STAR Program: FAQs

  1. Who can approve a STAR Award?
  2. What’s the process for requesting a STAR Award?
  3. If I want to request an award for a team or workgroup, should I complete a separate request form for each individual?
  4. Is there a deadline for requesting a STAR Award?
  5. Once a request is approved, when can an employee expect to receive payment of a STAR award?
  6. How will employees be notified if they are going to receive a STAR award?
  7. Can I give an award to an employee who works in another department? What approvals are required?
  8. What is the fund source for STAR awards?

1. Who can approve a STAR Award?

All STAR awards up to $500 require the approval of the Division Head as well as approval of the Executive Director, UCOP Human Resources and Executive Director, UCOP Operations. A list of approval authorities is included on the second page of the STAR program summary.

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2. What’s the process for requesting a STAR Award?

Complete a nomination form, including a brief description of the specific reason for the nomination and the applicable FAU number. Then obtain the required approvals up to the Division Head level. After the Division Head has approved, the completed form should be routed to StarAwardSubmissions@UCOP.edu electronically. Awards are limited to a maximum of $500.  Request forms should not be sent directly to HR Payroll; forms sent directly to HR Payroll will be returned to the sender.

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3. If I want to request an award for a team or workgroup, should I complete a separate request form for each individual?

Yes.

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4. Is there a deadline for requesting a STAR Award?

STAR awards may be presented at any time during the fiscal year and should be awarded as soon as possible after the accomplishment or event in order to provide immediate recognition to employees. The UCOP STAR Program has been approved through June 30 2018. Continuation of the program beyond June 2018 is subject to annual review.

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5. Once a request is approved, when can an employee expect to receive payment of a STAR award?

STAR awards will be processed as they are approved and paid in the next regular paycheck. Timing is subject to payroll deadlines. STAR awards are considered taxable income, but they are not covered compensation under the UC Retirement Plan. STAR awards will not be issued as separate, off-cycle checks.

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6. How will employees be notified if they are going to receive a STAR award?

After awards are approved, they are forwarded to HR Payroll for processing. HR will provide a notification letter template to the nominator, which can then be completed and given to the employee.

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7. Can I give an award to an employee who works in another department? What approvals are required?

Yes, in order to request an award for an employee in another department, the nominator should first obtain approval from the employee’s immediate supervisor to confirm the employee has a ‘successfully meets expectations’ performance rating and is otherwise eligible. Additional approvals at the Department and Division Head level should come from the department/division that is the source of funding for the award.

The Executive Director, UCOP Human Resources and Executive Director, UCOP Operations will review and approve all STAR awards to ensure compliance with the STAR Plan guidelines.

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8. What is the fund source for STAR awards?

There will be no central source of funding for the program, so awards must be paid from existing division and department budgets. Unrestricted fund sources (mainly assessment funds) may be used for STAR Awards. The use of restricted funds is subject to any restrictions on those funds.

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