President's Service Award - Fall 2000
Nominators and numerous supporters from around the University were insistent that there could be no candidate more deserving of the President's Service Award than our Fall 2000 recipient, Dorothy Austen. Currently the administrative assistant for all four associate deans in the College of Arts & Science, Dorothy has worked in the College for over 25 years, attaining positions of increasing responsibility until those in the Dean's Office say she is now virtually indispensable.
"The Dean's Office of the College of Arts and Science is very fortunate that Dorothy continues to work here. During my tenure here, I have developed the greatest respect and admiration for her as a person and an employee," said nominator Wayne Skrapek, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Affairs).
Dorothy's responsibilities are many and varied. She handles the hiring of sessional lecturers and the awarding of graduate teaching fellows. She's responsible for coordinating the promotion/tenure process for all faculty in the College and she looks after competitions for CUPE, ASPA, and student travel funds. She often comes in during her holidays and at weekends to ensure these things are done in a timely fashion, but she never draws attention to this extra work or dedicated effort on her part.
Dorothy regularly goes beyond the requirements of her job description, using her own initiatives to do what needs to be done, to make less work for others. All of the associate deans in the College of Arts and Science emphasize how she makes their multiple responsibilities manageable.
Dorothy's contribution to the College goes well beyond the administrative. She is often the first person students approach with questions or problems. She deals with all of them in a calm, sometimes humorous fashion, giving support or sympathy where requird and genuinely caring about everyone's problems.
"For anyone who phones or comes into her office, Dorothy Austen is the personable woman who reminds one that the University's largest College is not an impersonal place," said Claud Thompson, former acting dean. Dorothy's supporters list many qualities that have earned her the respect of supervisors and co-workers alike. She is upbeat and positive, discreet and supportive. She is unflappable, quietly professional. She is straightforward, yet tactful. "Dorothy has set the tone in this office for over twenty years and she serves as a role model for us all," said Tom Wishart, former acting dean.
Dorothy herself was surprised to be nominated for this award. She says she only does her job, nothing spectacular. Students, faculty, and staff in the College of Arts & Science respectfully disagree. "Because of her positive and caring atittude, disgruntled students leave her office feeling they have been listened to, over-stressed employees can face the rest of the day with hope, and impatient faculty know the job will be done," said Kurt Tischler.