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Staff Honored for Reducing Costs

Contact: Danielle Hinson

 

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Photo of Chuck Combes, Hugo Hempel and Jimmie Calvert
Chuck Combes far left, Hugo Hempel and Jimmie Calvert have been named 2003 A. Paul Nestor Award Winners. They were honored for increasing productivity and saving the university money.

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June 4, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Each year the University of Kentucky honors staff who have made a contribution to the university’s efforts to save money and increase productivity. This year the Nestor Award, named for retired UK employee A. Paul Nestor, was shared by three staff members.

Jimmie Calvert, a research specialist for agronomy, was awarded a $600 prize for his cost-saving design of environmentally controlled shelving units for the new Plant Science Building. In addition, Hugo Hempel and Chuck Combes, both of UK Chandler Medical Center Information Services, shared a $600 prize for their instrumental participation in designing and implementing the “electronic Bar-Coded Assets Resource System” (eBars).

In his design, Calvert coordinated the needs of the many researchers in the department to come up with a single design that would be suitable for the 37 shelving units needed for the research rooms. After exploring the cost of manufacturer-built shelves, he located alternative sources for the parts and construction that saved the university approximately $4,200 per shelf.

“I appreciate this award because my nomination came from a group of co-workers and not supervisory personnel,” Calvert said.

With the help of Hempel and Combes, eBARS has revolutionized the university’s equipment tracking process from a paper-pencil method to a system of bar-coded rooms, hand-held scanners and online data access. The ability to build the program in-house has saved the university from purchasing a costly computer program, and has allowed for a specialized program unique to the university’s needs.

“It is very gratifying to be recognized for our efforts,” Combes said. “We have been working on this system since November 2000, and despite some others on campus recommending that we use an outside vendor, we were able to succeed. It’s rewarding to have created something innovative enough that the entire campus wants it.”

Nestor was known for implementing many cost efficient programs within his departments. UK received four of the first national awards established by the National Association of College and Business Officers, three of which were given to units under Nestor’s supervision. Prior to his retirement and with the help of Jack Blanton, acting senior vice president for administration, Nestor set-up a $10,000 endowment fund to be used to honor staff members who came up with new ideas that make a difference in their departments at UK.

“This award has allowed us to encourage staff to work smarter over the years,” Blanton said. “Working smarter saves the university time and money, and this has had a tremendous affect on the UK community.”


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