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Coffee, TEA or SB?

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    No, there are no Coffee Awards (though some mornings we may wish there were), but here is a primer on the two awards—Tradition of Excellence (TEA, though sometimes referred to as TOE) and Spot Bonus (SB) – that staff can receive during the year. Read more about the impact these awards are having across campus in this month’s Spotlight. (there will be a link to the article with the interviews here).

Tradition of Excellence Awards (TEA)

Criteria: To qualify, an individual or team should demonstrate outstanding behaviors or produce exceptional results, either within a single department or across the University, in one of three categories: Job Performance, Character, and Team Focused Contribution.

Who Can Nominate: Anyone may nominate an individual or team. This includes staff, faculty, students, alumni, visitors, and vendors. All nominators must identify themselves. Anonymous nominations will not be considered.

Evaluation: Nominations are evaluated by a committee of staff members from across the campus community.

The Award: Recipients receive…
  • A congratulatory letter from the VP or Dean of their stem,
  • A check in the amount of $150 net,
  • A certificate,
  • A medallion inscribed with the Lehigh TEA logo
  • Invitation to annual recognition breakfast.

Spot Bonus Awards (SB)

Criteria: Performance substantially beyond expectation, contributions that have a significant impact, and/or extraordinary efforts above and beyond the normal responsibilities of the position which advance a department, stem or university goal Senior leaders are not eligible for these awards, which are now awarded to individuals only.

Who Can Nominate: A staff member’s supervisor or above may begin the nomination process for an award. Each successive supervisor will need to concur with the nomination.

Evaluation: Final determination rests with a three-person committee of senior administrators.

The Award: The size of the bonuses will vary based on the achievement and will be in the range of $300 to $3,000 which may include a departmental contribution. Recipients also receive an invitation to the annual recognition breakfast.

Information on the annual Lehigh University Awards is also available on the HR website.

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

Current and past issues of Spotlight can be viewed and searched at: Past Issues.