Lincoln Foundation award for excellence goes to ICC student

Dave Haney

The Lincoln Foundation for Performance Excellence has named Illinois Central College a recipient of the 2010 Lincoln Silver Award for Progress Toward Excellence.

ICC is the first college or university to receive the silver distinction and will be presented the award at a banquet Jan. 13 in Naperville.

“This is significant,” ICC President John Erwin told the Board of Trustees on Thursday, lauding the work of the entire staff at ICC.

“We can tell you that it is very unusual for an organization to receive this level of recognition the first time it applies to the Lincoln Foundation,” Erwin said in an e-mail announcement that went out to employees.

“Few organizations achieve a bronze level, let alone a silver, their first time out.”

ICC received notification of the award Wednesday.

The award is not limited to the education field. The not-for-profit organization also recognizes the fields of industry, service, health care and government.

The Silver Award goes to applicants that “continuously improve their performance by encouraging, developing and highlighting excellence,” according to the foundation.

ICC submitted its application for the award, consisting of a 50-page document. The ensuing process has been described as going through an accreditation process.

A selected team of Lincoln examiners reviews and assesses each award application in several areas including: leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, knowledge management, workforce focus and organizational results. The process is patterned after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

A panel of judges determined which applicants earned recognition.

ICC has met the second-highest level of state performance on these standards.

“This award is a reflection on who we are, how we do our work and why we’re here,” Erwin said. “We can be both humbled and proud of this spectacular honor.”