Chris Boake joined the Volunteer family 31 years ago as a biologist in the newly formed Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As department head, she hired several faculty who are now full professors and highly successful researchers. In her role as associate dean of research and facilities, Boake worked with several different offices across campus to improve the research infrastructure and support for faculty and students.
“I think people often do not understand the full extent of the jobs associate deans do for the college and for individuals,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, during the reception. “Chris works with every department on expected start-up costs and renovations needed for new hires and works with new faculty on research support throughout their career, including travel funding. As a member of the college dean’s cabinet, she reviews the dossiers for all promotions, particularly the research portfolio.”
Dean Lee listed the numerous offices Associate Dean Boake worked with to create the infrastructure on campus where faculty teach and conduct research, which include UT Facilities Services and the Offices of Technology and Research and Engagement.
“Among the biggest jobs has been her efforts to provide the contact between the designers, contractors, and the departments and faculty during the construction of Strong Hall and the Mossman building,” Lee said. “While doing all these things, she has been the supporter of staff who have loved working with her.”
Dean Lee presented Boake with a plaque and thanked her for her 31 years of service to the college and the university. Chris Craig, professor in the Department of Classics, then presented Boake with a plaque listing her several accomplishments, which he had to interrupt due to the fact the plaque was in Latin. The crowd had a good laugh at several of the descriptors – specifically “She will always remain our Dean of Research, our Queen of Space.”
Finally, Boake thanked everyone for helping make her 31 years at UT enjoyable and “enormously rewarding.” She will be around next year and plans “to attend all the lectures I’ve funded, but never had the time to attend.” Thank you Associate Dean Chris Boake for your service. From all of us in the college, enjoy retirement!