Employees of the month

Janet Ackley

August University Support Staff Employee of the Month

Started at KU: 1986.

Janet Ackley

Current title: Custodial manager, Oliver Hall

What that means: Ackley has overall responsibility for the physical maintenance at Oliver, supervising seven custodial specialists, two student workers, and two Cottonwood/Joblink employees. She plans and directs the work of the staff, ensures that work schedules are followed and conducts a daily review and inspection to ensure that the hall is clean.

Notable: Though the academic year ends in mid-May, there’s no summer lull for Ackley and her staff. Each year, Oliver is home to some 1000 junior high and high school students who come to KU for summer music, sports and youth camps. That means that each week, the staff must prepare for the “new” campers who will arrive on the weekend.

Ackley serves as Student Housing custodial services liaison with outside vendors and chemical/equipment representatives. She has assisted in the development of new cleaning products, in the training of staff in new procedures and in the use of new equipment and readily shares her knowledge with other senior custodial staff.

Ackley is also in charge of Student Housing’s custodial service emergency response team, which responds to after-hours and weekend emergencies. In December 2008, Janet’s team was called in at 4 a.m. on a Sunday. A sprinkler pipe had frozen and then burst in the cold, causing major flooding in Hashinger Hall. Ackley assessed the situation, assigned tasks and her team had the problem under control within three hours.

Ann J. Hartley

October Unclassified Staff Employee of the Month

Started at KU: 1989.

Ann J. Hartley

Current title: Associate director, University Career Center

What that means: Hartley coordinates on-campus student employment and the Hawk Student Employment program for off-campus jobs. She also supervises the Youth Educational Services tutoring program, which provides tutors to 18 public schools, and the Kansas Career Work Study Program. She coordinates UCC workshops and programs and teaches Job Search Strategies for Liberal Arts students. In addition, she manages the annual Student Employment Job Fair in August, the annual Volunteer Fair in October and “Resume Doctor” and Resume Review Day events that are held each semester.

Notable: Recently, Hartley assumed responsibility for coordinating workshops requests that are submitted via an online form. Faculty and staff use the form when they would like a member of the UCC staff to speak to their students about a career-related subject. When she receives a request from one faculty member in a department, she often contacts other faculty and staff who teach similar courses to be sure they have the same opportunity to invite a UCC member to their classes. Because of these efforts, the UCC has been able to reach more students than would have been possible otherwise.

Debra Bia

October University Support Staff Employee of the Month

Started at KU: 2001.

Debra Bia

Current title: Administrative Associate Senior, Office of the Chancellor.

What that means: Bia serves as primary support person to Mary Burg, the chancellor’s executive assistant, with responsibility for managing calendar, scheduling and maintaining meeting files, including Board of Regents files. She handles correspondence for administrators in the office, helps with a variety of troubleshooting efforts and devotes about half of her time to assisting with special projects.

Bia coordinates arrangements for a wide variety of functions hosted each year by the chancellor’s office, including receptions for newly promoted and tenured faculty members, National Merit Scholars, Mount Oread Scholars, multicultural students and international students to the chancellor's holiday reception, the Kemper Fellowship ceremony and reception, and football game day activities. She compiles invitation lists, assists with invitation design, mails invitations, tracks RSVPs and works with KU Catering and others to plan menus. She also is a member (and primary organizational force) of the small committee that plans the annual retirement luncheon for about 400 faculty, unclassified staff and their guests.

Notable: Last spring, Bia took on two high-profile and significant special assignments. First, with Burg, she provided staff assistance to the Board of Regents Search Committee for a new chancellor. She also served as staff assistant to the universitywide Chancellor's Recognition Planning Committee that planned and executed the "Hats off to Hemenway" celebration at the Lied Center in early May, preparing agendas, taking minutes and performing a myriad of other administrative tasks.

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Bill Steele, program assistant, Office of Professional Military and Graduate Education
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