myService Recognition Q&A

1. Who is eligible for the service award program?
Faculty are not eligible.  Regular (benefit eligible) administrative, service and support staff who have continuous service in increments of five (5) years are eligible for the service awards.  Employees with primary titles that are administrative, service and support who are exempt from classification because their positions are primarily directing instructional or research activities are not eligible.

2. How are years of service calculated?
Service recognition is calculated on continuous years of benefit eligible service. For example, if an employee terminates employment and then returns at a later date, the calculation for years of service starts over based on the begin date of the latest benefit eligible service.

3. Do academic years of service count if an employee moves into an administrative position?
Yes.  Any years of continuous benefit eligible service are counted.

4. Is an employee still eligible for a service award if the employee transfers from an administrative position to an academic position?
Once an employee moves to an academic position, they are no longer eligible to participate in this program unless they later return to an administrative position.
5. What is the amount of the gift card?


Years of Service

   Gift Card Value


$   50


$   75


$ 100


$ 150


$ 200


$ 300


$ 350


$ 400


6. Does the gift card have an expiration date?
Yes.  The gift card's expiration date is located on the front of the gift card.

 7. Are there any restrictions on the use of the gift card?
Yes.  The gift card cannot be cashed out and must be used for tangible personal property per IRS code.

8. What is considered tangible personal property?
Tangible personal property is considered to be things you can touch - not a service or experience. These items are examples of non-tangible personal property and cannot be purchased with your gift card:  negotiable certificates (including gift certificates), travel, meals (dining out), lodging, tickets to theater and sporting events, and stocks, bonds and other securities.  Examples of tangible personal property: clothing, clocks, campus memorabilia, luggage, household goods, jewelry, and groceries.

9. What if an employee loses the gift card?
Once the gift card is in the possession of the employee, it is his/her responsibility. If a card is lost, the employee should contact his/her respective campus HR office.  A replacement fee will be deducted from the balance of the gift card. 

10. Will the employee be taxed on the service recognition card?
No. The gift card is not taxable.  A “length of service” award is not reported as taxable if it is not granted to an employee more frequently than every 5 years. The value of the award funded by the university may not exceed $400 per year per employee. For more information see Business Policy Manual 216 (Awards, Gifts & Prizes)

11. Why would an employee have a transaction denied for insufficient funds?
An employee will have a transaction denied if the purchase is more than the card amount. To not incur a denial fee, the employee should inform the cashier in advance that they will be paying $XX with the gift card and $XX in cash (or other method).

12. When and why did the university change the way it recognizes service anniversaries?
A Service Award Review Committee was formed in June 2011 to review our current service award program and determine the best way to honor employees for their long term contributions. The committee engaged various groups of employees about how best to recognize employees for their service, including distributing a survey to employees who recently received a service award. Survey results and group feedback indicated that employees would appreciate a meaningful recognition that was not limited to a select group of gifts.

After reviewing employee feedback, we redesigned the myService Recognition program. Beginning July 1, 2012, the university presents employees who have reached milestones in their university career with a certificate and gift card honoring their contributions. Eligibility for the program did not change.

The university is proud to have had the opportunity to explore new and better ways of recognizing our employees for their years of dedicated service.


Reviewed January 13, 2014.