About the Award

As the nation's largest and most diverse four-year institution, the California State University (CSU) endeavors to be a national leader for providing affordable high-quality degree opportunities for students from all backgrounds. On each CSU campus, outstanding faculty are leading the way, redesigning courses, advancing innovative student support programs, effectively using data to address equity gaps and collaborating beyond their campus to improve student outcomes. In this season of remarkable institutional transformation, CSU faculty are at the center of innovative thinking and practice required to significantly improve student success.


Tenure-track faculty, tenured faculty and lecturers from all disciplines are eligible for this award. A faculty team (no more than three members) may be nominated for this award. Faculty who have previously been awarded or nominated for other campus or systemwide awards are eligible for nomination with one exception. Wang Family Excellence Award recipients will be ineligible for two award cycles—the year the Wang Award is received and the following year.

Nomination and Review Process

Nominations should include faculty who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to advance student success. Faculty leadership activity should be intended to institutionalize or expand innovative practices. Leadership activity can also be associated with effective program, department, school, college or campus changes that improve student outcomes. The Selection Committee seeks nominations that provide defensible evidence associated with outcome improvements and/or clearly demonstrate the positive impacts of targeted innovation or leadership efforts.  Nomination must demonstrate how the nominee's role as a faculty member produced innovative teaching practices, course design, redesign or the development of exemplary supplemental support programs to promote student success.  Emphasis will be placed on exemplary efforts and a continuous record of innovation to promote student success.  Innovation and leadership achievements must be associated with improvements in student outcomes.

This is an open nomination process inviting nominations from students, faculty, staff or administrators to be submitted to the Office of the Chancellor by May 3, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (PST) at www.calstate.edu/FILA. (Click the button below to submit your nomination.) Self-nominations will be accepted. Submissions must include a letter of nomination – not to exceed 1,000 words – detailing the nominee's innovative practices or leadership accomplishments. Nominations may include up to three short written or video testimonies to be uploaded to the nomination website.  Written testimonies should be no more than 500 words. Video submissions should be no longer than three minutes. Nominations must include compelling evidence demonstrating the efficacy of leadership activities or innovative practices and their contributions to student success.  Nominees will be invited to submit an additional statement of support on their own behalf, not to exceed 500 words. In the case that a nominee receives multiple nominations, the nominee will identify items that best align with the nomination process to submit to the selection committee for review. Nominations will be reviewed by a faculty-led selection committee using an evaluative rubric that assesses: 

  1. Depth and scope of impact on student learning, progress toward degree and/or achieving equitable outcomes among students from underserved communities.
  2. Faculty innovation & leadership demonstrated at program, department, school, college or university level to improve student success outcomes in courses, including those with traditionally low success rates or those with persistent equity gaps.
  3. Sustainability, contextual replicability and scalability of innovation or accomplishments.

Selection Committee

The Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award Selection Committee will be chaired by a CSU faculty member. Minimally, members of the committee will include four faculty members to be determined by the Academic Senate CSU; two staff members from the Office of the Chancellor to be determined by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Students Affairs; and two students to be determined by the California State Student Association. If the committee expands due to workload, faculty shall remain the majority and the committee shall remain proportional to its original composition.

Review of Nominations

The selection committee will review all nomination materials and accompanying testimonies to determine award recipients. A formal review of each nomination will consider innovative and leadership efforts in areas that may include, but not limited to:   

  • Teaching
  • Undergraduate research
  • First-year experience
  • Policy reform or improvement
  • Collaboration with local and/or national organizations
  • Use of data to advance student success
  • Advising and mentoring
  • Student advocacy (local and/or national)

Award and Notification

Resources available for the 2019 awards can accommodate one Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award-winner from each CSU campus. However, the review committee is not required to select an awardee from each campus. Each awardee will receive a $5,000 cash award and $10,000 will be allocated to academic departments to support awardee activities. This may include travel, reduction in teaching load, contract continuation for lecturers, equipment to promote effective teaching, campus convenings to demonstrate award-winning practices, professional development or other activities determined by the awardee(s). The cash award and department contribution will be divided equally for Faculty Innovation & Leadership Award team recipients. Costs for reductions in teaching load will be calculated at the replacement rate. The awardees and respective campus presidents will be notified in early fall 2019. The selected awardees will be formally announced at the 2019 Graduation Initiative 2025 Symposium, October 18-19, 2019 in Sacramento.


For any additional questions, please contact Dr. James T. Minor, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Senior Strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence at jtminor@calstate.edu or (562) 951-4307.