University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel
University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

Distinguished Service Award Guidelines

(Updated March 2020)


The University Council Executive Committee inaugurated the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 1974 to recognize exemplary service to Queen’s University. Each year the University Council Executive Committee invites nominations for up to six DSAs. The award consists of a framed certificate and special recognition at the Annual Meeting Distinguished Service Awards Reception. Nomination materials, commemorative professional photographs, and a personalized citation are also provided to the recipient following the awards reception.

Selection Criteria

The Executive Committee will take into consideration many factors, including the nominee’s impact on the University as a whole and length of service. Past DSA recipients have typically had an average service length of 15 years or more and demonstrated great influence beyond their respective titular position, however nominations with shorter periods of outstanding service will still be considered.

A strong nomination will demonstrate:

  • Breadth of impact
  • Contributions above and beyond what would normally be expected in the nominee's primary role relating to the University
  • Contributions to the University’s success as a whole
  • Length of service to the University
  • Support from a broad range of persons associated with the Queen’s Community.

Nominators are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible. The nomination should include specific examples and supporting evidence that details the nominee’s exceptional qualities and their history of exemplary service to Queen’s. Prospective nominators are discouraged from including normal job responsibilities and/or experiences.

The Executive Committee recognizes the contributions of all individuals associated with the University and prospective nominators should not be discouraged if their nominee does not suitably fit within the criteria for a DSA. Prospective nominators are encouraged to explore alternate routes to recognize their nominee, including, but not limited to, the Special Recognition for Staff Awards or various teaching awards

Nomination Guidelines

Any member of the Queen's community including students, current or retired staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the Board of Trustees or University Council may submit a nomination for an individual.

Joint, group and posthumous nominations will not be considered. In the event that a nominee dies before or during the selection period, the nomination will still be considered as long as it was received by the deadline.

If prospective nominators are aware of other individuals nominating their nominee, the Executive Committee encourages collaboration. Multiple nominations of individuals will be considered as a single nomination, and those receiving more than one nomination will not be given added weight during the selection process.

Nomination Process

Deadline: Friday, April 30, 2021

To ensure fairness and consistency, a nomination package must include:

  • The Nomination Form (click here to open the online form);
  • Summary of Nomination (pages 2 and 3 of the Nomination Form). This summary will provide comprehensive and detailed information about the person’s contributions to Queen’s and may be completed in point form.
  • A minimum of five (5) and maximum of eight (8) signed nomination letters (max. 2 pages per letter) from the nominator and individuals familiar with the nominee's accomplishments and who are members (elected, appointed, ex officio or honorary) of University Council, the Queen's University Alumni Association, the Board of Trustees, students, or current or retired employees of the University. Letters may be co-signed by multiple individuals. The lead nominator is responsible for collecting these letters. These letters must be compiled into a single PDF package and uploaded to the online nomination form (linked above).

Selection Process

The University Council Executive Committee will review all nominations. Recipients will be informed immediately after the completion of the selection process. In the event a nomination is not successful, the lead nominator will be informed immediately following the selection process. Unsuccessful nominations may be carried forward to the next year, at the discretion of the lead nominator.

The Nomination and Selection process is strictly confidential.

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