New administration heads glide into new positions Administration_9.5_kd

By Gus Bode

Hagler, York tally month in new jobs

The grass is still getting cut, the bills are still getting paid and the campus network continues to run.

Students may not have noticed that campus administration has been restructured because the campus continued to function smoothly as executive directors Cathy Hagler and Bob York eased into the roles left vacant by Glenn Poshard’s retirement.

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Since Poshard, former vice chancellor for Administration, retired in July, his post has been filled by two executive directors eager to continue his legacy. Although the department was split into two branches that report directly to the chancellor, Hagler and York hope to bring needed change to the University.

Hagler, who once oversaw Human Resources, accounting and other aspects of administration, was handed Physical Plant Operations, Document Editing, General Accounting, Accounts Payable and Shryock Auditorium. York, who worked under Hagler in Labor and Employee relations, took on Information Technology, Human Resources and Public Safety on top of his older duties.

But Hagler said the transition was really no big deal.

“For me, it was just the same as it always was,” she said. “I had been here [in administration] for 14 months and had already been working with the day-to-day functions.”

Hagler and York began their posts Aug. 1 and were rushed into a dreaded month filled with budget cuts, financial reports and returning students.

Hagler said the most difficult aspect of her new job was that it was so busy because it followed the end of a fiscal year and was combined with layoffs and a budget crunch.

Eighty-two employees, nearly all under the arm of administration, received layoff notices in July. Though many were rescinded as positions opened, she said it was still an important issue for her office.

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“Most of the people here have never experienced something of that magnitude,” Hagler said. “Human Resources still reported to me when it happened, and that was something they’ve never experienced.”

York also found his first few days on the job trying as he grappled with his new duties as well as the campus climate.

“The days before restructuring were pretty full but limited to labor-related issues, contract negotiations, and those things are still there,” he said. “But I get here earlier and stay later, and the day is interspersed with other things from different areas.”

Hagler and York said they both intend to continue the plans for SIU and administration laid by Poshard before he left, including the Land Use Plan and the capital plans.

Hagler also brought her own, fresh ideas to the position. She would like to digitize campus to cut down on the paperwork by utilizing electronic funds transfers to vendors and increasing direct deposit for student workers.

“Electronic transfer of data so that we don’t have to re-key too much would save time and money,” Hagler said. “We could also use electronic signature rather than paper and use online transfer. It’s a more efficient process.”

Hagler and York both agree that the dedication of their department made the restructuring easier for them and will help enhance the campus.

York said the department is trying to do a lot more with the tighter budget, as Governor Rod Blagojevich keeps telling Illinois universities, “do more with less.”

“Even though these are difficult times, the University is doing a lot of positive, proactive things,” York said. “A lot of good things are coming out this University.”

Reporter Katie Davis can be reached at [email protected]

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