May 16, 2016  

APSAC members recognized; award for staff excellence given

APSAC gavel May Guffey

Joy May, APSAC chair for 2015-16, passes the gavel to Sam Guffey, chair for 2016-17, at APSAC's annual luncheon Wednesday (May 11) in the West Faculty Lounge of Purdue Memorial Union. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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The Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee observed its annual transition of members and officers Wednesday (May 11) with a luncheon preceding its business meeting.

The committee also presented its sixth annual APSAC Excellence Award, which recognizes A/P staff who consistently perform at an outstanding level.

Members who will officially complete their terms May 31 were recognized. They are Kathy Dale, Kelly Delp, Susan Giannini (Calumet), Joy May, Jennifer Oxtoby (Fort Wayne), Sal Vallejo, and Greg Wireman (North Central). May, who is the outgoing APSAC chair, and Vallejo were elected to be emeritus members for 2016-17. The 2015-16 emeritus members, completing their additional year of support and counsel, were Amy Childress, John Fassnacht, Tyson McFall and Andrea Thomas.

By previous action, vice chair Sam Guffey will start a term as 2016-17 chair on June 1, and Loran Parker will become vice chair.

May and Guffey spoke briefly about APSAC's year and their hopes. May said highlights included strong lines of communication with Human Resources that are enabling substantial conversations, and also adding nonvoting seats for APSAC members on more University Senate committees. Guffey said he wants to continue with those connections, encouraging current work to strengthen professional development opportunities, work hard to be a voice for Purdue staff, and not take for granted the opportunity for candid discussions with administrators.

The luncheon and meeting also provided a welcome to new members, who are scheduled for three-year terms officially starting June 1 and continuing through May 2019. The incoming members and their areas of representation are:

* Bill Applebee, Intercollegiate Athletics administration.
* Elizabeth Klumpe, Intercollegiate Athletics administration.
* Brittany Vale, College of Agriculture and College of Veterinary Medicine.
* Emma Zhang, Areas reporting to the Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer.

Much of the business meeting was used to further understanding of imminent changes in rules under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Trent Klingerman, vice president of human resources, called the proposals "a very big deal" and said that after a federal meeting Tuesday (May 10), an announcement is expected as early as today (May 16). He and other Purdue officials will then formulate a University response. The proposals, if adopted, would affect who counts as exempt (no overtime) or non-exempt employees based on pay level, and they would introduce indexing that threshold to average pay of salaried workers.

APSAC Excellence Award

The 2016 APSAC Excellence Award was presented during the luncheon to Barry Delks, coordinator of career services in the Department of Animal Sciences. Nominators praised his care for individual students, his character and dedication to service and his thorough preparation in every aspect of his work.

Always with an open door to the department's 700 students, Delks also is proactive in making weekly contact and organizing helpful and enjoyable activities attuned to their schedules. He encourages them to take a StrengthsFinder test and helps them consider ways to use the results. Ten years ago, he began a springtime Animal Sciences Career Day, which continues and has inspired a spring career day across the entire College of Agriculture.

Because of his warmth and diligence in fostering relationships, a nominator said, alumni who are in business and involved with the department often consider Delks to be their primary contact in the department. The quantity of valued relationships he has built in 16 years in this role -- he has 25 years at Purdue -- strengthens the department, helps students land career-starting jobs, and exemplifies for students a deep commitment to serve others. And the vital data on those relationships is right at hand in his "virtual address book," which gets heavy use in matching students with employers.

Delks also teaches, sometimes welcoming guest speakers to classes, and he created an Industry Tour that reverses the visit by taking students out to workplaces. He has served on department and college committees. He is always ready to contribute. And he does all of this, the nominators say, with humility and graciousness, even when a student needs to hear a hard truth. Thus he helps person after person move ahead toward a fulfilling education and career, all the while building excellence and loyalty in his department. 

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