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Employees By the Numbers

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
May 16, 2007

Barbara Pond has worked at UNH for 45 years

Barbara Pond came to work at UNH two weeks after graduating high school.

That was 45 years ago.

Joyce Cleary and Darcie Russell were both hired in 1977. Donna Brown came to UNH with her husband in 1972 and started working three-quarters time four years later. Gary Cilley began his full-time job in 1982.

These five employees were recognized recently along with 187 other PAT, OS and EE workers, for a collective total of 3,640 years of service to the university. What follows is a recollection of some of the changes that have taken place during their time here.

Pond remembers her initial interview in 1961. She met with the two secretaries from the vice president’s and treasurer’s office. The first personnel office wasn’t established until a few years later.

She had taken business classes in high school and had been trained on a manual typewriter. Her typing test was on an electric, which she had never used.

“Little did I know that my new job would be typing purchase orders all day for the entire campus on an electric typewriter,” says Pond, a senior business service assistant in the COLSA business service center. “It was 20 years before we switched to computers”

When she started in 1962 she earned $45 a week, the minimum going rate for secretaries.

“Our business teacher told us not to settle for less than that,” Pond says of her $2,340-a-year salary.

That’s about how much Russell’s tuition was when she was a student here.

Darcie Russell came to work at UNH in 1977

“It cost me $2,400 total. I didn’t live on campus; I would have paid about $400 more a semester if I had,” says Russell, a senior information support assistant at Health Services. “But my parents gave me a choice: a car or live on campus. I took the car.”

Russell graduated in 1973 and came back four years later, taking a secretarial job in the registrars’ office. She remembers the MUB as being very small. Now there are so many new buildings, new dorms, she says.

She has been here through seven UNH presidents, first as a student and then as an employee.

“When you’re in the middle of it, you don’t notice the change as much,” she says. “It’s happening around you, and you’re part of it.”

When Cilley went to work in the admissions office in 1982, tuition was $1,550. Now the senior associate director of admissions, Cilley notes that at $2,160, the 2007 fees alone were more than that.

But that’s not the only increase Cilley has witnessed in his 25 years at UNH. More students graduate high school today, leading to a higher percentage of those applying to college. That makes for tougher competition, he says. In fact, the number of applicants has soared to upwards of 15,000 a year.

“Anxiety over applying and being accepted has sky-rocketed in the last five to 10 years,’ Cilley says. “Twenty-five years ago, someone applying to five or six schools was a lot of schools. Now it’s 16, 17, 18. Even 15 years ago that was unheard of.”

Brown, the director of undergraduate research, remembers when there was only a little convenience store in Durham and she had to drive to Dover for groceries. She ordered her son’s clothes from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

One change she has seen in her time here relates to spouses working at UNH.

“My husband (associate professor Warren Brown) and I had doctorates at the time we came. I think that in the past 15 years, the university has made it more of a priority to help spouses get positions,” Brown says. “But all along, it has been interesting and diverse.”

She also notes the increase in opportunities for students. Many of those now available didn’t exist 25 years ago. And those that did weren’t of the caliber they are today, she says.

“For the students who really want to take advantage of the opportunities, there really are so many here,’ Brown says.

There are also more buildings, more dorms and more departments, Cleary says, recalling the smaller campus she came to 30 years ago. And with the advent of construction, there has also been the demolition of older buildings.

“I submitted my original application in Brook House and it’s no longer there,” Cleary says.

And Snively Arena is also gone, Cilley adds. But buildings like Murkland, which was “ragged around the edges” back then, has been beautifully renovated, he says. Additionally, new construction has been thoughtfully designed to blend in with the old.

“I really like the way the architecture and the people in charge of the architecture have integrated the new buildings,” Cilley says. “I hear so many people say how they fit in very nicely.”

It’s all about being open to change, Russell says.

“Things have changed but I don’t think it’s any better or any worse,” says Cilley. “They’ve just changed with the times and if you’re going to survive, that’s what you have to do.”

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