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Week of January 14, 2013

President’s Staff Innovation Award promotes better workplace

Cost-saving ideas, solutions for productivity and novel approaches to how university work is performed often come from staff members, and the new President’s Staff Innovation Award program will encourage and reward those efforts.

Nominations for the inaugural award are due by Jan. 25, and two prizes are available annually. The chosen individual staff member will receive a $2,000 award. A chosen team would share a $3,000 prize.

“With both words and dollars, we will honor individuals and teams for ideas that make the university a better place to live and work,” President Mary Sue Coleman says.

The new award program seeks to recognize individual staff members or teams whose big ideas and “outside of the Cube” thinking help make the university a better place. The award will recognize innovations in process, product, method or system.

“Innovation is not limited to our students and faculty, and I wanted to recognize the diverse creativity of staff. I look forward to this award becoming part of U-M’s culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus,” Coleman says.

The president’s office worked with the VOICES Program Management Team and the University Human Resources communications team to make recommendations on the criteria for the award.

All regular staff members of the Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses, and the Health System are eligible. Nominations should represent an improvement or increase in efficiency, productivity, cost savings, achievement of environmental or health and well-being goals, and enhancement of the culture and climate of the university.

Nominees should demonstrate in their statements how the individual or team has:

• Worked to improve an area of the university’s operations.

• Identified large or small creative solutions to make a significant and positive difference.

• Suggested new ways to improve the quality of services or programming.

• Identified novel approaches for completing work more effectively or efficiently.

• Identified new ideas or approaches for problem solving.

• Planned effectively for implementation and long-term success.

To nominate someone or present a self-nomination, submit the equivalent of one to five typed pages on how the nominee meets these criteria at, or by fax to 734-763-2891.

Evaluation of the innovation will be guided by originality, impact, practicality, measurability and applicability. For more information on award criteria, go to


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