Editor’s note: Duck of the Week is a section in Around the O Workplace that highlights UO employees and their work. Each story features an interview with one employee, in his or her own words, with light editing for clarity and length only.
How long have you worked at the UO?
I was first hired in 2006 and worked here until early 2013. I then moved to Colorado for a few years, but came back in 2016 and have been here ever since.
Tell us about your work:
I manage the administrative operations for two academic departments in the College of Education – the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services and the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences. My responsibilities include personnel and finance-related tasks, as well as overseeing a team of staff that provide programmatic support to faculty and students. I also help people in my department navigate various policies and procedures.
What does your typical day look like?
I don’t have a typical day, which is one of the reasons why I like my job so much. The time of year dictates what kinds of projects I have going on. Right now, most of the programs that my staff and I support revolve around admissions.
One of the most noticeable changes I have experienced within the past year is the number of meetings, which is something that most people can relate to at this time. Communication is especially important right now, and I didn’t realize how much information was covered during informal conversations in the office when I worked in such close proximity to other people. Since we don’t have that anymore, most of these meetings are scheduled over email and that just takes a little bit longer sometimes. Another significant change for me has been the work-life balance. While I really enjoy working from home, one of the disadvantages is not having that separation between work and home life. It's hard to have those boundaries which were a lot clearer before when we were going to the office.
What do you like about working at the UO?
I really enjoy the people that I get to work with. The faculty and staff in my department, as well as in the College of Education and across campus are great. The staff team that I oversee right now is also great because everyone gets along and we work well together. I cannot imagine trying to get through the past year without them. I’m grateful for our shared sense of purpose – providing administrative support to faculty and students.
What keeps you motivated?
Even though I don’t work directly with students, I help contribute to a positive student experience by providing faculty and staff with the resources they need to do their jobs well. I also know that many people rely on the work that my team and I do. My goal since the pandemic began, and we started working remotely, is to try to make that transition as seamless as possible for faculty, staff and students. There’s enough change going on, so I try to keep the level of support that we provide at a very consistent level. It’s definitely been a challenge to work in this environment, but it has also helped me better anticipate the needs of and potential issues in our current working environment. And everyone that I’ve been working with has been so flexible, understanding and adaptable.
What is something people may not know about you?
When I left the University of Oregon, I moved to Colorado for a few years and attended a goat-cheese making class while I was there. I learned how to milk a goat and make a variety of goat cheeses. It was a memorable experience, and I would love to try to make goat cheese again.
Tiffany Yep is part of the College of Education.
Do you know someone who should be Duck of the Week? Nominate a UO employee.