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Kim Renier Selected for Coveted Dean’s Service Award

Kim Renier, the director of finance and administration on the UMass College of Engineering Business Office, is the 2018 winner of the esteemed Dean’s Service Award. As one of Renier’s colleagues summed up her intrinsic value to the whole college, “She is a critical resource for the dean, associate deans, department heads, administrative officers, and everyone who comes in contact with her for information and guidance. Quite simply, we couldn’t do our jobs without her.”

Dean Tim Anderson summed up Renier’s attributes as recorded in her various nomination letters, which acknowledged her dedication, unparalleled knowledge, professionalism; her skill in navigating the demands of her position with patience, fairness, and tact; her approachability, friendliness, and calming influence; her quick action in resolving issues that prevent college work from moving forward; and her low-profile and yet tremendous impact on the college.

The many comments on Renier’s character and value to the college are filled with superlatives. As one comment specified, “The nature of Kim’s daily work, grounded in complex financial spreadsheets and systems, buried behind personnel paperwork, carried out quietly, receives little fanfare or accolade, but its impact is felt throughout the college by all of us.”

“It’s not always a glamorous job,” said another nominator, “and much of her selfless service to the college goes unnoticed. Kim knows that to continue the positive forward momentum, sometimes you have to be the one willing to roll up your sleeves and tackle the not so pleasant task at hand.”

One nominator noted that “I respect the fact that Kim is professional in her position. She is quick to point out any idea or policy that could violate union rules and offer suggestions about how policies could be revised to increase fairness for students and faculty. She is constantly available and responds quickly to emails. Perhaps most importantly to me, she is happy to take a little time out of her day to discuss ideas, often if I just drop by.”

“Her knowledge of process is unparalleled across campus,” wrote yet another nominator. “If she doesn’t have an immediate answer to a problem, she will take the time not only to find the resolution, but to insure that it is appropriate to the college’s needs. She also understands that the first response to a query is not necessarily the best one and understands the ramifications of a hasty solution. She not only understands the task at hand, but sees the big picture as well. She often has to make decisions that aren’t popular ones; the budget process for instance is difficult at best, but she always keeps everyone’s input and needs in mind. Navigating these waters requires patience, intelligence, and tact, and she manages to do this every day.”

Many of the nomination comments took into consideration Renier’s ready, willing, and winning state of mind. “Perhaps most importantly [Kim] is always happy to take a little time out of her day to discuss ideas,” wrote one college,” often if I just drop by. I speak with her [daily] about how we can make the college better.”

Another similar comment observed that “Often put into stressful situations, Kim is a calming influence. She seeks out positive outcomes and focuses on the good. I’ve found that she is almost always fixing issues, often under extreme time and budget constraints, to allow her colleagues to move forward with their work. Some of these instances fall outside of her job description and regular office hours.” 

Another nomination said simply that “Kim has made us, and the college, much better with her presence.” (June 2018)