The Our Common Ground award is presented to University of Vermont staff members who have made extraordinary contributions and who have had a significant impact on our university, as demonstrated through the values expressed in Our Common Ground. The recipients each receive a prize of $1,000. Winners’ names are displayed on a plaque on the main floor of the Waterman Building.

The 2019 Our Common Ground award winners are:


Nominees for the President’s Our Common Ground Staff Award are recognized for their sustained and exceptional fulfillment and expression of the values contained in the University of Vermont’s Our Common Ground. It is expected that nominees will excel in many of the values of Our Common Ground and reflect the totality of the values and aspirations expressed in the statement. The award recognizes a commitment to the values of Our Common Ground rather than a specific act or achievement.

Nominees for the President’s Our Common Ground Staff Award must be current, regular, on-going staff members (full time, part time, represented or non-represented) in good standing, who have worked at the University of Vermont for more than three years. Temporary employees, student employees, post doctoral fellows and associates, faculty members, and previous recipients within the last five years are not eligible for consideration.

Nomination Process

Any member of the University of Vermont Community (including faculty, staff and students) may nominate staff members for the President's Our Common Ground Staff Award. Staff members may self nominate. The nominator should submit a letter explaining the qualifications of the nominee and a description of how the nominee exemplifies the values expressed in the Our Common Ground statement. The nominator must secure a letter of support from the person to whom the nominee reports to demonstrate support of the nomination. Additionally, the nominator must also secure a minimum of three and a maximum of five additional letters of support addressing the nominee’s qualifications. At least one support letter must be from outside the staff member's home college, school or administrative unit. The President's Office will send formal requests for support letters however it is recommended that the nominator reach out to these individuals in advance.

At the conclusion of the selection process and as part of recognizing employees, the nominees (both those selected and those not selected) will be presented copies of the nomination letter and supporting documents.

The deadline to submit nominations for 2019 was February 28, 2019. The winners will be announced later in spring 2019 and will be recognized at an awards brunch on Monday, June 10, 2019.


  • Call for nominations sent to UVM Community: January 31, 2019
  • Deadline for nominations: February 28, 2019
  • Winners announced: Spring 2019
  • Awards Brunch: Monday, June 10, 2019

Award Committee

The Awards Committee will be made up of one staff member from each college and school nominated by the Dean (College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Educational and Social Services, Larner College of Medicine, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Grossman School of Business, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University Libraries and Learning Resources, Honors College, Extension Services, and Continuing and Distance Education) and one staff member from each administrative unit appointed by the senior officer for the unit (University Relations and Administration, Enrollment Management, Research and Graduate College, Finance, Human Resource Services, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Student Affairs, and the President’s and Provost’s Offices), and two faculty members nominated by the President of the Faculty Senate, two undergraduates nominated by the President of the Student Government Association, and two graduate students nominated by the Graduate Student Senate.

Committee members each serve for a three-year, staggered term (with the exception of the undergraduate and graduate students who serve for one year) and are eligible for re-appointment to a second term. In the future, deans and senior officers are encouraged to consider nominating previous award recipients. The University President appoints the Committee from the nominations received.

The Associate Vice President for Human Resource Services (or designee) and the Vice President for Executive Operations are ex officio, non-voting members. The President of the Staff Council will be a member of the Committee and serve as the Committee Chair. The Committee recommends candidates for the President’s Our Common Ground Award to the University President, who will make the final decision on award recipients.

Members of the Committee may nominate individuals and/or provide letters of support; however, they will be asked to recuse themselves from deliberations on these individuals. During their service on the Committee, members may not be nominated.