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After assisting thousands of students in achieving their goals for more than 75 years, Old Dominion University staff will get help realizing their own dreams, thanks to a new fund set up by President Roseann Runte that will provide time off and funding for deserving employees to pursue a long-held dream.

Runte announced the new recognition program, the Staff Dream Fund, at her annual State of the University address Aug. 23. It will launch in spring 2008.

"We all have dreams," Runte said. "Universities help students, faculty and researchers achieve their dreams. I wanted to offer an opportunity for staff to do the same. I believe that by helping each other we will improve our society. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to do something special for those who work with us daily and who are so dedicated to the success of our students and our university."

The new program will provide monetary awards of $2,000 to $4,000 and up to five days' paid time off each year for a staff member to fulfill a long-held dream -- pursuing studies in an area unrelated to work, travelling to another country or visiting family far away, for example. The awards are not intended to address personal hardship situations, emergencies or job-related professional development.

Full-time classified employees and full-time administrative and professional faculty who have worked at the university for a minimum of five years are eligible. Applicants must also have satisfactory or higher performance evaluations and no active disciplinary actions. Applications will be due to the Human Resources Department in February, with a winner being announced in April and funding made available in June.

Applicants must submit a package that includes:
*a letter stating the dream, the reasons for it and a budget;
*a letter of support from a direct supervisor indicating the candidate is a valuable and meritorious employee;
*a letter of support from an Old Dominion colleague;
*a brief resume;
*a statement of intent to remain at Old Dominion for the foreseeable future.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from the Hourly and Classified Employees Association and the Association of University Administrators, the offices of Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, Development, Alumni Relations, Institutional Advancement, Research and Student Affairs, and the President's Office.

The program is privately funded through an endowment. Depending upon the amount of funding available each year, more than one recipient may be selected.

This article was posted on: August 23, 2006

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.