The diverse role of Administrative Services

Piece of scientific equipment kept in Tech's warehouse

Tucked away in the bottom of Browning Hall is the Department of Administrative Services. The department consists of four full-time employees and one graduate assistant. The functions of the department are diverse and include managing inventory of assets and serving as the Tech administration liaison to Chartwells. Assisting international students with federal and state taxes also falls under the department’s umbrella of responsibilities.

Fred Clayton serves as the director of Administrative Services. His main responsibilities include managing food service and vending machine company relations and coordinating the activities of the department. Clayton has been employed by Tech for 34 years. A graduate of Tech himself, Clayton said he feels blessed to have been hired on to the Tech staff and cites his staff and the opportunity to help students as some of his favorite parts of the job.

“Any time that we can help the students out in any way…it’s a great feeling,” Clayton said.

Piece of scientific equipment kept in Tech's warehouse
Piece of scientific equipment kept in Tech’s warehouse

Gary Brown has been with Administrative Services for about two years. Brown helps the university manage assets and oversees the organization of the approximately 10,000-square foot off-campus warehouse. Brown explained that he sees a wide variety of items come through the warehouse, and items of interest include wheelchairs, incubators and furniture that still bears the Arkansas Polytechnic College brand. Tech’s name was changed to Arkansas Tech University in 1976.

Kristin Coffman has been an employee at Tech for 10 years. Coffman was responsible for the implementation of Tech’s first surplus auctions in over 30 years. Auctions have brought in $58,636.50 in revenue since Coffman started them up again in September of 2013. The last auction had an estimated attendance of between 500-600 people.The next surplus auction will be held on May 28 in the parking lot directly north of the Witherspoon building. The auction will be open to Tech students, staff and members of the public and will feature a wide variety of furniture and other university assets.

Missy Hubbard has been with Tech for about four years and helps with a variety of administrative service functions. Among these, and among Hubbard’s favorite parts of her position, is helping international students with filing U.S. taxes. Hubbard uses Glacier tax prep computer software to help international students determine their tax obligations. Hubbard frequents the cafeteria and enjoys the student interaction there but said she likes seeing firsthand the impact she can make in international students’ lives.

“I feel like we have an obligation to help them. We tend to help them in any area we possibly can…I feel like we work hard to form those relationships with them and so they come back to us sometimes when they need something,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard’s strategy of building relationships pays off. Joseane Bazilio was one of the international students that Hubbard helped. Now, she serves as the department’s graduate assistant.