Linda Durr

Many members of my family, including me, attended and worked at IU Bloomington. My mother-in-law Jo Durr, my sister-in-law Marilyn Kisters, and her husband Dick all had great careers at IU, and all have retired from the university. I even have a nephew, Ricky Peterson, who currently works for IU. My husband Larry, our daughter Jennifer, and her husband Steve Goodrich all graduated from IU. We have attended IU basketball and football games, not just in Bloomington, but all over the country for many years. In the 70’s and 80’s my entire wardrobe was red ... perhaps a slight exaggeration but close to factual. I have always loved IU and IUPUI.

In August of 1973 my family moved from Bloomington to Indianapolis. I had been working for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs just for a few months. Dean Charles Bonser knew I wanted to find a job in Indianapolis, and he told me that the Dean of the Faculties Office was looking for help. So I scheduled an interview with John C. Buhner, the first IUPUI Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties, and his assistant, Shirley Nusbaum. Funny thing is, I don’t remember being asked about my skills, but I do remember Shirley and me pouring through the telephone book looking for day care centers for my little girl. I started my job the day that Chancellor Maynard Hine was leaving his position as chancellor and Glenn W. Irwin, Jr. was taking over as the second chancellor at IUPUI.

Our office then was located in a small building at the north end of Lansing Street where it meets Michigan Street. There is a small parking lot there now. The building had been at one time “Curley’s Cleaners.” There wasn’t even room there for a desk for me. I set up shop using the corner of Shirley’s desk. We weren’t in that space for very long — thank goodness. Dr. Buhner’s staff along with other administrative offices moved to the ground floor of the Union Building. It was kind of fun being in that building; we had easy access to the cafeteria and a wonderful little bakery — probably not so good on the waistline.

Dr. Buhner was my first boss at IUPUI, and I always said I was the luckiest person on campus because I had the best boss at the university. He was, without question, one of the kindest men I have ever known, and I feel blessed and honored to have had the chance to work with him and to get to know him.

We kept in touch over the years and on several occasions, Dr. Buhner would say to me, “Oh please, call me Jack.” I’ve known him since 1973, and after all these years, I could never call him by anything other than Dr. Buhner. I had so much respect for this man and to call him by any other name just wasn’t right for me.

Dr. Buhner was an inspirational man of grace and abundant knowledge. I am a better person for having known and learned from him. Dr. Buhner passed away on January 10, 2017, at the age of 96.

I was 23 years old when I met Shirley Nusbaum. She was Dr. Buhner’s assistant and was later appointed as Assistant Dean of the Faculties. I was young, green, very inexperienced and had lots to learn. I could not have asked for a better teacher and role model. I am sure that many of the skills I learned in my position in that office have carried with me and helped me to be the person that I am today. Shirley and I have remained very close, and I consider her to be one of my dearest friends.

IUPUI has provided the opportunity for me to grow as a professional ... I am a stronger and more-focused person because of my IUPUI experience.

Linda Durr, Office of Planning and Institutional Improvement Staff

Story courtesy of:

Linda Durr

Office of Planning and Institutional Improvement Staff

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