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A Family Affair

Business Manager Dianna Beeler Says UT Orange ‘Runs Deep’


Dianna Beeler, business manager for the Department of Political Science, said she’s always felt like working at the university was part of her DNA.

Beeler said her grandmother worked in laundry services at UT Medical Center and loved it.

“I just wanted to follow in her footsteps,” she said.

Beeler has now worked at UT for 26.5 years. Her husband, Kevin, works for Facility Services. Her daughter, Elizabeth Beeler West, is an administrative specialist in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures (MFLL), and her son-in-law, Derick West, works in the Office of Information Technology. Kevin’s mother was a secretary at UT and his grandfather retired from UT as a master carpenter.

“UT orange runs deep for us,” Beeler said.

During her time at UT, Beeler has held a number of positions.

“I’ve worked all over campus,” she said. “And I’ve never been to a department that did not feel like family.”

Beeler got her first job at UT six weeks after her only child, her daughter, was born. She applied for the temp pool and was sent to the student health center to schedule flu shot appointments. A short time later, she was hired as a clerical worker in the Dean of Students’ office. Over the years, she’s held clerical and financial positions with the old Center for Telecommunications and Video, Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), VolsTeach (Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Sciences), and the Departments of MFLL, Nutrition, and in the College of Arts and Sciences Shared Services where she worked in the Departments of Religious Studies and Classics.

As the business manager in political science, Beeler assists with human resources paperwork and hiring, bill paying, event planning, and budget preparation.

“I do pretty much everything that has to do with finances. I know just enough about the academic side to keep the ball rolling,” she said. Her favorite part of the job: “being able to help people succeed.”

Beeler has seen a lot of changes at UT over the years. 

From her office on the 10th floor of McClung Tower, she’s able to watch the Pride of the Southland Band practice in the fall, and she’s looking forward to springtime when a colorful sea of hammocks will blossom in the nearby green space.

When she’s not working, Beeler enjoys photography, going on cruises, and camping with her family. 

Her affinity for photography developed during her senior year of high school at her very first job, as an office administrator for a photography business where she sometimes got to assist with photo shoots.

Although she occasionally still uses her digital camera, Beeler now typically relies on her phone camera to document get-togethers with family and friends and to chronicle the growth of her two grandchildren, Clayton, 3, and Connie, 1.

She also photographs family vacations, framing her favorite shots and logging the rest in a digital album.

A few years ago, the family cruised to Belize and visited Mayan ruins. This fall, the family will cruise to Aruba, Curacao, and the Dominican Republic.

The Beelers also enjoy camping in their fifth-wheel toy hauler, dubbed “Big Mo.” They’ve camped at Cumberland Mountain State Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park, and Standing Stone State Park, as well as Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency campgrounds near Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake.

Dianna and Kevin Beeler have been married for 29 years. They began dating while they were in the youth group at Glen Oak Missionary Baptist Church, which they still attend.

Story by Amy Blakely