Of the awards the University bestows this is a special one for me because Wayne Westling was a dear colleague and friend. My faculty neighbor, Wayne was the embodiment of university service and community service, and it is so fitting that we have this award in his memory. I am honored beyond words to be this year’s recipient. This University has been my professional home for more than 20 years, and I appreciate the many opportunities the University has given me. This is an amazing place, with so much good work going on around us every day. I have benefitted from my involvement with University service, learning from each project and meeting wonderful members of our community. My work on the diversity plan, in particular, was an incredible learning experience for me, one that continues to influence me and has influenced my scholarly work. I love the University because it’s a place of learning, and all of us who work here get to continue learning throughout our professional lives. Thank you so much for this recognition. There are many, many others at our University who deserve this award, and I am honored to have received it.
I have to say that this comes as quite a surprise. It is always nice to be recognized and appreciated. I would like thank those who saw fit to nominate me for this award and I promise to continue to participate in the life of the university as a community member and as an officer of administration. I would like to thank the University Senate for creating an award that specifically acknowledges an officer of administration. I am quite humbled to be part of the group of OAs who have received this award: Shelly Elliott, Rachele Raia and Stephanie Bosnyk. This is very special company to keep.
To be honest, I am not really very comfortable with being singled out or put in the so-called limelight. From my perspective, no one, or at least very few of us, does anything by themselves. We exist within social and work contexts that bring us into constant contact and collaboration with a host of others. Anything that I may have been involved with that led to this moment was the result of working in collaboration with others. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect back a little of this attention and acknowledgement onto some very deserving colleagues. First and foremost I want to thank the Director of the Counseling & Testing Center, Shelly Kerr. Shelly has always been supportive and encouraging of my involvement with university service. Thank you Shelly, I appreciate your confidence and support. And then there is the staff of the Testing Center, Lisa Montgomery and Jenny Rouch who keep the doors open and things running smoothly while I move about campus from meeting to meeting, event to event. Their hard work and loyalty has been an essential support for me.
From 2008-2012 I served on the OA Council. This was one the most interesting, challenging and rewarding experiences of my time at the university. As a group, we made a commitment to address issues that we felt were important to OAs and the university community. While working to identify and advance critical issues, we sought to provide the university’s senior leadership with the best feedback and advice that we could. In this time I had the privilege to meet, get to know and work with some excellent people on the OA Council. I would like to thank and acknowledge Shelly Elliott, Rachele Raia, Cynthea McIntosh, and Tenaya Meaux. I learned a lot from these OA Council colleagues. Saving the best for last, I want to thank my closest collaborators from my time on the OA Council: Miriam Bolton, Linda Leon and Lisa Raleigh. Whether they know it or not, their friendship and support made all the difference for me. I could never have found my way to a moment like this without their encouragement, advice and most important, the good work that we did together.
Thank you all for being here and thank you for this moment.
4.3 Motion (Resolution): Campus Planning Regarding Consolidated Kitchen Facility; Michael Fifield, Professor (Architecture), Jennifer Ellis, Senior Instructor (Finance) & UO Senator, and Peter Keyes, Professor (Architecture) & Chair, Faculty Advisory Council [Suspension of the Rules]
4.4Motion (Legislation): Working Group for Campus Planning Concerns; Michael Fifield, Professor (Architecture), Jennifer Ellis, Senior Instructor (Finance) & UO Senator, and Edward Teague, AAA Library Head (UO Libraries) & UO Senator
4.5Motion (Resolution): GTFF Bargaining; Regina Psaki, Professor (Romance Languages & UO Senator [Suspension of the Rules]
I am extremely honored to have been nominated and selected as the third recipient of the UO Senate Leadership and Service Award for Officers of Administration. I would like to thank the UO Senate for establishing this special award and for all of those who supported my nomination.
Trying to select my greatest mentors is tough as all the people I have worked with over the years have contributed to my growth. Still, I would especially like to thank Jim Reinmuth (my boss for 18 years and former Dean of LCB) and my Mom for being great mentors.
I do not think of myself as a great leader but have always been committed to the principles of being a part of a great institution like the University of Oregon. The social media age can make it difficult to inspire or connect with people on an individual basis. However it has always been a passion and commitment of mine to assist others to achieve their potential along the way. Over time (and I do have a few years under my belt) it has been fun to participate in many committees and advisory bodies that I hope have led to better working lives for those I have shared this journey with. At times, the day-to-day work doesn’t seem important until you see how it has impacted just one or two people and made their life better.
As the University goes through tremendous change it is important for all of you to continue to be involved and connected through various channels (committees, OA Council, mentor to others) and to make a difference in the lives of the students, faculty, and staff around you. Reconnect, revitalize, and join in!
It is always rewarding to be recognized for your efforts and decisions and I find this award to be particularly motivating and inspirational to me. Thank you again for this recognition --- I wish you each every success and joy.
John Nicols, 2010 Wayne Westling award winner, photo courtesy of John Nicols
Remarks from Scott Coltrane, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; May 26, 2010:
It is my great pleasure today to present The Wayne T. Westling Award for University Leadership and Service to John Nicols, Professor of History.
The Westling Award was established by the University Senate in 2001 to honor faculty or staff who have provided long-term leadership and service to the university community. Many of you knew Professor Wayne Westling, in whose honor this award was named. Professor Westling set the standard of exemplary scholar, teacher and university citizen. In giving this award we acknowledge and remember the remarkable contributions that Wayne Westling made to the University of Oregon and are grateful for the other dedicated faculty who have followed in his footsteps.
John - could I ask that you join me at the podium?
John joined the University of Oregon's History Department in 1980 as an associate professor and has contributed greatly to university life during the past thirty years. In addition to being an accomplished scholar, teacher and citizen here at the University of Oregon, he has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Munich, Heidelberg, Cologne and Münster. John has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and research grants from prestigious professional organizations, including the German Academic Exchange Service, the Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
During the past two years I have come to know John through his service as both Director of the College Scholars Program and as Head of the Humanities Program within the College of Arts and Sciences. His contributions to each have been phenomenal. John has devoted himself to the success of these two programs with enormous efforts on behalf of students and countless hours working with faculty, administrators and donors. John's hard work and dedication has paid off in a dramatic increase in the number of College Scholars and the number of Humanities majors. Students rave about how these programs have enriched their intellectual lives and awakened them to scholarly inquiry.
John's service contributions to the university have been long running and truly extraordinary. Joe Stone, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was one of several faculty who nominated John for this award. In his nomination letter Joe stated "John's service to our campus is exemplary and represents the highest ideals of the Wayne Westling Award. In my 30 years on our campus, I can think of no member of our faculty whose service has reached across the campus as broadly and profoundly as John's."
I fully agree. The following partial list enumerates John's service to his department, to the College of Arts and Sciences, and to the University:
* Director, College of Arts and Sciences Society of Scholars, 2006- 10
* Director, Humanities Program and Independent Study Program, 1991 -present
* University representative to Inter-institutional Faculty Senate ,through 2008
* University Classroom Committee 2002- 2005; 2007; 2010
* Undergraduate Council, Member and then Chair: 1999-2003
* UO Committee on Courses, through spring 2006
* Department Head, Classics 1991- 98
* CAS Curriculum Committee, Member then Chair, 1997-2000
* Academic Requirements Committee, Chair, 1994-96
* Senate Budget Committee, Member then Chair, 1996-99
* Faculty Advisory Committee, Member then Chair, 1996-98
Throughout his distinguished career, John Nicols has consistently volunteered to take on additional duties both in teaching and service. For example, though a full time member of the History Department, Professor Nicols served for eight years as head of the Classics Department. John has also been recognized for his outstanding teaching. His most recent teaching awards includes:
* 2009: Williams Foundation Award for notable contributions to undergraduate education
* 2009: The Lorry Lokey Foundation Award for contributions to digital media (shared with Professor Gregory Bothun, Physics)
It is therefore with great pleasure and deep appreciation, that on behalf of the University of Oregon Senate, I present John Nicols with this year's Wayne T. Westling Award for University Leadership and Service.
Good afternoon Dr. Kyr, members of the University Senate, and guests. Thank you for this great honor. Although I knew this award existed, it would never have occurred to me that I would be awarded it, in part because there are so many of my colleagues who equally deserve it. And it’s a pleasure to work with them every day. However, I will humbly accept this award with relish and sincere pleasure.
I’m a third generation Oregon native; I grew up on a small farm near Portland. While two older brothers graduated from U of O, my degree in education came from one of Oregon’s other “seven sisters” PSU. I have two daughters, (one who is an alum) and three grand-daughters, all of whom I adore tremendously. I like to garden and while I enjoy cooking I’m rather mediocre at it. I like crossword puzzles but the one in the Register Guard is as good as it gets. I love to travel and road trips are a favorite. That is where I am now, watching the world slip by as I motor down highway 19 somewhere between Alert Bay and Campbell River on Vancouver Island. I’ve traveled in Asia, the South Pacific, South and Central America and Europe, and to most places in the US. I’ve swabbed out a toilet, replaced a water heater and changed bathroom and kitchen sinks. I’m handy with a sewing machine and have made patchwork quilts and dresses for my children and grandchildren. I’m amazed constantly that across this campus I continually meet the legions of other classified employees with similar if not more interesting backgrounds, training, skills, and experiences.
I work in the Office of Admissions which is truly a unique place. My work area is called the Sun Room on the second floor of Oregon Hall and overlooks the large U of O sign along Franklyn Boulevard. There are big windows and lots of light. I share the space with 5 other workers who process applications and offer support in the admissions process. I also share the space with about 20 orchids which I alternately treat with nurture and neglect. They show me their perverse gratitude by continuing to bloom. My primary job is to support the traveling admissions recruiters and to handle the various mail communications with prospective students and applicants. I sit in on communications meetings, offer advice on purchasing equipment and supplies, and manage three student workers who remind me of what’s it’s like to be young. I also empty our office composting bucket. The admissions office is an interesting blend of personalities and persuasions, temperaments and tolerances.
Besides working hard, we are known to have a good time. There are periods of intense production peppered with bursts of humor and fun. And every month a birthday party. It is not uncommon to put up the Department’s half sized ping pong table for some Friday afternoon tension release. Parents often contact senior admissions management with compliments on what a great job we’re doing in recruiting and processing their children’s admission and how impressed they are with the personal touch we take with their children. We take very seriously our mission of carefully admitting the best candidates for a most rewarding and successful experience here at the U of O.
So, that’s about who I am and what I do here. I’ve said many times that this is the most rewarding and occupationally fulfilling job I’ve had during my varied working life. I’ve had many different and interesting occupations and, I can tell you that I’ve learned a thing or two in those other experiences that I’ve added to my repertoire of skills and style, both as a person and an employee.
One of my favorite associations over the past years has been with the Classified Staff Training and Development Advisory Committee, more recently as the committee chairman. This is a standing university committee that works with human resources to advise on training and development opportunities for classified staff. We also work with the office of Organizational Development and Training that offers many courses for classified staff and the robust SkillSoft, online training programs available to everyone. Through training and recognition, our mission is to foster and nurture the best, most capable classified workforce possible. We also host the recognition events for classified staff like the Years of Service reception and the luncheon honoring those with 25 or more years of service. Perhaps you’ve received a message from me announcing the committee hosted fall or spring meeting with the president. And, I personally administer the CSTDAC Pass The Duck awards. This is a self-perpetuating award where the previous recipient passes on one of six Lucite trophies to the recipient of his choosing. This award primarily honors the dedication and service of the many, many deserving classified workers by their peers. This endeavor has also allowed me the opportunity to meet the many, many interesting, knowledgeable and dedicated classified staff from across campus. What I’ve found is that if you ask any classified staff person, they will tell you that as this university continues to grow and expand its academic programs, to serve an ever larger student body and provide for their needs, they work harder than ever in providing the best service possible, while struggling to understand why the Oregon University System’s contract bargaining unit wants to minimize the compensation the classified staffers earn.
CSTDAC recognizes this challenge in trying to provide training opportunities for them when they simply can’t or aren’t allowed to take time to develop their skills. They want to feel more like an asset to this institution than a liability. Their collective skill sets, colorful backgrounds and tremendous dedication to this endeavor add to the wonderful tapestry that makes the University of Oregon special. I want the University of Oregon to become its best self. Let’s work to protect and encourage all of us who work here to be the best they can be and recognized and compensated for it.
As I head toward my retirement at warp speed, it is wonderful to be recognized for this honor and to feel like my endeavors matter. So, to Dr. Kyr and members of the University Senate, thank you. I am deeply honored.