Saturday May 8, 2010

Business Manager Dru Burns Retires

If you have ever taken a class or attended an event at the School of Law, then you have felt the impact of Dru Bruns' work at the School.

If you have ever taken a class or attended an event at the University of Dayton School of Law, then you have felt the impact of Dru Bruns' work at the School.

Last month, Bruns retired after 21 years at the School. As the School's business manager, Bruns had a wide range of responsibilities, from managing the budget to overseeing the HR functions to administering security for Keller Hall and coordinating events. In one way or another, she has had a hand in the operations at UDSL.

"Dru has made a significant contribution to the success of the School of Law over the last two decades," said Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. "Working quietly behind the scenes, she played a key role in helping the School to educate and shepherd thousands of students into the legal profession."

When Bruns joined UDSL in 1989, she worked as a secretary for Kel Dickinson, who was associate dean at the time, and Registrar Linda Cole. In all, she has worked with four different associate deans for academic affairs, including both Dickinson and Rick Perna twice, Susan Brenner and Harry Gerla.

Over the years, Bruns' responsibilities evolved into a managerial position. By the time she retired, she assisted in the planning and preparation of the School of Law's budget, monitored and authorized expenditures, supervised the faculty secretaries, and served as the School's primary personnel administrator. Plus, as she said, "a million other things."

The School's move from Albert Emanuel Hall to Keller Hall in 1997 was coordinated through her office. The move also meant more responsibility for Bruns as she began coordinating the daily maintenance and operations of the School¿s new home. "It has been interesting to see how the School of Law and the University have grown," she said.

The expansion of computing greatly affected her work. She recalled that when she joined the law school computers we just beginning to become regular fixtures around offices. "In some respects they have made it easier, as far as generating reports and getting things 'Up the Hill,'" she said, referring to other offices on campus. "Yet sometimes I wish I could go back to the pencil and paper kind of things."

What she missed most about those days is the face-to-face interactions with students, faculty and other staff members. In Albert Emanuel Hall, most of the secretarial staff worked in the middle of one centralized office area.

As she prepared to join her husband, David, who has been retired for two years, Bruns said she was ready to "move on to another phase in my life." She did not yet have plans for retirement, explaining that she wanted to "regroup for a while and then see what I feel like doing." One thing she knows she will be doing is caring for her mother and spending more time with her daughter and son, their spouses and four granddaughters. An avid collector of miniatures, she plans to complete the construction of dollhouses for each of her granddaughters.

"I like doing things myself," she said. "I like putting things together instead of always buying ready-made items."

She said she would miss her colleagues at UDSL. "I have enjoyed working at the School of Law because we are all one big family," she said. "We work together to achieve the same goals."

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683.