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Dec. 8, 2011 Volume 33, No. 15

The Weekly Staff Meeting: Linda Cook

 Linda CookWork place: Office of the Provost in Jesse Hall

Title: Project Specialist

Years at MU: 44 years (25 years with MU Extension, Office of the Provost since 1992)

Hometown: Farmington, Mo., in St. Francois County

Favorite food: Homemade carrot cake

Favorite movie: “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour

Favorite music: Yanni (new age or  contemporary instrumental)

Family: One daughter, Tracy, who is married to Tony Keel. They have 2- and 3- year-old boys and Tony’s two daughters who are 15 and 16. I also have three stepsons who live in Columbia and a 14-year-old granddaughter. 

Undergraduate/graduate education: I attended college for two years at Southeast Missouri State University and then came to MU to finish my BS in education. I have some graduate hours and received certification to teach vocational education classes.



What is your favorite part about working at Mizzou?
Opportunities to continue learning and all of the interesting and dedicated faculty, staff, administrators and students I have met over the past 44 years. There are so many great things to do in a college town.

If you weren’t doing this for a living, what would your dream job be?
I always wanted to teach business education classes or work in an office in order to use the skills that I learned. Fortunately, I have done both and received a great deal of satisfaction from both. Bottom line — I think this is my dream job. However, I do have to add that being a wife and mom were/are great jobs but being a grandmother (“nana”) pretty much trumps everything!

What are your current job duties?
Staff the Campus Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee, serve as liaison with schools/colleges, and provide training on promotion and tenure procedures; coordinate administrative searches; coordinate dean evaluations; coordinate campus committee appointments; prepare endowed chair and professorship reports; staff Tenure Probationary Extension Committee, prepare reports, and coordinate tenure probationary extension requests; assist with Faculty Irresponsibility, Research Responsibility and some grievance cases.

Why are you passionate about your job?
I like helping people and trying to find ways to make practices/policies more understandable and easier to respond to when reports are due.

What do you consider the most rewarding aspects of your job?
The people I work with in the office and around the campus—there are so many positive, talented and dedicated people at MU. Great things happen on this campus!

What is most challenging?
The volume of work and keeping current on regulations in order to be able to answer questions accurately.

How do you meet these challenges?
Plan ahead as much as possible, utilize backup assistance in the office, work at home on some projects.

Is there a single achievement you’ve been recognized for as an employee at mu or related to your outside activities?
I really enjoyed my term on the Staff Advisory Council and considered it an honor to serve as chair of the council for two years. It was wonderful when we received thanks from staff members for helping with an issue. I only wish we could have done more.

How do you spend your time away from the university?
Interacting with family and friends, participating in church events, spoiling my grandkids, walking, listening to music, reading.

What others say about Linda:
“Linda Cook is one of MU’s true ‘unsung heroes.’ She keeps MU’s tenure and promotion process on track, ensures that searches for deans and other administrators are successfully completed, and makes things happen within Jesse Hall.

"Linda treats everyone with respect, responds to all requests promptly and with a smile, and is the consummate problem-solver. No one works harder or is more loyal to MU, and Linda epitomizes MU at its best.” — R. Lawrence Dessem, dean and professor of law