This week AEDE will lose one of its longest-serving staff members, Joan Weber, who will retire at the end of April. Joan has spent 30 years as an employee of The Ohio State University. She joined AEDE in 1996 as the administrative manager for the department’s Rural Finance program. In 2000, she moved to her current role as the Business and Administrative Manager for AEDE.
In her position, not only has Joan managed AEDE’s human resource and fiscal functions with the utmost professionalism, but she has unofficially served as a department historian, OSU policy encyclopedia, gatekeeper, and an answerer of all things, all the time.
Many faculty and staff have relied on Joan’s extensive expertise on nearly every administrative function at Ohio State. Often, conversations and meetings end with the phrase, “I’ll just ask Joan….”
Tim Haab, AEDE Chair, recently noted that the hole being created by Joan’s departure is immense and the appreciation the department has for Joan’s professionalism and dedication cannot be overstated. In 2006, Joan was formally honored with the Ohio Chapter Gamma Sigma Delta Service Award of Merit.
Thank you, Joan, for sharing your experience, professionalism and caring character with all of us for all of these years. We were so fortunate to have you on our team. We hope you enjoy the tributes below from several of the colleagues that you have worked with over the years. And most importantly, enjoy the many games of golf and days on sunny beaches that are surely in your future.
Sathya Gopalakrishnan, Assistant Professor
I am extremely thankful to Joan for her immense patience in working with me through the immigration process, among other things. I can’t imagine how I would have navigated the OSU system; she always had answers, or would find the answers, to what I can imagine were annoying questions.
Ian Sheldon, Professor and Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy
In 34 years as a professor both here in the US and back in the UK, I have never met a staff member so totally professional and dedicated as Joan – it has been an absolute privilege to work with her. Her total knowledge and understanding of the financial, human resource and administrative rules at Ohio State have been a tremendous asset to the department, and I am sure she has prevented us getting into trouble on many occasions. Having interacted with Joan on several faculty searches, as well as other administrative jobs, I can only say that her management skills and attention to detail are truly second-to-none. On a personal level, I have always enjoyed and appreciated Joan’s willingness to listen to me as a faculty member on so many issues – I will really miss that daily interaction. Hopefully, she can enjoy being on the golf course more in her retirement, as well as having time to drink a margarita or two down Mexico way.
Carl Zulauf, Professor Emeritus
Joan is the consummate professional. You need say no more. Joan was incredibly important to the functioning of the department as anyone who has been around and experienced the importance of fiscal and human resource management. Much like many things in life you have to experience the bad to know how good the good is. The department was blessed to have Joan. Joan was interested in you as a person not just as an employee. The department was a better place to inhabit when you were asked a simple question, “How is your day going?” I will miss our conversations about golf. Being a non-player but a huge fan, it was insightful to hear an accomplished player’s take on the game, both now and in the past. Sports provide a window into the world. My window will get somewhat smaller without our conversations. I wish Joan the best in whatever she chooses to do, but I hope she shoots a personal best round of golf as a celebration of retirement and of a professional life that positively impacted others by helping them navigate the systems of Ohio State.
Ana Crespo, Fiscal Records and Office Administrative Associate
Congratulations, Joan on surviving working 30 years at OSU! I appreciate the hard work you put into making sure everything was done correctly. We both know how easily everything can fall apart if attention is not paid to details and work processes. I hope you enjoy your retirement because you have certainly earned it. I am sure the worst part of your retirement will be that you will not see our faces on a daily basis, but we can send you a picture every week or monthly if you like. Have fun golfing and keep in touch.
Gina Hnytka, Program Manager, Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) and AEDE Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
Joan is the first AEDE contact I met when I decided to apply for a position with the department. Her professionalism, work ethic, and commitment to success reinforced my decision to join AEDE’s team, without a question. Throughout the time I’ve worked in the department, Joan’s experience, dedication, and guidance has helped to make my own work easier and more successful. Joan will be truly missed. She has been a constant, excellent staff member in the department who simply cannot be replaced.
Barb Lee, Former AEDE Staffer
When I first met Joan over 20 years ago, she was interviewing for my job in International Finance. I was immediately struck by her professionalism, her enthusiasm and her overall caring persona. She would be a perfect fit for this group. Joan quickly learned the fast-paced nature of the rural finance group including faculty, graduate students and constant visitors from the U.S. and abroad. She went on to accept the position she now holds in AEDE. No one could survive in her job without being an intelligent, detailed, and multi-tasking individual. Joan is well respected by her peers and administrators throughout OSU, the State, and internationally. It has been my great pleasure to know Joan as a colleague as well as a good friend. We joke when we meet for a quick lunch at China Dynasty (I don’t think Joan and I have ever eaten anywhere else) that when she retires we can have long lunches and shopping trips together – I look forward to those days. Enjoy your retirement, Joan. You and Larry certainly deserve some time together – golfing, being beach bums, and whatever else your heart desires.
Douglas Southgate, Professor Emeritus
Joan is an unusually capable individual as well as a dedicated professional. The department has benefited enormously from her effective administrative service. And what a pleasure Joan is to be around, always cheerful and encouraging. She will be missed!
Janice DiCarolis, Research and Extension Communications Liaison
Congratulations, Joan! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, long retirement….QUITTER!!! Seriously, it has been such a pleasure working with you. You are the consummate professional. You will be missed, so please keep in touch or come back and visit…but not for two months. Once I retire, we can work on that book!