Honorary Degree.

Thomas Jefferson Award

This University award is given to persons who advance the ideals of Thomas Jefferson, which include:

  • broad interests in literature, arts and sciences, and public affairs;
  • a strong concern for the advancement of higher education;
  • a deeply seated sense of individual civic responsibility; and
  • a profound commitment to the welfare and rights of the individual.

Nominees should be members of the teaching faculty, student body, or staff (classified or professional exempt) whose achievements reflect superior performance in their normal work or scholarship and notable participation in humanitarian activities. The award is one of the University's highest honors and includes an engraved plaque and a cash honorarium for each recipient. Winners are invited to a Presidential ceremonial banquet, and the campus of the award winner provides additional recognition at commencement.

The nomination deadline occurs early in the spring semester. The nomination packet is limited to 20 pages and must include a current resume and at least three supporting letters. More complete information on deadlines and the nomination process may be obtained from the Thomas Jefferson Awards Committee, Dwire 352, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO 80933.

President's Teaching Scholars

Appointment as a President's Teaching Scholar constitutes the University's highest recognition for excellence in teaching and for substantial and active contribution to scholarship. Those appointed as teaching scholars will receive a $3,000 stipend for each of the first two years; a one-time teaching development fund of $2,000; and an addition of $2,000 to the base salary beginning the third year. Teaching Scholars will undertake self-selected projects devoted to the promotion of excellence in teaching. As many as six scholars could be selected each year.

Nominations must illustrate the integration of excellence in teaching and scholarship, research or creative work of a tenured faculty member. Nominations are encouraged not only of those who teach in "traditional" classrooms, but also those who teach in less conventional settings (e.g. clinic rounds, outside the "regular" academic year, etc.). The faculty member being nominated must currently be tenured at CU, have been a CU faculty member for at least five consecutive years, and must be teaching on campus during the spring semester of the nominating year. Departments or individuals may nominate candidates; self-nominations will not be accepted. A dossier composed of very specific items is required for nomination. The deadline for submission usually occurs in late October.

For further information on dossier requirements and deadlines, contact the Assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, at 303-860-5623.

Boulder Campus Awards

Hazel Barnes Prize

The Hazel Barnes Prize seeks to focus attention on the enriching relationship between teaching and research. The award, established in 1991, includes a $20,000 prize and a University Medal which are presented at the Spring Commencement. Nominees should be nationally recognized faculty members who are not only outstanding teachers but have distinguished records in research and scholarship. The deadline for submission of the nomination packet is typically early in January. Details on the nomination packet requirements as well as the current deadline for submission may be obtained from the Chancellor's office at 303-492-4115.

Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award

The annual Provost’s Faculty Achievement Awards are presented to selected faculty members who have offered recent significant publications or creative contributions in their academic fields.  Awardees receive a grant in the amount of $1,000 to be used to support their research, scholarship and/or creative work.  At Fall Convocation, awardees are also presented with a plaque recognizing their achievement.  There are two categories of awards: one to recognize the work and promise of junior faculty, and one to recognize the accomplishments of recently tenured associate professors. Details on the process, as well as eligibility requirements, can be found here.

George Norlin Award

The Norlin Award honors alumni of CU Boulder for distinguished lifetime achievement. It recognizes the most outstanding alumni who throughout their lives have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their chosen field and a devotion to the betterment of society and their community. Details on the nomination process may be obtained by contacting the CU Boulder Alumni Association at 303-492-8484.

Robert Stearns Award

The Stearns Award recognizes achievement of members of the current CU Boulder faculty and staff. This award honors exceptional achievement or service in any one, but usually a combination of the following areas: outstanding teaching, extraordinary service to the University, exemplary work with students, significant research and/or off-campus service to the community. Qualifications of staff nominees are considered separately from faculty nominees. Contact the Alumni Association at 303-492-8484 for more information on the nomination process and deadlines.

Alumni Recognition Award

Created in 1935, the Alumni Recognition Award honors CU Boulder alumni for extraordinary service to CU Boulder through volunteer efforts on behalf of the University and the Alumni Association. These efforts may have been contributed as an employee of the University. For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 303-492-8484.

Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

This award recognizes CU Boulder alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their field within ten years of graduation. The award recognizes outstanding career achievement as well as significant contributions to the community and/or the University. Details on the nomination process may be obtained by contacting the CU Boulder Alumni Association at 303-492-8484.

CACMA Service Recognition Award

The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs (CACMA) awards their Service Recognition Award to campus units at CU Boulder for enriching the learning experience of all members of the University community and helping to prepare them for the multicultural world in which we live. The award is given explicitly to campus units to recognize the contributions of many people working together toward common goals. It is an acknowledgment of the continuing efforts to create a diverse and supportive learning, working, and living environment, and of a commitment to promoting an appreciation and understanding of issues related to people of color.

Each recipient receives $1,000. Any member of the Boulder campus community may nominate a campus unit for this award. A campus unit is defined as any group (academic, administration or student affairs departments or units, student groups or organizations, alumni, etc.) who is affiliated with the CU Boulder campus. Questions regarding the nomination process and deadlines should be addressed to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity at 303-735-1332.

Employee of the Year

This award recognizes classified and professional exempt staff members for their outstanding job performance, dedication to the campus, and contributions to the community. Recipients receive a $1,000 cash award and are honored at a reception. Up to three awards are given each year. Nominations and letters of support are due in the Chancellor's office usually during the month of March. For further information, contact the Chancellor's office at 303-492-8908.

Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence Awards

Each spring, the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) gives up to four awards for excellence in each of three categories: 1) teaching, 2) service, and 3) research, scholarly and creative work. The teaching award emphasizes actual classroom teaching. Faculty service is defined as all of those professional activities other than teaching and research that are performed by faculty members as part of their campus responsibility or as community outreach. The third category for research, scholarly and creative work acknowledges high quality work that does not receive recognition through the usual channels including, but not limited to, interdisciplinary research, work accomplished with undergraduate students, or integrated long-term achievements. The award includes a $3,000 cash prize. The deadline for all materials typically occurs the beginning of March, and announcements are made during April.

Eligible nominees are from regular faculty, including instructors, and are solicited from departments as well as individual faculty members. Self-nominations are allowed. Nominees in all categories should be present on campus during the spring semester in which they are nominated. Finalists for the teaching award must be teaching on campus during that semester so members of the awards committee may visit their class to assess their teaching performance. Past award winners are eligible to be re-nominated. However, the award will not be given to the same person in successive years.

Confirm deadlines and information on required nominating materials by calling the BFA Administrator at 303-492-6271.