Strickland brings insight, professionalism to job

The College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering has been Kim Strickland’s professional home for more than 31 years. As senior fiscal coordinator, she has worked with every dean and interim, associate and assistant dean in that time, always striving to provide the best possible service to all constituents.

Strickland received a Classified Staff Outstanding Service Award May 18 in honor of her commitment to professional and personal excellence. She also received a $1,000 check and a plaque bearing her name, to be permanently displayed on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

In nominating her for the award, Dr. Venu Dasigi, interim dean of the college, wrote that he counts Strickland “among the top 5 percent of the most dedicated, dependable and outstanding employees I have worked with or come across in my entire career.”

Strickland’s philosophy explains her work ethic, which often finds her in the office long after official work hours: “We’re here to serve and serve well,” she said. “We’re here to serve our students, faculty, staff, our university partners, alumni and donors, and that’s what we do. Our office is the place for answers.”

Being approachable and capable is important to Strickland, and she often uses her institutional knowledge to assist others.

For example, when the University was considering privatizing its flight operations, she identified several transitional issues that could be dealt with effectively, Dasigi said. “Her organization, attention to detail and productivity are superlative,” he wrote, “as reflected in her ability to not just routinely meet deadlines on complex budget-related tasks but also in identifying any special situations and opportunities for efficiency that come to light along the way.”

As a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team, Strickland deals with matters of personnel, budget and facilities, and “often brings a strategic perspective to budget management and problem solving,” Dasigi said. But “when her assistance is needed, she rarely considers whether the task in question is part of her job description,” he added.

She also has a special bond with students, and goes out of her way to make sure they get the assistance they need, wrote nominator Todd Waggoner, interim chair of the Department of Engineering Technologies and interim associate dean for undergraduate affairs. She worked directly with graduate students for many years and served on the Graduate College Advisory Board, among the many University-wide committees she has contributed her time and energy to in addition to her college work.

As a colleague, she is caring and motivating, said Lori Schulz, who has worked with Strickland for over 20 years. Strickland encouraged her to pursue her master’s degree and supported her decision to change jobs from senior administrative assistant in the dean’s office to academic adviser. “She is an excellent coworker and a great friend,” Schulz said.

“Throughout her career, she has been one of the quiet people you can count on to keep the college running smoothly,” Waggoner said.