Shannon Eubanks, business officer in the department of political science in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been named the 2021 University Manager of the Year.
The award was presented May 27 at the annual meeting of the University Managers Association. The award is based on University career accomplishments, both within and beyond normal job responsibilities, or a specific accomplishment made within the previous 12 months that has been of major significance.
Eubanks is starting her 20th year in political science. Before joining UNC, she worked as a CPA in a local public accounting firm.
Mark Crescenzi, Nancy Hanes White Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of political science, said Eubanks is a leader in the university managers community and fully committed to UNC’s mission.
“During the stress and anxiety over the last year and a half, Shannon has been a constant source of expertise and support for our department. Her ability to work through the logistics of our transition to (and from … and to …) remote work was critical to our department’s success,” he said. “She kept us safe, and she kept us working so that we could continue our research while teaching and supporting our students. Her confidence and caring spirit are infectious. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with Shannon.”
Other nominators also praised Eubanks’ work ethic in nomination letters:
Timothy Ryan, associate professor of political science, wrote: “Shannon is exceptionally committed to supporting UNC students. More than one of our doctoral students has found her to be a steady, encouraging and helpful presence as they navigate the numerous challenges and anxieties associated with modern graduate programs.”
Evelyne Huber, Morehead Alumni Distinguished Professor, wrote: “Throughout (her 20 years), Shannon has been efficient, innovative, a great leader of our staff, and a great source of caring, inclusion and optimism for faculty, staff and students in our department. … She has always gone beyond the call of duty.”
Karen Morris, graduate student coordinator wrote: “Shannon has several qualities that make her a superb manager but her passion for diversity, equity and inclusivity is particularly noteworthy. … She fosters an environment that values and respects all people.”
Kim Barbour, department administrative assistant and event planner, wrote: “With this year of the pandemic/COVID-19, we have had many mountains to climb and then many valleys to trudge through. … Not to worry because Shannon was already thinking ahead and had a plan. … She made it her priority to ensure the safety of her staff, the faculty and our students. … Shannon took on 2020 as she has the 20 years prior, with determination, professionalism, organization, caring and consideration for all of political science.”
Eubanks received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Roanoke College and a master’s in accounting from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School. In fall 2020, she completed a certificate program in diversity, equity and inclusion from Cornell University.
“I love our students and that no two days are the same,” Eubanks said. “I’m also passionate about hiking our national parks, reading, Carolina basketball and the Pittsburgh Steelers (oh, and my husband, kids and dog, too!)”