Nancy Ufert-Fairless Retires

How many people can say they have spent their entire career with just one employer?  I mean their ENTIRE career…from student worker to retirement.  Well, Nancy Ufert Fairless can.  Nancy started working in the Disbursements department as a student worker while attending SIUE in 1979.  After graduating with dual degrees in Business Administration and Marketing and Management, Nancy started working in the Purchasing department as a Secretary.  Nancy was promoted through the secretarial line and became a buyer in 1987.  2008 saw Nancy become the first female Director of Purchases at SIUE and now, after 35 years of service, Nancy Ufert Fairless is ready to be promoted to retiree. 

So many operational changes have happened in her 35 year career.  Technology is probably the biggest.  Typing purchase orders on a carbon master and running them on a duplicating machine is long, long gone.  Bid limits have been increased from $5,000 to $80,000.   Even the terminology has changed.  Bids have now been replaced by RFP’s, IFB’s, and RFI’s; Buyers are now called Procurement Officers; and PPB, CPO, SPO, and PCM’s have been added to the long list of acronyms that are part of a Purchasing employee’s daily life.

Nancy has seen SIUE flourish from being considered a commuter campus to the bustling campus it is today.  Four residence halls later, SIUE is hopping 24/7.  In addition to the residence halls, Nancy has seen the addition of the School of Pharmacy; construction of the Engineering, Art & Design, and Science West Buildings to name a few, not to mention the renovation of other buildings and relocation of departments.  Banner, buildings, Blackboard, buses, banking, bridges, baseball…you name it and Nancy has been bought it. 

May 1, 2017, Nancy will start a new chapter.  No more getting up every morning to drive to SIUE as she has done since she was a freshman in 1977.  Instead, she will be spending time with her family, friends, pets, and spoiling her grandson.  More time to play games, bowl, and maybe even look into a cooking class!  (That’s a joke…Nancy doesn’t cook and doesn’t want to).  Smart, kind, and patient are just a few words to describe Nancy Ufert Fairless.  Her leadership and knowledge will be missed, but most of all, her friendship.  Good luck Nancy and best wishes.