As the personnel generalist in the Division of Preventive Medicine with its 24 faculty and more than 245 employees, Ted Clark sees many challenging situations come his way.
|Ted Clark was praised by colleagues for his work in the Division of Preventive Medicine, earning him distinction as February’s Employee of the Month. |
Reviewing salary structures, developing policies and procedures to manage specific issues unique to the division, developing and maintaining accurate records in administrative databases and hiring and recruiting employees are just a few examples of his duties.
But those things don’t weigh quite as heavily on him – so to speak – as his “job” as ringing master of the eight bells at the Cathedral of St. Paul here in Birmingham. The largest of the bells weighs a stout 1,495 pounds. They are hung in the English manner for change ringing.
“Because of the way they are mounted, it doesn’t take a great deal of strength; it is more about timing and technique in learning to handle the rope correctly,” says Clark. “I have always been pretty much a klutz, but for some reason I was able to do this fairly easily and basic bell handling came relatively quickly to me.”
Clark’s timing, technique and handling of responsibilities here at UAB also are unquestioned, which has led to his selection as February’s Employee of the Month. The issues that often require most of his attention from the faculty and staff are the ones involving personnel. Clark is never without an answer to help, and it always comes after careful thought and consideration.
“Mr. Clark routinely handles non-routine and complex personnel issues with exemplary calmness, tact and compassion,” says O. Dale Williams, Ph.D., professor of medicine and biostatistics. “It is difficult to imagine that these issues could be handled better than he handles them. And they often tend to be complex, ranging from faculty and staff performance issues, complex visa problems and working with personnel concerning tragedies within their personal lives.”
“It’s very flattering. I’m almost speechless,” Clark says of his honor.
“If I look good it’s only because we’ve got great faculty and staff in this division. The people I work with, Barbara Wilson and everybody in our business office, are just outstanding and make my job easy.”
Clark is an excellent source of information and assistance for supervisors hiring new employees, says Suzanne McCampbell, assistant to the division director in Preventive Medicine. He also is very careful and thoughtful in his approach to employee-relations issues.
“Ted carefully evaluates each situation, seeking advice from Human Resources as required,” McCampbell says. “He goes the extra mile to ensure that there is not only a smooth operation, but that the work is done with excellence.”
Clark, who has been with UAB since 1993 after an 11-year stint with the Birmingham Children’s Theater, takes such praise in stride. In fact, he goes out his way to compliment his supervisors, McCampbell and Kiefe, saying he appreciates the support and guidance he receives from them. He also heaps praise on his colleagues in the Department of the Medicine, School of Medicine, UAB Human Resource Management and UAB Payroll.
“The people in the Department of Medi-cine and School of Medicine are just stellar people,” Clark says. “I do a lot of work with Human Resource Management and Payroll, and everyone there is extremely dedicated, productive and easy to work with.
“It would be so easy in a big organization like this to have a that’s-not-my-job attitude,” he says. “That’s not what I find. People I work with are eager to resolve problems, ensure that employees’ needs are met whenever possible and do everything they can to make this a great place to work.”