Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Program

The Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Program is an exciting opportunity for UIW employees to be formally recognized and monetarily rewarded for generating practical cost saving ideas and increasing efficiencies outside of their normal job responsibilities. Continuous improvement and innovation are aligned with the mission of the university.

An Innovative Cardinal Suggestion is an original and tangible idea that identifies an existing situation and proposes a cost savings suggestion without adverse effect on the quality or scope of services. Tangible ideas are those that are financial in nature and can be quantified using cost analysis. The suggestion must describe the type of cost savings and be quantifiable, setting out the anticipated savings if the suggestion was implemented. Cost saving suggestion can be eliminating unnecessary processes or development of new methods.


All full time employees with exception of those at the Vice President level or higher are eligible to participate.
Members of the Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Program Committee are not eligible to participate.

Program Administration

The program will be administered by the Human Resources Department. All employee suggestions must be detailed on the Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Form and signed. The form can be found on the UIW HR website. Management approval is not required to submit a suggestion. All suggestions will be entered into a log maintained by Human Resources.

An advisory committee, the Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Committee, will review all the suggestions to determine which suggestions are feasible and can be implemented to produce cost savings. The Committee will be comprised of five UIW employees, consisting of one employee from Human Resources, a faculty member, a staff employee, an accounting or finance administrator and a management employee. Members of the Committee will rotate each calendar year.

The Committee will convene on a monthly basis to review suggestions. The Committee may consult as necessary with the vice-president and/or director of the effected department regarding the feasibility of the implementation. If no suggestions are received during the month, the Committee will not meet.

Approval from the vice-president of the department that has the subject expertise as well as the Vice President of Business and Finance will be necessary for implementation and the awarding of money. If duplicate suggestions are received, the suggestion with the earlier submission date will be eligible.

Employees will be notified within thirty business days of review if their suggestion will be adopted and the amount of the award. The Human Resources Director or his/her representative will notify the vice-president and the director of the effected department with a target goal for the suggestion to be implemented within sixty days of notification to the employee.

Decisions of the Innovative Cardinal Suggestion Committee are final and binding. The University reserves the right to amend or terminate the program at any time.


A token of appreciation will be provided to all eligible employees that make a suggestion whether it is implemented or not.

Monetary awards will be given for suggestions that are implemented. Employees whose ideas are implemented will receive 5% of the projected first year savings with a minimum award of $50 up to a maximum award of $5,000. To qualify for a $50 award, the minimum estimated cost savings must yield $1,000, and similarly, to qualify for a $5000 award, the estimated cost savings must yield at least $100,000.  State and federal taxes will be withheld and the award will be adjusted up to cover the taxes. When the suggestion receiving an award is made by a team, the team will divide the award equally. Employees must be actively employed on the day the cash award is made. Employees separating from the University before the award is made are automatically disqualified from receiving the award.

Employees whose suggestions are implemented will also be recognized at the yearly Heritage Day event.

Ineligible Suggestions

A suggestion which represents a part of the normal or expected duties of the employee making the suggestion.

Suggestions expressed by an employee that has the ability and authority to implement their own suggestions.

Suggestions that correct a situation that exists because established procedures are not being followed.

Suggestions related to wages, benefits, work hours, discipline, outsourcing jobs or complaints will not be considered.

If you have any questions, contact the Human Resources Department at or (210) 829-6019.