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24 Hours in the Life of KU

November 6, 2017

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Dear students, staff, and faculty:

Connie Shaw, information booth attendant, KU Parking & TransitWhile most of us were getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend, some University of Kansas employees were hard at work. 

Twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, staff are busy tying the loose ends, filling in the blanks, cleaning up the messes and paying the bills. It’s all too easy to overlook the significance of their contributions. We enter the room and turn on the lights. But the reality is that someone in the Power Plant has made sure the energy is flowing and someone in Facilities Services has made sure the light fixture functions. Staff are KU’s magic dust — playing roles both in the public eye and behind the scenes — that ensure the KU experience is all we hope it can be.

In this Strong Ties I want to share with you stories of some of the people who keep KU open and functioning smoothly. They feed us, house students, order supplies and materials, recruit the next class, communicate our successes, keep our computers and systems operational, enrich the academic experience, protect our intellectual and physical resources, promote our safety and well-being, maintain our campus, and fly the flags. They build an environment where more students, faculty, and staff can succeed in their endeavors. 

As I move about campus, I can’t help but see all the different staff members who are part of the team that ensures KU is a world-class institution. People like Steven Johnson Jr. who oversees activity at KU’s 12 scholarship halls, Kyndol Ohlhausen who supports batch processing for IT and monitors our computing systems and networks overnight, and Mary Ann Graham who maintains swipe-card access for buildings here in Lawrence and at the Edwards Campus and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.

Our faculty are able to pursue excellence as instructors, mentors, and researchers because staff are here to address associated responsibilities. Students are able to achieve their academic and personal goals because phenomenal staff work to enrich the educational experience. KU staff members bring dedication, pride, and specialized skills to their work. And they love what they do and who they work with. So many of our staff point to the KU community — their colleagues and the students — as the reason they absolutely love coming to work every day.  Truly, we are one team.

Staff, just as you are committed to helping KU reach its greatest potential, I am committed to helping you reach your full potential. KU offers many opportunities to advance your careers, build your academic credentials, and pursue professional development, including financial support through programs like the Jeannette Johnson Staff Professional Development Fund

It takes many people to run a university with the size and scope of KU. I would love to highlight every single staff member and the more than 400 types of jobs across our campuses and out in the field. Instead I’ll share with you a celebratory sample — 24 of our talented KU staff working at different times of the day, in different roles, and different units. Please take a look and tell them, and the other staff you encounter, that you, too, see the important work they do.

Provost's Message Signature: 

Rock Chalk,

Neeli Bendapudi

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Follow me on Twitter at @KUProvostNeeli and the Provost Office at @KUProvost. Join the office on Facebook at /KUprovostoffice/. Join the office on Instagram at /KUprovost/.

This issue of Strong Ties as well as past ones can be found on the Provost Strong Ties web page25.

On the Clock

Midnight: Fred Whitehead, Security Officer, Public Safety Office

1 a.m.: Sgt. Tom Wiseman, KU Police

2 a.m.: Andrew Miller, Emergency Communications Specialist, Public Safety Office

3 a.m.: Curtis Lindberg, IT Support Technician, Network Operations Center, Information Technology

4 a.m.: Kyndol Ohlhausen, IT Support Technician and Batch Processing, Network Operations Center, Information Technology

5 a.m.: Carla Ramirez, facilities manager, Shankel Structural Biology Center, Office of Research

6 a.m.: Steven Johnson Jr., Scholarship Halls Complex Director, KU Student Housing

7 a.m.: Connie Shaw, information booth attendant, KU Parking & Transit

8 a.m.: Jan Akers, Accounting specialist, College and Professional School SSC (Department of Chemistry)

9 a.m.: Michelle Curttright, Library Annex Manager, KU Libraries

10 a.m.: Paula Naughtin, academic adviser, School of Education

11 a.m.: Brittany Fellers, receptionist, School of Pharmacy

Noon: Paul Baker, omelet chef, catering division of KU Dining

1 p.m.: Tanner Willbanks, room scheduler, University Registrar

2 p.m.: Richard Klocke, exhibits manager, Spencer Museum of Art

3 p.m.: Kelly Blackburn, SSC manager, Education, Social and Behavioral SSC

4 p.m.: Sharon Leatherman, assistant director of Building and Event Services, Kansas Union

5 p.m.: Mary Ann Graham, systems manager, KU Card Center

6 p.m.: Cade Cruickshank, broadcast engineer, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

7 p.m.: Maureen Cole, education program coordinator, Health Education Resource Office, Watkins Health Services

8 p.m.: Emily Gullickson, education program specialist, Office of Multicultural Affairs

9 p.m.: Judy Hamner, Functional Systems Manager, assistant director of Financial Management Systems, Comptroller’s Office

10 p.m.: Christina Boyd, program coordinator, Western Kansas Master of Social Work Program in Hays and Garden City, School of Social Welfare

11 p.m.: Danny Bowman, custodial services, Lied Center for the Performing Arts

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