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Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards for FY 2021-22

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Campus Human Resources

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

Based on our review of best practices in the area of employee recognition programs and our experience in previous years, please note the following plan features and recommendations:

  • Total annual award expenditures may be up to 2% of the payroll base of eligible filled positions this year.
  • Consistent with program intent and to ensure equitable distribution, the maximum award amount for all levels of staff will be 10% of base salary or $5,000, whichever is less.
  • It is recommended that the number of awards be within 25-30% of the eligible population, but may be higher in some circumstances.
  • It is recommended that distribution of the awards be generally consistent with the relative proportion of employees at management and staff levels in the organization.
  • STAR awards are discretionary and are not intended to serve as salary supplements.
  • Prior to the nomination process, it is recommended that organizational leadership identify the strategic focus area(s) for awards, such as exemplary customer service, improved efficiency in operations, outstanding team leadership, for example, so that the awards have a more targeted impact.

The Guidelines are consistent with Staff Policy 34, Incentive and Recognition Award Plans (PDF) and provide a basis to recognize staff members for their achievements and outstanding contributions to the department, organization, and/or the campus.

STAR Plan eligibility requirements for policy-covered staff (PSS and MSP) are described in the Guidelines. Highlights are noted below:

  • Awards are in the form of a lump sum and may range from $250 to a maximum of $5,000 or 10% of base pay, whichever is less. (The XSL Earn Code should be used to process all cash awards that fall within the STAR Plan.)
  • To receive an award, eligible staff must be on pay status for at least six months and have successfully completed their probationary period, if applicable; they must be on pay status at the time of the payout to receive an award.
  • Please note that in addition to policy-covered (non-represented) staff and Management & Senior Professional (MSP) employees, represented employees in the Clerical Unit (“CX”) and UCLA Skilled Crafts Unit (“K4”) are eligible for STAR awards under the same terms and conditions that apply to policy-covered employees.
  • All awards require specific documentation of performance and achievements that are the basis for the award. Only those employees who have achieved a performance rating of “meets expectations” or better are eligible to receive an award. Please utilize the CHR Award Nomination Form for the necessary documentation of award approval.

Campus departments may contact CHR Compensation Services for questions. Guidelines for the David Geffen School of Medicine, consistent with the above parameters, are issued separately by Health Human Resources.


Lubbe Levin
Associate Vice Chancellor
Campus Human Resources