Biblically Centered Education
Hoffman Award Section 4.21 Dept: Human Resources Revised: July 28th, 2010

The first Hoffman Awards were presented in 1976. The concept was the dream of a former Biola employee, Donald Hoffman, an alumnus of Biola who worked in the Accounting department from 1970 to 1975. His idea was to provide the university with a special means of recognizing non-faculty employees for "outstanding service in the current award year"––those whose excellent work might too easily go unrecognized. In 1975, Mr. Hoffman and his wife, Susan, had the necessary legal documents drawn up to create a trust fund, which they entitled the "Hoffman Incentive Compensation Endowment Fund." This document outlined specific instructions on how the program was to be administered.

The trust document required that a committee choose the award recipients. Biola decided that the members of the committee should include a cross-section of Biola employees and the recipients of awards should be primarily non-exempt (02) staff. The document further specified a formula for deciding the number of employees that will be eligible for awards. 

From time to time, the Hoffmans contribute funds to the trust to build up the balance. The interest earned on the fund balance is then distributed to the Hoffman award recipients. As the trust has grown over the years, so have the dollars available for awards. Although the actual award amounts vary each year, depending on interest rates, amounts awarded have been in excess of $1,500 per recipient.


  1. The first step in the nomination process will be the publication of a nomination form online, accompanied by a list of eligible employees.
  2. An employee may nominate more than one person by submitting a nomination form for each candidate. 
  3. Nominations should present as much information as necessary to describe the accomplishments/traits that exhibit excellence and outstanding service.


  1. The Hoffman Committee will consist of five employees. The Hoffman Committee will include three non-exempt (02, hourly) employees, one of whom will be a previous Hoffman Award winner, and two exempt (01, salaried) employees.
  2. Committee members must have been employed at Biola for at least one year and be in good standing as an employee.
  3. Employees who have served on the committee during any of the preceding five years are not eligible.
  4. The committee will be representative of the campus: over-representation by any building or division will be avoided. 
  5. At the time the Hoffman nomination forms are made available online, the Human Resources department will issue a campus-wide request for (eligible) volunteers to serve on the Hoffman Committee.
  6. Strong consideration will be given to committee candidates who possess the following:
    • Good over-all knowledge of Biola departments
    • Fair-mindedness, objectivity
    • Willingness and ability to devote the necessary effort and time to the award process
  7. Keeping the preceding qualifications and considerations in mind, five committee members will be chosen by the Senior Director of Human Resources.
  8. The names of committee members will not be announced in order to protect them and the award decision-making process from perceived or actual outside influence.


  1. The interest earned on the Hoffman Endowment Fund during the preceding calendar year will be available for distribution to Hoffman awardees.
  2. Selected employees will each receive a check for an equal proration of the available award dollars, less any required federal and state taxes.
  3. Hoffman awardees will each receive a customized trophy.
  4. Award recipients will be photographed with the Hoffmans and receive a digital photograph.
  5. The current year’s award recipients and employees who previously have received the award will attend a reception in their honor, following the award presentations.
  6. Department heads may invite immediate family members of the award recipient to attend the presentation meeting and the reception.


  1. Regular employees are eligible, up to, but not including, director level for nomination to receive the Hoffman Award. While eligible, the number of awards that may be given to exempt (01, salaried) employees may be limited to a lesser number than to non-exempt (02, hourly).
  2. A nominee must have been employed at Biola for at least one year and be in good standing as an employee.
  3. Employees who have received the Hoffman Award during any of the preceding five years are not eligible.
  4. Nominees must have clearly given outstanding service to Biola during the award year. The following are qualities which evidence excellence:
  • Performing job duties consistently well
  • Working effectively with fellow employees
  • Personifying exemplary character
  • Representing Biola well to its constituency: students, visitors, churches, and others whom we serve
  • Presenting suggestions, resulting in significant improvements
  • Providing outstanding work on a special project

Award Decision

  1. Prior to the committee meeting, copies of the nomination forms will be delivered to each committee member for his/her study and consideration, in preparation for discussion at the meeting.
  2. The committee members will consider how well each nominee’s performance/accomplishments evidence outstanding service, as outlined in the eligibility section.
  3. The Hoffman Committee will meet to choose the Hoffman Award recipients during a committee meeting.
  4. Two Human Resources employees, the director and employment manager, will attend the meeting as facilitators of open discussion, to ensure that the proper program process is followed. They will neither vote, nor control the committee’s decision.
  5. Committee members will discuss their evaluations of the nominees. After consideration of the information discussed, committee members will then vote by secret ballot for the nominees that they feel are the strongest candidates for awards. Nominees with the strongest evaluations will remain under consideration. By a series of discussion/evaluation periods, followed by secret-ballot votes, the field of nominees will be narrowed to the employees who will receive Hoffman Awards.
  6. Award recipients’ department heads will be notified within 24 hours of the meeting that their employees will receive Hoffman Awards and that they will be responsible to ensure that their employees attend the awards presentation.


  1. The Hoffman Awards will be presented at an employee meeting, held near the end of each calendar year.
  2. The awards will be presented by Donald and/or Susan Hoffman, the President of Biola, and the Senior Director of Human Resources, as available.
Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639