Special Merit Award


The Special Merit award is presented in recognition of a person, group or organization in recognition of distinctive support for the purposes and goals of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

The award is usually presented to a person, group, or organization in recognition of distinctive support for the purposes and goals of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.


When reviewing nominations, the awards committee will make decisions based on the following preferred and demonstrated attributes:
  1. Service or contributions that advance the purposes and goals of ASHE or research on higher education.
  2. The distinctiveness of the service or contributions to ASHE.


  • Nominations will be open from May 4, 2022-July 1, 2022 at Noon Pacific. Due to the number of submissions and the review process, no late submissions will be accepted; as such, nominators are encouraged to submit their nominations well in advance of this deadline.
  • Nominators and nominees will be informed of decisions in mid-September.
  • An announcement of recipients will be sent to the ASHE membership in late September.
  • The recipient(s) will be recognized during the ASHE Awards Ceremony during the Annual Conference


You'll need:

  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Coordinating Nominator
  • Name, Title, Position, Institution, Email, and Phone Number of Nominee
  • A nomination statement up to 750 words that demonstrates the nominee's match to the award evaluation criteria.
  • 2-3 letters of support. For upload into the nomination form, these should be combined into one document, preferably a pdf.
  • The nominee's CV.
Due to the increased number of nominations received in recent years, each nominee will be limited to one nomination. In the event multiple nominations are submitted, the committee chair will notify the coordinating nominators requesting they consolidate their nominations.

The coordinating nominator, as well as the award nominee(s) (and subsequently recipient(s)), must be current members of ASHE.

Questions about the 2022 award process can be sent to office@ashe.ws.
Nominations are now closed for 2022. 


The ASHE Awards Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Directors. Committee members are recommended by the President to the Board of Directors and service 1-3 year terms.

2022 Committee Members:

  • Glenda Musoba, Texas A&M University (Chair)
  • Jarett Haley, University of Michigan
  • Chris Linder, University of Utah (Board of Directors Representative)
  • Darris Means, University of Pittsburgh
  • Matthew Witenstein, University of Dayton
  • Julie Park, University of Maryland - College Park

2021 Special Merit Award:
Jennifer Hoffman, University of Washington

2020 Special Merit Award:
The Indigenous Scholars Collective


  • 2021 Jennifer Hoffman
  • 2020 The Indigenous Scholars Collective
  • 2016 Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA
  • 2015 Inside Higher Ed
  • 2011 Institute for Higher Education Policy
  • 2010 The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
  • 2008 The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina
  • 2006 United Negro College Fund
  • 2005 Samuel E. Kellams
  • 2004 Jerry Davis/Lumina
  • 2003 University of Michigan Affirmative Action Defense Team
  • 2002 Walter R. Allen
  • 2001 Clifford Adelman & Deborah Wilds
  • 2000 Michael Olivas
  • 1995 Lavina Fielding Anderson
  • 1993 Walter Hobbs
  • 1992 Jossey-Bass Incorporated Publishers
  • 1989 Peggy Heim & Robert Silverman