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July 3, 2014

Academic Affair’s Pat Beauter is June Employee of the Month

Photo of Pat Beauter and ODU President John R. BroderickPat Beauter and ODU President John R. Broderick

Old Dominion University's June (2014) Employee of the Month, Pat Beauter, is known for operating under the radar while quietly and efficiently navigating administrative systems, policies and procedures, inter-departmental problems and finding solutions for all sorts of daily issues challenging the university's Academic Affairs Division, where she is the business manager.

In nominating Beauter for Employee of the Month, Jim Duffy, associate vice president for academic affairs, noted she routinely tackles those tasks and more by drawing on her extensive knowledge of university systems and procedures.

"Pat is a problem-solver whose experience with the University makes her an invaluable colleague and navigator for many," he said.

A list of important duties Beauter regularly performs, or has performed, for the division are cited in Duffy's nomination. They include:

  • Assisted in preparation of faculty conversion contracts and coordinated review of sponsored research funding with ODURF
  • Managed procurement, finances, travel and reimbursement for Climate Change & Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) faculty
  • Coordinated year-end budget adjustment reviews and troubleshooting for numerous departments across Academic Affairs
  • Consulted departments to unravel financial records and projections
  • Coordinated annual Educational Foundation transfer requests process from the university's colleges
  • Assisted with faculty contract and salary compression data reviews
  • Managed year-end budget process for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies office
  • Assisted with ETF process kickoff
  • Represented Academic Affairs in staying current on evolving finance department procedures regarding travel reimbursement and employment of students
  • Routinely conducts ad hoc research for associate vice president for Academic Affairs
  • Manages intricate process of procurement and contracts management
  • Reviews contract course cost-benefit packages prior to authorizing payments
  • Maintains rapport with college financial managers to tackle issues identified by the associate vice president

Larry Atkinson, ODU Eminent Scholar and the Samuel L. and Fay M. Slover Professor of Oceanography, said Beauter has been "unbelievably helpful" since the start of CCSLRI in assisting faculty with travel needs and to make purchases.

"Her deeply rooted attitude of supporting faculty in the work we are doing and making sure that we can focus on our research, teaching and outreach instead of having to deal with the intricate details of, for example, travel requests and claims, is invaluable not only for us, but also for the university," Atkinson said. "It is not an exaggeration to say that Pat Beauter is exceptional and an asset for ODU."

Even with a plethora of daily duties and responsibilities on her plate, Beauter still finds time to serve as chief office celebration organizer whenever a colleague has a birthday or other important life event.

ODU Vice Provost Chandra de Silva praised Beauter's work ethic but also said she is a leader in the provost's office in regards to fostering a sense of togetherness.

"This helps us to get to know each other better and fosters linkages across office ranks and office walls," he said. "Her generosity and concern for others makes us all a cohesive team. Then again, she is excellent in dissemination of best practices. It took me a while to realize how valuable she was to ODU because she does not talk about what she does - she just does it."

DETAILS ABOUT THE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH PROCESS

The University Employee of the Month Selection Committee encourages employees to nominate their outstanding, "go the extra mile" colleagues and employees. This program is designed to acknowledge and reward employees whose accomplishments and/or demeanor exemplify excellence, quality service and commitment to ODU. Classified and AP faculty employees receive a framed certificate from the president, $175 and one day of leave. Hourly winners get $250, since they are not eligible to receive recognition leave.

Note: The selection committee needs specific examples that relate to each applicable criterion in order to select a nominee for the award. Nominations remain active for six months from date of submission and nominators may submit additional documentation to support a nominee during the active six months.

The criteria used to nominate an employee include the following:

  • An outstanding accomplishment that benefited the department/students.
  • Extraordinary service to internal and/or external customers.
  • Inspiring initiative/leadership.
  • Enthusiasm/energy given to assigned work.
  • Teamwork.
  • Exemplary efforts to nurture a climate of care, concern and civility.
  • Creative innovations to service, process or work tools.

For more information, contact Tony Belk at jbelk@odu.edu or 683-3046, or go to the Department of Human Resources website.