ties lure Reed to retire
By Rebecca Arrington
the end of the month, one of the Universitys long-time administrators
will leave the Grounds, returning home to her beloved Oregon.
She said her mouth waters every time she thinks of eating the
fresh, pan-fried trout that she plans to catch in the stream where
her father taught her to fly-fish years ago. But it was the East
Coast, and the ever-challenging roles that shes taken on
professionally, that have kept Kathrine M. Reed hooked on Grounds
for nearly 31 years.
came to U.Va. in 1970 with her husband, environmental
sciences professor Wallace Reed, who is also retiring this
month. They thought theyd only stay five years. Obviously,
thats not how it turned out.
been good for both of us, said Reed, who started her career
here as a half-time clerk-typist C in the then-joint sociology-anthropology
department. Several months later, she became the departmental
secretary. Reed, whose graduate work was in library science and
whose undergraduate degree was in sociology, worked there for
the next four years as a clerk-steno D.
taught myself shorthand, practicing the symbols on the back of
a stenographers notebook, she said. After taking
the shorthand test for the fourth time, Human Resources didnt
make me take another one, she recalled laughing. I
also read grant proposals and critiqued them whether they wanted
it or not, she said.
launched under Reed include:
Classroom Improvement Project Reed led the team that
developed and oversees five-year plans for renovation and
installation of technology in classrooms.
Desktop Computing Initiative This plan keeps
U.Va. computers up-to-date by replacing them every three years.
Automated Library System She worked out the
financial plan for the University to adopt an automated library
system and subsequent system upgrades.
Establishment of the Vice President and Provosts
Phased Retirement Program She implemented and
managed the Universitys phased retirement program from
1989 through 1996.
next four-year stint was as a research administrator in the biology
department the first woman ever hired as such. She made
University history again in her next post as the first female
budget officer in Arts & Sciences, under then-dean Edwin Floyd.
Floyd became provost in 1981, he took Reed with him as his associate
provost for management. I insisted on a national search,
said Reed, who has served in this capacity ever since. Reed has
worked with five of the Universitys six provosts. Time
has passed quickly, she said. It doesnt seem
like 30 years. Its never been boring.
as chief financial officer for the vice
president and provost, she oversees a roughly $300 million
budget and is responsible for resource planning for eight academic
schools, the University Library and museums and other academic
support services. She has direct administrative oversight of three
academic departments as well.
also provides planning and advice for administrative technology
in the academic areas, serves as the chief liaison to the new
Integrated Systems Project, develops faculty and research personnel
policies and manages administrative faculty and classified personnel
issues. She reviews all faculty salary recommendations prior to
the provosts approval to ensure recommendations are in accordance
with institutional salary policies and to monitor for gender and
racial equity. In addition, she represents the provost on the
classified staff employee communication council and on working
groups on such issues as graduate financial aid and technology
Reed has given exemplary service for many years to the provosts
office, to each of the schools and units that report to the provost
and to the University. Though we wish her well in her retirement,
we do so with a tinge of regret because she will be sorely missed,
said Vice President and Provost Peter W. Low.
University has changed from a genteel Southern school to a top
research university. It had started on this path when I joined
the University, but Ive seen it happen, Reed said,
adding, If you can make research flourish, the entire academic
enterprise will flourish.
credits several University faculty members with supporting her
early on in her career: Ed Floyd, an incredible man,
Sam Maroni and Oscar Miller of the biology department and Willard
Harrison of chemistry. But it was her mother, an attorney, who
most inspired Reed not to be hindered by her gender.
never realized what I was missing in not having a female colleague
until Shirley Menaker [associate provost for academic support]
was hired in 1987, Reed said of her dear friend and
had similar things to say about Reed at her retirement ceremony
April 25. This is a celebration of a special person who
has been of inestimable value to many of us here, Menaker
wrote in a letter that was read at the event. Simply put,
Kathy knows how to do things within the University and who to
get help from in doing them quickly (and quietly). She has an
acute political sensitivity, knowing that doing things well one
time is not particularly effective unless good relationships with
faculty and administrative colleagues are maintained over the
one who calls Kathys office is ever told Thats
not my job. I cant help you. She willingly extends
to units and individuals help with personnel issues, ways to handle
budgetary problems, finding sources of revenue, hundreds of small
things that make up the fabric of the way we operate.
noted that Reed was one of the prime movers in setting up
the Provosts Employee Council, and was one of the
chief architects and proponents of the Employee Tuition
Waiver Plan, which permits University employees to take
at least one credit course each semester with tuition waived.
this years winner of the Women Faculty and Professional
Associations Woman of Achievement Award, has worked to improve
the climate for women at U.Va. She served on former U.Va. President
Robert M. ONeils Task Force on the Status of Women
in the late 80s. The report we issued was pivotal
in pinpointing problems and laying groundwork for change. It made
womens issues University issues, Reed said. Now she
is on the Womens Leadership Council, which is still
addressing items identified in the ONeil report and setting
priorities to bring about necessary changes, she said, citing
as an example the development of salary studies that help determine
pay equity and gender equity. Things are getting better,
addition to her work on Grounds, Reed has been active in several
professional organizations. She became a member and later an officer
of the Society of Research Administrators in 1974. People
like myself met to talk about our roles, issues and needs facing
us in our jobs, she said.
asked if shes accomplished her professional goals, Reed
replied, We still need a comprehensive plan for what our
graduate student financial aid is going to be and how were
going to fund it.
We need to have all the people affected
by this, all the schools, united in this effort, she said.
I would really have liked to have seen this further along
or resolved before Id retired, but Laurie Kelsh is working
on this, and I feel its going forward.
she and her husband will miss Charlottesville, the Reeds are eager
to return to Oregon. Theyve bought a 1920s arts-and-crafts
bungalow in Salem, on the edge of a large park next to her childhood
home. Theyre anxious to be close to their children, Jimmy
and Lynn, their son- and daughter-in-law, and their 3-year-old
granddaughter, Emelia Caroline, all of whom live nearby. And Reed
cant wait to be wading in the Rogue River again, fly-fishing.
You know what they say about people from Oregon, dont
you? Weve all got webbed feet, she said laughing.
article on Wallace Reeds career, titled Go Ask Wally,
is in the April 2001 Libra newsletter, in print and online at