Associate Vice President Dorothea Adams, who for many years has been the official record keeper in the Office of the Provost for documents involving academic personnel, including recruiting, hiring, sick leave and policies, has announced she will retire from The University of Texas at Austin at the end of February.
The move toward filling Adams’ position began in December with the appointment of former Payroll Director Renee Wallace to the position of associate vice president. The transition period allows Adams to work with Wallace and help prepare her for the many aspects of the job, which Adams leaves with mixed emotions.
“There are many, many wonderful people here,” Adams said. “This has been an excellent place to work. There’s always sadness in leaving a lot of good people but I’m ready to look at another phase of life.”
Adams, a graduate of Midwestern University, worked in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Rep. Graham B. Purcell for three years before becoming a part of The University of Texas at Austin community in 1969 as a student working toward her teaching certificate. At that time, she also began work part-time for the University of Texas System. She later worked on the Austin campus in various administrative offices before she was hired by Provost Gerhard J. Fonken in 1980. Through the years she has worked for provosts Mark G. Yudof, Sheldon Ekland-Olson and Steven W. Leslie, as well as for Interim Provost Stephen A. Monti.
“The important role that Dorothea Adams has played on campus and in the provost’s office is perhaps best defined by the near sense of panic that set in as word began to spread across campus that she was planning to retire,” said Leslie, who became provost in January 2007. “She is without question one of our university’s most talented and highly respected administrators. Dorothea is known for her deep understanding of academic policy and procedures, her patience and her persistent focus on the highest of academic standards. The University of Texas at Austin has benefited from Dorothea Adams’ distinguished career and she will be missed.”
Adams said she has seen many changes at the university through the years. The campus is not as casual as it once was and the age of computers has created increased bureaucracy because they have made it possible for the university to be more accountable.
“People want and expect more from you because the data are there,” Adams said. “The university has grown and we continue to grow better. Our sense of excellence and standards has become greater.”