(Dec. 6, 2011) -- Bennie Keckler, assistant to the vice provost for academic and faculty support, died Sunday, Dec. 4, following a brief illness.
In her role in the vice provost's office, Keckler was instrumental in all aspects pertaining to faculty. Over her career at UTSA, she oversaw the promotion and tenure process, faculty workload reporting, and faculty grievances and policies. One of her achievements was the development of a comprehensive Faculty Recruitment Manual, which she was invited to present at a conference.
Keckler also helped organize faculty-related programs such as new-faculty orientation, Faculty Honors Convocation and the Service Appreciation Luncheon. Most recently, she was working with the newly formed Retired Faculty Association and was part of a committee that is making plans to combine the university's faculty and staff awards programs into a single ceremony.
"Bennie's service orientation, sense of humor and personable nature promoted an excellent working relationship with UTSA faculty and staff," said Vice Provost Jesse Zapata. "She brought many accolades to our office, and all of her coworkers will miss her very much."
Keckler joined the university in 1997 and was assigned to work for David Johnson, then the newly appointed vice provost. They worked together until 2009 when Johnson stepped down from administration to return to teaching and research.
"What I discovered about Bennie was she was very determined, focused and ready to take on new tasks to make things work. Bennie had an extraordinary ability to work with a large number of people on complicated and technical issues, and it made my life easier," said Johnson.
"The secret of being a great staff person is you have things running so smoothly, people don't even realize what all is involved. But really, it works great because of people like Bennie."
"On behalf of everyone at UTSA, many of whom relied on Bennie's knowledge and support, I offer our condolences to her family and friends," said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Bennie has been an invaluable member of the Academic Affairs staff, and we certainly will feel her absence for a long time to come."
Memorial services will be noon, Thursday, Dec. 8, at Mission Park North, 3401 Cherry Ridge, San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jere and Bennie Keckler Endowment Fund at Wichita State University, 316-978-6843, or a charity of your choice.
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