If you work at UC Davis, chances are you know Stan Nosek – or at least his signature on your paycheck.
“I don’t actually sign each individual check,” Nosek said. “I [computerized] that one about 7 years ago. But whenever people ask me that, I always say, ‘yes, I saw yours, and I’m going to do something about it!'”
Nosek is the Vice Chancellor of Administration and he oversees every UC Davis unit. For example, he makes sure professors have enough pencils and janitors are receiving adequate compensation. When the Special Olympics come to Davis this summer, Nosek will have already arranged a fleet of services guests will be able to utilize.
At all other universities, he would be a businessman; a boss. But at UC Davis, he’s a team player, said his son, Kevin Nosek, assistant basketball coach at UC Davis.
“He’s a lot of people’s boss, but he never looks at it that way,” Kevin said. “He’ll always say, ‘so and so works with me‘, not ‘so and so works for me.‘ That has been the story in our household and at work too.“
Nosek “works with” approximately seven major units within UC Davis: Accounting and financial services, business services, the fire department, the police department, human resource, safety services and campus veterinary services. Each unit has anywhere from five to 27 subunits with up to hundreds of employees.
Nosek played a key role in reorganizing the infrastructure he oversees last year when he and John Meyer of the Office of Resource Management and Planning (ORMP) grouped more units into the ORMP. Faculties Management and Architects and Engineers moved into the care of ORMP in July of 2008, in order to group together units with the same interest.
“Stan Nosek has the great advantage of long-time service to the campus,” said chancellor of UC Davis Larry Vanderhoef in an e-mail interview. “He knows all of UC Davis well. During the past two years he has worked hard on a reorganization plan that he thought was best for the campus, even though it diminished his purview.“
Nosek has also devoted much of his work and executive largesse toward campus sustainability. He led the way for the establishment of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, which has proposed to award approximately $54,000 in initiative spending.
“Sustainability is something easy you get people on board for,” Nosek said. “People generally want to do help reduce their carbon footprint.“
In addition, he said he has made sure his staff has “put their money where their mouth is,” by ensuring that facilities are run more efficiently. For example, UC Davis‘ main cooling system is run by a series of underground pipes that transport “cooling water,” throughout buildings. In the last few years, Nosek has overseen the replacement of these pipes with a more efficient system. This not only reduced emissions by five to six percent, but also saved the university up to $1.24 million in utilities bills.
He oversaw UC Davis‘ complete switch to power from the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), which though not completely “green,” has lowered power costs, and may soon be considered a sustainable source for power.
It’s clear that sustainability is one of Nosek’s more prominent issues, and something that he feels passionate about. However he attributes this passion to the UC Davis students, whom he feels had led the green movement to begin with.
“Our students kept saying, ‘this is what we need to do,‘ and they did it in a coherent and collaborative manner,” Nosek said. “We didn’t see them out there screaming and protesting, they talked to the regents, they talked to the chancellors, they talked to their professors. They get full credit for the progress that has been made so far.“
Nosek’s relationship with the student body also drives his career. He started working at UC Davis for Student Affairs almost 33 years ago, dealing mostly with issues of student housing and campus unions. He credits this position with his ability to connect to the student population.
“When I started working with Student Affairs, I wanted to be a part of helping students to compliment their classroom education with high-quality student development programs and opportunities,” Nosek said. “Out of the classroom learning has so much value on the development of the whole person. Even though my current position provides for minimal regular contact with students, I always enjoy those opportunities.“
Before Nosek worked at Student Affairs, he served as the director of the Campus Events and Information Office, as well as assistant director of resident life and assistant business manager of student housing.
But through and above all of his UC Davis careers, Nosek is a father of three children – one of which also “works with” him. Nosek signs his check every payday, which he says is a lot like giving him allowance.
“He hates it and keeps encouraging me to retire!” said the older Nosek.
Joking aside, Kevin admires the work ethic of his father. Nosek applies many of the values with which he raised his children to his work on campus.
“Both my parents were so supportive of my brother and sister and I,” said Kevin. “They made tremendous sacrifices for us and were always so gratifying when we did well. In the same way, [Nosek] relishes in others‘ success and development here at Davis. He’s a very selfless man.“
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at email@example.com.