Rufus Eugene McKillop  2001 UNB Service Award Recipient

Rufus McKillop's association with the University of New Brunswick began almost 40 years ago when he enrolled in the Faculty of Science, earning a B.Sc. in mathematics and physics in 1967. His early career took place in Ottawa, but he soon returned to UNB Fredericton to take up what is now an almost 30-year career with this institution. From 1971 to 1980 as a programmer analyst, he played a key role in the development of UNB's student and financial information systems, and earned a Masters degree in Computer Science with a thesis entitled, "An Investigation of the University Timetabling Problem" — a subject many would say is still relevant today. In 1981, he was appointed Associate Registrar with particular responsibility for the growing student information system, the predecessor of the Datatel system.

More recently Rufus has been Director of Student Financial Services and Fees in the Department of Financial Services and subsequently project leader for implementation of the Datatel Student Information Systems module. Throughout his career at UNB Rufus has demonstrated loyalty and dedication to the University and consistently has worked beyond the normal call of duty in the discharge of his responsibilities. Not one to calmly accept the status quo, Rufus throughout his career has worked tirelessly and often against inertia and even resistance to bring about improvements in systems and service to the benefit of members of the University community. He is extremely conscientious and genuinely cares about the institution and its staff.

It is Rufus's contributions to the success of the Datatel project that deserve special commendation. In this latter role Rufus has demonstrated significant leadership and the ability to deliver results under very difficult conditions. It is this track record which best exemplifies his strengths of hard work, dedication, problem solving and putting the well-being of the institution first. He has expended a remarkable physical and mental effort in terms of his time and expertise, working long hours well above the normal UNB work week, working continuously under high levels of stress, and foregoing full vacation entitlement over the past two years. He has mastered the highly technical details of a complicated and not readily compatible set of systems and software, and has successfully adapted these to the UNB environment. Not a flashy person or one to seek the limelight, Rufus has worked tirelessly in the trenches to ensure a practical and workable outcome that was vital to the University's needs.

In contrast to the important roles of planners, strategizers and decision makers, Rufus stands out as a doer. Without his direct and considerable involvement, against great odds, it is highly unlikely that UNB would have achieved its Datatel student information systems implementation targets as well as it did. The UNB Service Award is an appropriate recognition for this outstanding achievement, which is only the latest in a long record of similar service. Rufus exemplifies the qualities of support service staff that we would do well to have others emulate.

Presented by Stephen Strople, University Secretary
February 16, 2001