Opperman Award for Staff Advocacy


The Employee Assembly values and recognizes outstanding leadership in being an active voice for the staff via the Employee Assembly Opperman Award for Staff Advocacy (OASA).

All Cornell staff, faculty, and academic professionals are eligible for consideration for this award. Nominations may be submitted by staff only.

Nominees must have a demonstrable history at Cornell of:

  • Treating their staff members or staff colleagues with fairness, respect and dignity at all times
  • Being an extraordinary advocate for the wellbeing of staff with university, division, department or college leadership
  • Fostering a positive environment where staff at all levels know they are valued and appreciated contributors to Cornell and its mission
  • Fostering an environment where employees can freely express their ideas, opinions, and concerns
  • Creating or encouraging a culture which allows staff to thrive both at home and in the workplace
  • Consistently demonstrating commitment to encouraging, advocating for and supporting staff excellence
  • Creating or promoting an environment where staff of all backgrounds feel they are valued and belong

Examples of activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Develops or engages with leadership to promote staff friendly programs in individual department/unit.
  • Supports employee flexible work arrangements.
  • Encourages and supports staff/peers/colleagues’ participation in development and wellbeing programs.
  • Regularly provides or engages with leadership to promote development opportunities for members of the department/unit, for example, encouraging participation in university committees such as the Employee Assembly.
  • Stands up for staff/peers/colleagues in adverse situations, for example, in situations where other community members treat staff in an uncivil manner.
  • Promotes a culture ensuring staff receive recognition for “above and beyond” accomplishments

Nomination and Selection Process:

  • Nominations may be submitted by any staff member at the University.
  • The SRAEC committee evaluates the nominees and selects its top three choices, which are recommended to an “ad hoc awards committee” which makes the final selection.
  • The OASA ad hoc committee is composed of six members:
    • Employee Assembly member
    • Chair of SRAEC
    • SREAC member
    • PawPrint editor
    • Employee-elected trustee
  • The OASA is to be awarded on a bi-annual basis.
  • Awards will be presented at an EA recognition event and recipient will receive a monetary award funded through the Office of the President.

Application Form