2017 Outstanding Administrators

Interim President David Descutner poses with 2017 Outstanding Administrator Award honorees (L-R) Dianne Bouvier, Rich Neumann and Patti McSteen.

Photographer: Kaitlin Owens

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University administrators celebrated at 2017 Outstanding Administrator Awards and Recognition of Service ceremony

Ohio University administrators were recognized for their contributions and service to the University March 30 during the 2017 Outstanding Administrator Awards and Recognition of Service ceremony, hosted by Administrative Senate, in the Margaret M. Walter Hall Rotunda. 

Among the administrators recognized were those retiring in 2017, as well as nearly 150 current administrators who received awards for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service to Ohio University. 

Vice President for Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer introduced those celebrating anniversaries, noting that they represented a combined total of 2,825 years with the University. 

Following the years of service recognition, Interim President David Descutner introduced the three recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Administrator Award: Roderick J. McDavis (honorary), president emeritus; Dianne L. Bouvier, director for equal opportunity and accessibility and ADA/504 coordinator; Patti McSteen, associate dean of students and director of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program; and Rich Neumann, director of Culinary Services. 

“This is one of the events that I never fail to attend because I have so many friends in the administrative ranks who have made a difference in my personal and professional life,” Interim President Descutner said. “I come from coal towns and steel towns, and the hallmark of those towns is work and community and caring for one another, pitching in when necessary and the idea of doing it together with great dedication. That’s what the men and women in this room – and all the administrators across this campus – do. And they do it quietly, effectively and with genuine commitment.”  

President Emeritus Roderick J. McDavis was recognized with an honorary Outstanding Administrator Award on Feb. 7, 2017, presented by Eileen Theodore-Shusta on behalf of Administrative Senate. 

“Serving as president since 2004, his achievements include increased multicultural enrollment, three centers of excellence, the Urban Scholars Program and The OHIO Guarantee,” Interim President Descutner said. “His passion for education and mentoring the students at Ohio University is evident in his actions, from creating a clear vision of becoming the nation’s best transformative learning community to the very personal concern he demonstrates as he works with our incoming freshman class each year.”

The first Outstanding Administrator Award recipient, Dianne L. Bouvier, was recognized for her accomplishments as chair of the Presidentially Appointed Committee on Disability and Accessibility Promotion (PACDAP), as well as her role in forming the University’s Restroom Committee, which used public forums and surveys to provide recommendations regarding design standards for inclusive, single-user restrooms on the Athens Campus.  

In her remarks, Bouvier discussed the idea of granting wishes, noting that each of us has the ability to have a positive impact on another person’s life. 

“Part of our mission is that we need to help give voice to other people,” she said. “The only way we’ll thrive as a community is if we hear each other’s voices.” 

Following Bouvier, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program was recognized as the second recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Administrator Award for her work in supporting OHIO students in many ways.  

A pioneer in the field of student crisis intervention on university campuses, Patti developed the Student Review and Consultation Committee – with no models to draw from – in 2006. She was instrumental in rebuilding and restructuring the Survivor Advocacy Program, as well as in the creation of the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program, an academic enrichment program for undergraduate women.

In her remarks, McSteen reflected on the accomplished colleagues who have been honored with the Outstanding Administrator award in past years, as well as those who were nominated this year.

“When I first learned I was nominated, I was baffled,” she said. “I’ve watched people who are very important to me receive this award and I’ve stared at the framed recognition on their office wall and admired the contributions they have made to Ohio University. I have so much respect for those people and appreciation for the work they do."

She took the time to express congratulations to her fellow honorees and gratitude to her colleagues and family who have supported her along the way. 

“I feel very fortunate to do what I love in a place that I love with people I love,” she said.

Rich Neumann, director of Culinary Services, was the event’s third and final Outstanding Administrator honoree. In his introduction, Interim President Descutner noted Neumann’s collaborative, empowering approach to managing more than 2,300 employees, including students. 

“He visits each dining hall at least once a day in person,” Interim President Descutner said. “Often, at the beginning of the semester when there are a lot of new student employees, he will put on an apron and join a student on the serving line or in the dish room and work alongside them until they have learned the task.” 

Like the other Outstanding Administrators, Neumann expressed thanks to his colleagues and family, including his wife and parents, who he said instilled values and strong work ethic from an early age. 
Neumann’s remarks centered around the theme of “beating the odds” as he shared his journey from an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin to his current position, remembering times along the way he learned the importance of not giving up. 

“The odds of being successful are set by statisticians who work with mounds of data and algorithms,” he said. “Those who are truly successful beat the odds through persistence, vision and hard work.”