Staff Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Where did the name ‘Zuma’ Come from?

A1. Faculty have long received ‘Monty’ awards for Outstanding Contributions to the University. These contributions are not made in a bubble. The entire staff community in some way helps to create and facilitate those endeavors behind the scenes. As the entire campus is located on Montezuma Mesa, ‘Zuma’ represents that integral support piece that doesn’t typically seek the spotlight and makes San Diego State University whole.

Q2. May I nominate myself?

A2. Yes.

Q3. May I tell the person I am nominating that I am nominating them?

A3. Yes, in fact this may be advisable. Since decisions are based on the supporting information provided with the nomination, the more specific details you can provide the better. Asking your nominee to provide those details will make for a stronger nomination.

Q4. Are multiple nominations allowed?

A4. You may nominate an individual for more than one award category; however nominations must be submitted for each category and only address criteria specific to that category. Nominations that ‘copy and paste’ the same information into all categories will be eliminated from contention.

Q5. Are Staff Honors and Awards Committee (SHAC) members eligible to receive an award?

A5. Members of the SHAC committee are ineligible to receive an award during any year they serve on the committee.

Q6. Who decides if and how many awards are given?

A6. Nominations will be reviewed by Staff Honors and Awards Committee. Those nominations which are most qualified will be verified as employees in good standing by Human Resources and then recommended to the University President. The final selection of the nominees that most exemplify the awards will be made by the President. The President will determine how many awards, if any, will be given in each category.

Q7. Can a person win more than one award?

A7. An awardee may receive more than one award; however nominations must be submitted for each individual category and only address criteria specific to that category

Q8. Is there an honorarium?

A8. Any monetary award given to Zuma Awards recipients is under the purview of the President’s office and must follow guidelines set forth by union bargaining. In the event that honorariums are given, any amount available is divided equally among all categories. If more than one person is selected (specifically in the Team Effort category), the honorarium is split evenly among the recipients. If any recipient receives more than one award, they will only receive a single honorarium.

Q9. Auxiliary Staff and MPP Categories of these awards are not mentioned in the Policy File. Why are they included in the nominations?

A9. The Celebrating Aztec Faculty and Staff (CAFS) working group is charged with ‘identifying and recognize institutional and individual excellence’. In reviewing all campus awards, the CAFS Working Group discovered that these two categories were not publicly and formally recognized. The CAFS working group has separately funded these two awards

Q10. What do you mean by non-MPP staff?

A10. Administrators (MPP) are those career level (non-student) employees who are not members of any union bargaining unit. MPP’s are eligible for the Manager of the Year award only.

Q11. Does staff from the Research Foundation and other auxiliaries qualify?

A11. Auxiliary staff qualify for the Auxiliary Support award. If an auxiliary member contributes as part of a team, they may also be recognized in the team category

Q12. Staff already receive an award for working at SDSU for 10 years and then for each 5 years beyond that. How are the Presidential Staff Excellence Awards different than those awards?

A12. The Zuma Awards are not a length of service award. They are merit awards designed to recognize those staff who significantly contributes to the university through their dedication and support of others.