Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award (CAPE)


The Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Award is designed to recognize the importance of contributions made by academic professionals. Academic professionals perform a wide range of critical functions for our campus community and beyond. They advise, counsel and assist our students, faculty and staff, they provide critical administrative support services, their work supports our research laboratories and our educational programs, and they offer important outreach programs throughout the state. This award is intended to honor the special accomplishments of individuals in this employment category.


Annually, up to six awards are given. Nominees are judged on three criteria: work, personal, and professional contributions. These criteria are defined below in order of importance for the award. Usually nominees will excel in all three areas, but individuals may be nominated for uncommon strength in one or two.

  • Work Contributions

    How well the nominee advances the mission of his or her home unit and the campus within the context of the campus' traditional missions of teaching, research, and public service. There should be an explanation of the work of the individual and the impact of that work.

  • Personal Contributions

    The positive impact the nominee has on others: faculty, staff, students, and members of the public. In addition, there should be an explanation of the way in which the nominee meets the special demands of his or her workplace.

  • Professional Contributions

    The contributions the nominee has made and the recognition the nominee has received in his or her professional field including publications, participation in professional societies, and committee work. In addition, there should be a discussion of the nominee's impact at the regional, national, or international level, if applicable.


  • The nominee:

    • Must have been employed as an academic professional assigned to duties at the Urbana-Champaign campus for at least three years at full time or the equivalent (e.g., 100% appointment for three years or 50% appointment for six years)*;
    • May be an off-campus academic professional staff member of the University of Illinois Extension or Continuing Education, and University Administration academic professional located in Urbana-Champaign;
    • May not hold any professorial title;
    • May not be teaching and research associates, postdoctoral research associates, lecturers or instructors. These employees are not academic professionals;
    • May receive the CAPE award only once;
    • May be eligible if retired only if he or she is in active employee status at the time of the awards ceremony.

    *Academic professionals in the College of Medicine and Nursing located on this campus should be nominated for the CAPE Award at UI Chicago.

  • The CAPE Award

    Each winner of the CAPE award will receive $2,000 in cash at the award presentation for personal use and a $1,000 permanent salary increase. In addition, $1,000 will be added on a one-time basis to each winner's departmental budget the following fiscal year for materials or training that will benefit the winner's workplace in the future years.

Nomination Procedure

Faculty, academic professionals, and civil service staff of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may submit nominations. Nominators need not be direct supervisors. Each fall, the deadline for submitting nominations is announced. The deadline is often around the middle of November. Nominations are submitted to the Office of Academic Human Resources, 807 South Wright, Suite 420 (MC-310).

Those making a nomination for the CAPE Award should submit all of the following by the deadline:

  1. the nominating form;
  2. a narrative of no more than three pages detailing how the nominee fulfills the stated criteria, including statements about how the nominee has exceeded the scope of his/her job responsibilities (please indicate specific activities or programs in which your candidate has excelled); and
  3. the nominee’s vita/resume.


  1. After the first screening, if the nominee is chosen as a finalist, nominators will be required to submit three letters of professional endorsement within two weeks of notification. Letters of endorsement may be requested from individuals inside or outside of the University of Illinois. These letters must be requested from individuals other than the original nominator.
  2. All re-nominations require submission of a new narrative as well as a new nominating form and vita/resume.

Selection Committee

The selection committee will be appointed by the Office of Academic Human Resources. It will consist of ten academic professionals; one person from each Council of Academic Professionals (CAP) district not currently serving as a CAP member. The committee will be chaired by a member of CAP who will not have voting privileges. This committee will be staffed by a representative from the Office of Academic Human Resources. A ranked list of finalists will be submitted to the Chancellor, who will select six award winners.

Please contact the Office of Academic Human Resources, 333-6747, for additional information and the nominating form.