Southeast vice president retires

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Pauline Fox, a top vice president at Southeast Missouri State University, retired Friday but kept the key to her Academic Hall office.

Fox said she kept the key in case she needs to handle any campus business before her term officially ends at the close of this month. In addition, she will be on campus part-time at the start of the spring semester to handle gender and racial equity issues for university president Ken Dobbins.

Fox said she plans to serve in the position of interim assistant to the president only for a month or two.

After 24 1/2 years at the university in teaching and administrative jobs, Fox said she's ready to retire.

"I want to do a substantial amount of fishing," said the 55-year-old Fox, who can't wait to join her retired husband on bass fishing trips.

As part of her job as vice president of administration and enrollment management, Fox oversaw the facilities management department, which takes care of the school's buildings and grounds.

Appreciative department employees gave her a rod and reel and a six-pack of Stag beer as retirement presents.

For his part, Dobbins gave her a jar of M&Ms. She loved to eat the candy in the jar he kept in his office, Dobbins explained.

He said Fox excelled in administrative roles. "She has more energy than Carter las little liver pills," Dobbins said.

Fox began teaching at Southeast in 1978 as an assistant professor of marketing before moving into economics in 1979. She taught full-time before moving into administrative duties in the early 1990s.

She remembers when it was hard to find an office computer on campus. Today, computers are in every office and many classrooms.

Fox has been the school's vice president of administration and enrollment management since July 1, 1999.

Fox said she'll miss talking with students.

But even in retirement, Southeast won't be far from her mind.

She will continue to serve on the River Campus Board of Managers as it works on plans to turn a former Catholic seminary in Cape Girardeau into a visual and performing arts school.

Fox said she's been too busy finishing her duties as a Southeast administrator to plan out her retirement.

"I'm going to wait until after the holidays to plan anything," she said.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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