David Vaughan is assistant vice chancellor for academic resources in the Division of Academic Affairs. Vaughan retires at the end of April, after 31 years’ service in the UNC system. He wasn’t always at UNCG. “I have worked on three UNC campuses – first, at UNC Chapel Hill, in the School of Social Work, then at East Carolina University, where I was the first full-time Budget Office staff member.” He came to UNCG in 1987. He had ties here. “I am a ‘grandson’ of this university – my mother was a chemistry major in the Class of 1940.” Ask him about his favorite TV shows, he relates it back to UNCG. “I’m a fan of the old Perry Mason episodes. I think Perry Mason’s office was paneled in pecky cypress wood – just like our Alumni House’s Pecky Cypress Room.” CW wanted to know about the times he helped entertain in the White House. “I have played the piano at the White House on two different occasions,” he told CW, ten years apart. “I was the accompanist for the Burlington Boys Choir, and we entertained Executive branch staff members at winter holiday parties.” Once was during the George H.W. Bush presidency. “I remember having cookies with Dorothy Bush and her children.” The choir entertained in the East Room. The first time had been early in the Reagan presidency. “I played the huge piano with golden eagles for legs in the Grand Foyer.” The president and the first lady were present. “The Reagans served deliciously potent eggnog,” he observes. Vaughan served as chair of Staff Senate not once, but twice, Scott Milman points out to CW. “He was the first chair of the original Staff Council in 1999-2000 and he managed our transition to Staff Senate in 2006-2007,” Suzanne Williams adds. Vaughan and all the past chairs of the senate still at UNCG met together recently with current chair Kevin Bullard. They discussed Staff Senate history and compared notes. One topic that came up was supervisor support for Staff Senate members. Vaughan explains, “The former chairs had, by and large, great support from their supervisors to serve as chair – but we all observed the age-old issue of not having, in some cases, supervisory support for folks to serve on the Staff Senate.” But mostly, there were lots of positives to discuss. Vaughan makes this observation: “The staff of this university have had tremendous support from faculty. The faculty officers and Faculty Senate have really helped us [Staff Senate] mature as an organization.” He has seen and heard about divisiveness at other universities, but the support the UNCG administration, faculty and staff have shown each other over the years is “unparalleled,” he says. He is asked about his thoughts as he retires. “I’m encouraged that there are a lot of young people on our faculty and staff with the energy and enthusiasm to move the university forward.”
Thoughts from other Staff Senate chairs, past and present, after their meeting:
- Kevin Bullard, current chair I provided an update on changes made to the Senate configuration, including the addition of new committees … We discussed the evolution of the Senate, and I expressed my gratitude for the hard work put in by the former chairs and Council/Senate members. Their contributions have gotten the Senate to the good position it’s in today. We discovered a lingering challenge: Gaining supervisor buy-in for the Senate, which directly influences their attitudes related to the amount of encouragement and flexibility given to staff to serve. I have addressed this issue with Chancellor Brady, and she has graciously responded by providing letters that will be sent to future staff members nominated and elected to serve on the Senate – supervisors will receive a copy. We’re hopeful the chancellor’s support will catalyze more participation from staff, and encourage more supervisors to endorse that participation.
- Deb Hurley, chair 2001-02 I was pleased to be part of such an outstanding group of leaders. I served 2001-2002. I found all of the previous chairs to be helpful the year I served. Since that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with several other chairs and was pleased to see the dedication and vision of the group. Also, a good representation of the staff – women, men, black, white, clerical, technical, administrative.
- Suzanne Williams, chair 2007-08 Many thanks to Kevin Bullard for convening the group! Although we got together for business purposes, it was surprisingly fun to be in the same room, all of us at the same time. We spent about 45 minutes together reminiscing about the past, discussing the ebbs and flows of shared governance, and learning about new Senate initiatives and Kevin’s vision for the future. Even though we all work here on campus and see each other from time to time, I can’t remember all of us ever being in the same room together like that. It was great to see everyone and catch up with one another.
- Mike Byers, chair 2002-03 The same challenge still exists for staff members to serve on Staff Senate. Many staff members hold positions at UNCG that do not easily allow for time away from our “post” to attend meetings and participate in Senate activities … I’ve been really impressed by the recent leadership on Staff Senate. David Vaughan, Suzanne Williams, Scott Milman and Kevin Bullard have brought much needed stability to the Senate.
- Scott Milman, chair 2008-09 There was a lot of history in that room and I thought it was interesting to see how much Staff Senate has “grown up” since its inception … I realized that the Senate I received was due to the hard work of the people that were sitting in that room who build the Senate up each year. Also, I never really thought about the time commitment some people have put into the Senate. Although our constitution limits senators to two consecutive, two year terms, there are many chairs who wound up serving in the Senate six years straight instead of four (2 terms as a Senator/Council member, a year as chair, and a year as past-chair). This does not include someone like David Vaughan who came back to lead the Senate a second time. Finally, I always thought it was interesting the perspective that I got of the University while being chair. A prior chair said, “It is an experience that cannot be duplicated … You eat a lot of chicken dinners with the same people, but you get a view of the university that you would not duplicate if you did not sit down to all those meals.”
Staff Senate (or Council) chairs:
2010-2009 – Kevin Bullard
2008-2009 – Scott Milman
2007-2008 – Suzanne Williams
2006-2007 – David Vaughan
2005-2006 – Angie Scott* (retired)
2004-2005 – Kelly Hilliard* (resigned)
2003-2004 – Ronette King* (resigned)
2002-2003 – Mike Byers
2001-2002 – Deb Hurley
2000-2001 – Barbara Barton* (retired)
1999-2000 – David Vaughan
*no longer working at UNCG; either retired or resigned