President's Service Award - Fall 2005
In recognition of 26 years of outstanding service to the University of Saskatchewan, Norma McBain, Administrative Assistant in the University Secretary's Office, is being honoured with the President's Service Award at Fall Convocation 2005.
For all but her first two years of service, Norma has held a key position co-ordinating activities for the senior governance bodies of the University - dealing closely with the Chancellor, Board of Governors, Senate, University Council, and student government representatives. Through her dedication, attention to detail, and helpful, cheery disposition, she has been known across campus as a solid, dependable authority who has a vast amount of corporate memory about the University, its traditions and its official policies and procedures.
More than that, her nominators and supporters note, Norma is known as someone who displays a great spirit of friendliness and selflessness - always willing to chip in and help her co-workers get the job done, and done well. One of her supervisors, with national work experience, says Norma has been "the best assistant with whom I have ever worked". Others call her a "role model" and "my most valuable resource".
Norma joined the University Studies Group at the U of S in 1979, as a clerk-steno. After a couple of years she became confidential secretary to the University Secretary, at the time Norm Cram. She has served as secretary and administrative assistant to Cram's successors, Iain MacLean, Gordon Barnhart and current University Secretary, Lea Pennock. Her duties include liaising with numerous University and government officials at all levels, handling huge volumes of documents, and assembling large meeting agendas for governance bodies. Her duties have also included many other tasks, such as helping to organize the work of search committees for the University's president.
The variety is one of the things Norma likes most about her position. "We work with such a variety of people - students, faculty, staff, and government people - that makes it interesting. The University is a great place to work, and the people are very supportive." The President's Service Award was established in 1995 to recognize exceptional contributions by non-academic staff at the University.