Houtz lauded for thoughtful service

Gail Houtz’s natural leadership is born out of her intense dedication and caring, both for the University and for the community. In recognition of her many contributions to BGSU, she received the 2014 Outstanding Service Award at the annual Classified Staff Council (CSC) reception and awards ceremony May 21.

Houtz, scholarship and grants coordinator in Student Financial Aid, received $1,000, a commemorative plaque and a reserved parking space for a year.

Described as an “overachiever when it comes to involvement” by nominator Terry Carver, Houtz was chair of CSC this year and has served in many capacities over the years, including membership on numerous University committees and advisory panels, often in leadership roles.

Her years of serving on such groups as the Salary Compensation Committee (for 11 years), and the Classification Specification Project and, more recently, the Accenture Reporting Out Committee, have provided her a deep knowledge that informs her advice and recommendations, said her nominators.

With two degrees from BGSU, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in education and training, she has a dual student/employee perspective, Carver noted.

“She is deeply invested in this university and cares for it with a passion,” Carver said. Houtz demonstrates the same commitment to her community, serving as president of two very active and time-consuming associations, in addition to other volunteer organizing.

At BGSU, Houtz is known for her thorough research and her understanding of issues and policies affecting employees and her diligence in communicating them to her constituents, said nominator Linda Hamman. She is responsive to employee concerns about the challenges facing BGSU, and works hard to find the answers to questions.

She is also a good collaborator, said Michael Hachtel, chair of Administrative Staff Council, who often found himself with Houtz at University-wide meetings. He described her as having a broad view of the greater good of the University and as one who puts “great thought into how her actions and those of the larger group will impact the classified staff members whom she represents” as well as other employee constituent groups and students. This “makes her invaluable in the planning process,” Hachtel said.

CSC Chair-elect Deb Lowery said, “Working with Gail this year, I have seen how she truly wants to ensure that BGSU continues to be a progressive and growing institution and to ensure the same for all employees, especially classified staff.”