Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award

Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award

Recognizing exemplary service

The Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award honors a faculty member or librarian for distinguished service to the university, a profession, a discipline, or the public. The annual award is intended to recognize service in the same way that other awards recognize distinguished teaching or research.

The winner of the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award will receive a one-time cash award of $5,000. In addition to this prize, recipients of the award will be honored at a fall semester reception, and will be considered for the W. George Pinnell university-wide award.

Read about 2023 Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award recipient


Any faculty member or librarian is eligible for nomination.

No distinction is made between persons who have been appointed to a service role and those who have not. However, the emphasis is on exceptional service in one, and usually more than one, role.

Those currently in administrative posts above the departmental level are not eligible.

Types of service appropriate for consideration

The committee will apply the following criteria approved by the Bloomington Faculty Council (Circular B27-86).

The award should be given to a person whose service to the university has been demonstrated through consistently exceptional service typically extending over a period of at least five years with evidence that the service has resulted in greater effectiveness, efficiency, and/or visibility in an operation of the university as a result of the individual’s efforts.

The award may be given to a person who has shown exceptional service to a particular profession or discipline. This person must have shown national or international involvement in one or more professional or scholarly organizations in a manner that has created a substantial impact on the ways the organization(s) serves and promotes members’ activities. For example, a candidate may be president of a national association of professionals or scholars, but unless his/her administration made an unusual impact on the affairs of the membership, the service would not be deemed exceptional.

The award may be based on a faculty member’s service on local, state, national, and/or international levels. It should reflect continuing effort and unusual achievement in promoting the objectives of a public service agency or public service principle. For example, a person active in environmental affairs may be involved with several agencies, but the promotion of the principle of maintaining healthy environments would be the focus of the award.

Frequently the award is given to a person who shows exceptional achievement in a number of areas. Evidence of contributions to the university as well as other areas should be included in the dossier where possible.

Nomination process

The nomination should engage the above criteria, and clearly describe the nature and extent of the service activities. Submitted materials can vary, but should best characterize the nominee's service contributions. Supporting evidence, such as evaluative comments by persons who are acquainted with or who have benefited from the service, is helpful.

Nominations may be made by any full-time faculty member directly to the committee or through departmental chairpersons or deans. Supporting statements or evidence should be assembled by the nominator and put into a single digital file (PDF or Word document) and sent by email no later than February 1 to

The Committee on Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Awards will review the nominations and the winner will be announced at the end of the spring semester.

If you have any questions regarding this competition, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs at 812-855-2809 or email