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Glenda Humphreys Honored as ODU Administrator of the Year

Glenda Humphreys, vice president for human resources, received the 2011 J. Worth Pickering Administrator of the Year award during a surprise presentation ceremony Monday afternoon.

The annual honor is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the campus and off-campus communities; outstanding effectiveness in leadership, advocacy for students and staff, and contributions to morale; and professional accomplishment demonstrated by excellence in teaching, research, presentations, publications, continuing education and/or recognition by professional organizations which benefited the university. The award includes a check for $500.

Other administrators nominated for the award were Ann Pettingill, Connie Merriman, Don Stansberry and Kirk Dewyea.

Humphreys' nomination, by Kathy Williamson, employee relations manager in the Department of Human Resources, was supported by numerous letters of recommendation.

Williamson was joined by five colleagues from Human Resources, who collaborated to collect information about Humphreys' leadership and contributions, in submitting her nomination document.

Together, they cited the reputation that Humphreys has among colleagues throughout Virginia as heading "a department on the cutting edge of HR practices and advances." Noted one of the university's HR nominators: "One very visible example to HR professionals was ODU's piloting the HR generalist management program for the Commonwealth. Glenda's reputation for management excellence across the state is what motivated me to seek employment at ODU."

The HR nominators also pointed to Humphreys' role in ODU being one of the first colleges and universities in the state to initiate online recruitment, position descriptions and evaluations via PAPERS; her support of the Hourly and Classified Employees Association on campus as an example of employee advocacy; her support of "family-friendly policies such as telework, alternate work schedules and job-sharing"; and her service in chairing two search committees for major administrative positions in the past two years.

One of the HR staff's comments - about Humphrey's leadership characteristics of ethics and integrity - was repeated often in the nine letters supporting her nomination.

The following is a selection of comments excerpted from the nomination letters:

"She is one of the most ethical, honest, trustworthy and discreet individuals I have ever known. You can count on her to provide sound advice and to keep information confidential. On many occasions, Glenda has been the one asked to counsel a classified staff member of administrator and to deliver information that is not always positive. She accepts this responsibility graciously and delivers the information in the kindest and most humane way possible. She cares about people, and ODU has been the beneficiary of her wise counsel." - Judith Bowman, assistant vice president for undergraduate studies

"My personal experience has been that she always tries to see how something can be done, rather than give reasons why it cannot be. This is a wonderful trait in an administrator, and combined with her flexibility, it makes her extraordinarily effective." - Chandra de Silva, professor of history and special assistant to the provost

"She is an innovative and productive administrator who combines a keen understanding of Human Resources theory, a quick imagination, critical thinking skills, and aptitude in dealing with large and complex employment issues." - ReNeé Dunman, assistant vice president, institutional equity and diversity

"She is rock solid, a steadying influence no matter what the issue, and a consummate professional." - Robert Fenning, vice president for administration and finance

"One of her most outstanding capabilities is to look at any issue and offer constructive advice that may be 'outside the box' of HR rules but is always humane and helpful. I truly can't count the number of times over the years I have gone to her for advice and counsel and always felt that I was listened to and understood. I didn't always get the answer I wanted, but I got the answer I needed." - Morel Fry, administrative services librarian.

This article was posted on: March 11, 2011

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.