What do I have to do?

As a supervisor, your role in the STAR program has four parts:

  • talk to staff members who report to you about the program (ideally, during the first few days or weeks of employment)
  • review and approve or deny their requests for STAR credit (following the guidelines on the STAR Eligibility page)
  • work with staff members to make time for STAR activities
  • attach a printed STAR report to each staff member’s annual evaluation prior to submitting the evaluation to the Dean’s Office

The STAR system will email you when an event has been submitted for your approval. If you approve the event, the team member will return to the STAR site after attending the event to mark the event as completed. You’ll then receive an email from the STAR system notifying you that the employee has completed the event.

How should I explain STAR to staff members?

STAR is an incentive program intended to reward A&S staff who complete 20 or more hours of professional development activities in a year. The STAR year runs from May 1 through April 30.

STAR is not mandatory, and annual raises and Dean’s Merit raises are not tied to STAR participation. In any year in which the UA Board of Trustees approves funding for raises, staff members in the College of Arts and Sciences may receive (1) department raises, which are given according to guidelines set by staff members’ specific departments; (2) Dean’s Merit raises, which are awarded by the dean, based on supervisors’ recommendations, to up to 40 percent of each department’s staff; and/or (3) the STAR Incentive. The amount given to those who complete the STAR program requirements is dependent on allocation of University funding and board of trustees approval.

Please provide staff members with a copy of the downloadable STAR informational flyer (PDF) or refer them to this website if they have further questions.

What kinds of activities should I approve/deny?

Not all activities are eligible for STAR hours, and ineligible activities should never receive supervisor approval. The Dean’s Office reviews every employee’s STAR records prior to awarding the STAR Incentive and will not count ineligible activities, even if approved by the supervisor, toward the 20-hour requirement. Supervisors who approve ineligible activities aren’t doing their employees any favors — instead, they’re setting them up for disappointment.

Examples of eligible and ineligible activities are provided on our STAR Eligibility page. If one of your employees requests approval for an event not listed as eligible or ineligible on this website, use our User Help & Suggestions form to submit the name, date, and a description of the event, and a link to the event’s web page (if it has one) for review by the Dean’s Office.

How much STAR credit are activities worth?

If they meet other criteria for eligibility (i.e., they are designed to enhance skills and knowledge related to the employee’s job), activities like courses, workshops, conference sessions, and webinars receive STAR credit equivalent to the length of the professional development portions of the activity. Examples:

  • An employee completes an hourlong HR-sponsored workshop on software he uses at work. He has earned 1 hour of STAR credit.
  • An employee travels to an overnight conference; she attends three 2-hour sessions the first day and two 2-hour sessions the second day before returning home. She has earned 10 hours of STAR credit.
  • An employee views a pre-recorded webinar at his desk during work hours. The webinar provides 45 minutes of content. He takes over an hour to complete it, however, because he pauses the webinar to answer the phone and handle other interruptions. He has earned 45 minutes of STAR credit.
  • An employee attends a CASSA luncheon, which includes a 30-minute presentation and about an hour of eating and socializing. She has earned 30 minutes of STAR credit. (CASSA, OCTSA, and PSA meetings are worth 30 minutes of STAR credit.)

Do I have to let my people participate in STAR?

Yes. A&S supervisors are required to work with their staff to make time to complete STAR hours.