The chief of the ITS Service Desk is retiring after 30 years at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Sharon Glover, who has led the Service Desk for seven years — one year as interim director and six years permanent — will retire April 1.
During her three decades at Carolina, Glover worked for a variety of departments and on diverse initiatives.
“It has not felt like 30 years,” she said. “I think it’s because I worked on so many different projects over the years in different capacities. One of the reasons I wanted to get on here at Carolina was the ability to always work for the same employer while being given so many different opportunities.”
Glover started at the University in 1991 as an accountant with the Office of International Programs, which was also the umbrella unit for the Study Abroad program.
She later worked for the Office of Sponsor Research, Scholarship and Student Aid, ITS Business Analysis team, ConnectCarolina Student Solution, ITS Customer Relationships and finally, the ITS Service Desk.
While working in those different departments and on those many projects, Glover developed relationships across campus and within ITS and the Service Desk. Those relationships helped bolster the departments in which she worked and enriched her personal life.
People are her focus
“It sounds cliché, but the thing I’ll miss most is the people,” she said.
The people will remember her too.
In her work with global studies at Carolina. Glover “was a spark plug and expert in our early days and a continuing keystone even after she moved up,” said Jim Peacock, who was the second chair of the University Center for International Studies. “All of us are indebted deeply to Sharon for her faith and support and expertise and initiative from the beginnings to today to help build a global program and much more.”
Likewise, Glover’s staff appreciates and loves her and will greatly miss her as she moves on to the next phase of her life.
Glover led with a diplomatic approach and a focus on others. She was always thinking of others. Glover built people up and found the best in everyone. She was a fierce advocate for her team and strived to ensure that they were appreciated, valued and resourced.
“My best memory of Sharon was how very compassionate and supportive she was after my parents’ passing,” said Ingrid Camacho, ITS Service Desk Assistant Director. “I could not have asked for a better and more understanding boss.”
Provided guidance and wisdom
Glover “has helped many of us through challenging times at work and provided her guidance and wisdom on countless projects, initiatives and efforts,” said Kate Hash, Assistant Vice Chancellor of ITS Customer Experience & Engagement, of which the Service Desk is a unit. “When you walk into a room or meeting and see Sharon, you instantly feel better and that you’re in good hands.”
Glover’s advice will always remain with Camacho. Glover advised Camacho: “Don’t stress; change your argument to make things happen!”
One of the things Glover helped make happen — and one of her proudest accomplishments — was working with others within ITS to resolve inequity in pay issues.
“I’ve had a collaborative and phased approach within the last seven years to help get people paid closer to the market rate,” Glover said.
“Sharon is also someone who cares deeply about the people in her life,” Hash said. Glover “values getting to know all of us and her employees, in particular, as people. She cares about our interests and families, about our challenges and struggles.
She recognizes and appreciates the full picture of what makes all of us who we are. She is truly one of the most empathetic and caring people I have ever met.”
Glover, Hash added, “is the type of person who makes coming to work an absolute pleasure. On calm days, she provides fun and levity, and on the crazy days, she provides a voice of reason and clear direction.”
Helped resolve pay inequity
In addition to her work within ITS to resolve inequity in pay issues, Glover is quite proud of helping to create the University Center for International Studies.
“Along with the chair for the center, one research associate and an administrative assistant, I was one of a small group of four who actually stood up that department,” she said. When Glover looks at the Global FedEx building, she feels especially good about the accomplishment.
It’s fitting, then, that Glover has a particular fondness for the time she worked at the University Center for International Studies and the ITS Service Desk.
“There are two eras in my years that I have relished the most, the beginning of my career with the University Center for International Studies and the finale with the Service Desk,” she said. “Because each one of these teams challenged themselves and aspired to be the best but more than this, they respected and cared about each other. We find we’re successful because of the bonds we make and have.”
Time to rediscover herself
Glover has made the most of her time at the University. She also plans to create a personally rewarding retirement. She doesn’t have big plans for the first six months, she said.
“I’ve created my own bucket list of things that I want to do,” she said, “but it’s truly more about rediscovering me, so I just want to let it come to me.”