Reporter 407, 6 October 1997

A fond farewell

Anyone who wandered along to the Personnel Department on August 22 will have seen an amazing sight: an African jungle created out of paper, and ‘Sal’s Bar,’ complete with parrots, a gorilla, several monkeys, pink elephants and exotic plants. The occasion was the department’s affectionate farewell to Sally Wheeler, a party in grand style to mark her retirement as Director of Personnel, which Sally was to begin by returning to Africa, where she had spent a large part of her life.

Her experiences as an agony aunt in Africa were to prove useful for some aspects of her many-faceted role as Director of Personnel, a post which she held from January 1993. But Sally first came to the University in January 1975 as a temporary administrative assistant in connection with the validation of a new ‘Collegiate’ degree course. Sally’s organisational skills were quickly recognised and she remained in the area of validation until 1983, when she took over the running of the then Council Office. Following reorganisation, Sally took on responsibility for the newly constituted Academic Staff Office, bringing about a transformation in service to departments.

As Director of Personnel Sally was known for her wide-ranging grasp of University affairs, her immense energy and commitment, her forthright manner, and her patience, good humour and good sense in what were often impossibly difficult situations. I have lost count of the number of times in the past month when colleagues from across the University, confronted with a problem, have wondered aloud what Sally would have done in such a situation. She brought about many changes in recent years as Director of Personnel, and she weathered many storms. We hope that she will enjoy the retirement that lies ahead just as much as she has enjoyed her holiday in Africa.

Joyce Hill, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staff

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