UK treasurer’s dedicated career epitomizes loyalty

In a time when university employees’ loyalty is often outweighed by desire for better benefits and financial gains, UK Treasurer Henry Clay Owen sets a shining example of dedication and devotion.

Owen, who is retiring this year, has worked in UK’s treasury department for more than 43 years and had spent three years as a UK accounting student before that, the Kernel reported Nov. 29.

According to UK’s Work-Life survey results released in 2006, 35 percent of UK staff respondents don’t agree that they feel loyal to UK, and among UK faculty respondents, 48 percent don’t agree that they feel loyal to UK.

In addition, 53 percent of staff and 31 percent of faculty indicate they have very seriously or somewhat seriously considered leaving UK during the 12 months prior to completing the survey.

Those who leave UK to seek a position at another institution are often in search of financial gains. Among UK employees, 39 percent answered the primary reason they consider leaving the university is salary, according to the survey.

Owen said he faced a number opportunities to receive a higher salary from different institutions himself. However, he never seriously considered leaving UK because it has become a second home to him, he said.

“You look at opportunities and you measure them thinking, ‘Here’s my home, here’s my family,’ and ask if the differential in salary is enough to leave home for, and the answer’s always no,” Owen said. “I’ve always been happy doing my job.”

It is generally accepted that UK employees are often underpaid for the job they are doing, and hopefully the university can improve treatment of its employees. In the meantime, it is our hope that faculty and staff follow Owen’s example and believe in a little loyalty for the university.