HU Power of Excellence is a new initiative to honor high achievers among the university’s employees including both faculty and staff.

“We don’t hear enough about the important contributions and commitment of staff to the university,” said Carol Linder, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs. “What we’re really trying to do is raise the bar in recognizing all employees, both staff and faculty, who go above and beyond their regular job duties to make Highlands an even stronger institution.”

The categories for the recognition program include:

Employee Scholars – Faculty or staff who have completed post secondary degrees at Highlands or another institution of higher education within the 2015 – 2016 academic year.

Power Authors – Faculty or staff who have published a book or served as an editor on a major work between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015.

Power Donors – Faculty or staff who have donated to the Highlands Foundation between Nov. 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2016.

Power Artists – Faculty or staff who have exhibited their work in a public exhibit or completed a public art commission or installation; musicians who have performed in a concert venue, had their recordings released commercially or composers whose work has been professionally published; actors, directors or set designers who have contributed to a theatrical production. The dates for completing these artistic works are between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

Power Grantees – Faculty or staff who received $100,000 ore more in grants or contracts between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

High-Impact Teachers – Faculty or staff who have received HU-HIPs, high impact practices, funding between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

Linder said the HU Power of Excellence program is the brainchild of Highlands President Sam Minner.

“In June, Dr. Minner asked me to develop a program that would more broadly recognize high achieving employees. We want it to continue as an annual program,” Linder said.

The high achievers will be honored at dinners with Minner at the presidential residence. The first group of employees to be honored are the Employee Scholars Sept. 22.

“We have so many staff who have earned their degrees at Highlands through the employee tuition reduction program. These individuals work full time and are often raising families while working toward degree completion. It is inspiring when nontraditional students like these show this kind of dedication to their education,” Linder said.

Power Authors will be honored Oct. 20.

“Power authors highlight the scholarship that is happening at Highlands among faculty and staff that is contributing to the larger body of knowledge across all academic disciplines,” Linder said.

The HU Power of Excellence achievers will also be recognized on the Highlands website, at Board of Regents meetings and the annual employee recognition breakfast held in April.

Looking ahead, Power Donors will be recognized Nov. 17 and other employee achievement categories will be recognized spring semester 2017.

Nomination forms and more information about HU Program of Excellence are online at

Questions be directed to Linder at

Linder said employees may nominate themselves or be nominated by a colleague at Highlands.