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AAUA Awards
A.A.U.A. Annual Awards Program

Note: Although nominations for all awards are solicited on an annual basis, awards are made
only when the selection committee believes there is a sufficiently qualified candidate.

BLACKBURN AWARD AND EXEMPLARY MODELS AWARDS. Named for AAUA-pioneer and former long-time General Secretary of AAUA, John L. Blackburn Award, the Blackburn and Exemplary Models Awards recognize outstanding examples of college/university leadership that demonstrate creative solutions to common problems in higher education. These include programs or methods that exemplify successful efforts to meet internal or external challenges and demands—including, but not limited to—those posed by one or more of a wide variety of influencing sources such as legislative bodies or public policy bureaucracies, accreditation agencies, institution-based strategic aspirations, and/or external demands for documentable evidence of the effectiveness and value of higher education. Awards can be given for work at any or all institutional levels, about any or all institutional functions, and at any public or private two- or four- year college(s) or university(ies). (Occasionally AAUA gives multiple Exemplary Models awards in a single year with the Blackburn Award going to the one judged the best of all submissions. The Blackburn Award is considered AAUA’s highest institutional/programmatic recognition.)

KHALADJAN INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION. The Khaladjan International Award for Innovation in Higher Education recognizes innovation and achievement in higher education worldwide. Named for the founder and former president of the Moscow External University of the Humanities, the award is given for work that is both innovative and has wide potential for application or impact on the international dimensions of post-secondary education. Any higher education institution or unit within a higher education institution is eligible to compete for this award, but the award sponsors are especially interested in recognizing: (1) innovative teaching methods; (2) methods which widen access to education; (3) extension of or more efficient use of teaching resources; (4) wide use of or development of learning technology; and (5) efforts that accelerate or deepen student learning.

TOSNEY AWARD FOR CAREER SERVICE IN HIGHER EDUCATION. Named for one of the AAUA pioneer members, Eileen Tosney, this award recognizes outstanding, long-term experience as an administrator in the field of higher education; it is most often awarded as a career capstone recognition. Eligibility requires that the nominee: (1) be an active (or recently retired), full-time professional administrator, (2) have a minimum of five years of administrative experience, and (3) have demonstrated significant external professional activities; usually, recipients have an established national profile in higher education leadership. (The Tosney Award is considered AAUA’s highest individual recognition.)

MCINNESS/RYAN AWARD FOR MID-CAREER HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERSHIP. Named for the two individuals who authored the Association’s first Statement of Professional Standards for Administrators in Higher Education—William C. McInness, S.J., and Edmund G. Ryan, S.J.—the McInness/Ryan Award for Mid-Career Higher Education Leadership is made to an individual with 5 - 15 years of higher education administrative service who has demonstrated professional accomplishment significantly beyond the norm and who has—by virtue of his/her achievements and behaviors—demonstrated a personal commitment to ethical and principled leadership practice.

MacVITTIE EMERGING LEADER AWARD. Named for Robert W. MacVittie, this award is made to an individual who is currently engaged in a higher education administrative position below the level of vice president and who has completed less than five years of service at the current level of appointment and who, by virtue of demonstrated professional accomplishment, is thought to have outstanding potential for higher education leadership. It is named for the first elected-president of AAUA.

KING AWARD FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TRUSTEE LEADERSHIP. Named for Dan L. King, current President/CEO of AAUA and longest serving executive officer in its history, this award is given annually to a college or university board member whose service exemplifies commitment to higher education and who demonstrates the highest ethical standards in providing leadership from the trustee-level; currently serving or recently retired board.

NEUNER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL-SCHOLARLY PUBLICATION. Given annually to the author judged to have written the overall finest manuscript published during the preceding year in the Journal of Higher Education Management, this award is named for Jerome L. Neuner, two-time elected-president and chairperson of the Board, and longest tenured Board member in the history of AAUA. Selection criteria include overall intellectual, scholarly, and professional quality; and the extent to which the manuscript advances (a) a discussion of the current issues, problems and challenges facing higher education; (b) an exchange of practical wisdom and techniques in the areas of higher education leadership, policy analysis and development, and institutional management; and (c) the identification and explication of the principles and standards of college and university administration.

WATSON AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL-SCHOLARLY PRESENTATION. Named for Alan B. Watson, a former AAUA elected-president who later served as the association’s General Secretary, this award is given annually to the presenter judged to have delivered the overall finest presentation at the preceding year’s AAUA meeting. Criteria include scholarly quality, professional relevance and importance, overall presentation quality, and extent to which the session advanced the theme/topic of the seminar.

Dissertation Awards – (1) DONALD A. GATZKE OUTSTANDING DISSERTATION AWARD; and (2) LEO AND MARGARET GOODMAN-MALAMUTH OUTSTANDING DISSERTATION AWARD. These two awards—named to honor professionally prominent long-time leaders of the association—are made to authors of outstanding doctoral dissertations in the field of higher education or higher education administration. Criteria for selection are: (1) the importance and relevance of the topic to the broad field of higher education administration; (2) evidence of the development of a theoretical framework which guided the research; (3) the appropriateness of the research method and analysis; (4) the overall quality of writing; (5) the potential for publication and/or other dissemination of research results; and (6) the degree to which the results provide useful information for practitioners in the professional field of higher education.

A.A.U.A. DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD. The AAUA Distinguished Service Award is presented to a current or former member of the Association who is recognized (a) as having made significant contributions to the advancement of the Association, and (b) as having distinguished himself/herself as a highly successful professional in higher education leadership.



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