Presidential Award of Excellence
Senior Administrative Assistant
Office of Vice President for Finance & Administration
It might be the three UNH websites she designed on her own initiative, or her willingness to lend a hand to other departments looking to improve their presence on the web. Maybe it’s the indefatigable cheer with which she coordinates calendars for one of the University’s busiest and most visible offices, or the reliability of her presence on that office’s high-stakes central budget committee. Jean Richard ’79 says she doesn’t exactly know why she was chosen to receive a 2011 Presidential Award of Excellence, but the people around her have a couple of ideas.
“Jean is a great team player, and she does a superlative job at both identifying and anticipating our needs,” says David Proulx, UNH assistant vice president of finance and interim assistant vice president of human resources. “She always has the best interests of the University and our department in mind.”
After graduating from UNH with a degree in English and women’s studies, Richard wrote radio copy and then worked in the Dover school system while raising her family. She returned to the University 10 years ago, when her daughter enrolled as an undergraduate, and quickly established herself as an indispensible member of the VPFA office, supporting an array of constituencies that include human resources, business operations, energy and campus development, IT, and budget and financial planning.
“What I like best about my job is that every day is different, and I have the opportunity to interact with so many areas of the University,” Richard says. “My position gives me the opportunity to witness the different perspectives our students, staff, and faculty bring to the table as well as the passion that motivates them as each shape the campus community.”
As the financial affairs office has grown, so has Jean’s expertise. A decade into her tenure, she remains committed to challenging and improving herself, be it by attending classes, piloting new technology initiatives, or taking the lead on work/life balance initiatives such as Healthy UNH. Proulx counts himself as lucky to have Richard in his office, and it is easy to see why.
-- Kristin Duisberg
-- photo by Lisa Nugent