Carla Boff: ‘rock solid’ and ‘the best of bosses’
The Department of Biomedical Engineering is unique in being organizationally aligned with both the Hajim School and the Medical Center. This provides increased learning and research opportunities for BME students and faculty.
But the arrangement can be an administrative challenge. So many procedures, policies, and timelines—especially in budgeting—differ between the two units. This means double the normal budgetary work for BME’s lead administrator.
So, the department is fortunate to have Carla Boff, this year’s recipient of the Hajim Outstanding Staff Award, serving in that position. Her expertise in how budgeting is done on both sides of Elmwood Avenue has enabled her to ensure the strong financial health of the department.
And that is just one of the myriad responsibilities she has carried out with remarkable efficiency and attention to detail during the last six years.
“I could not be more grateful for her expertise, hard work, creativity, and leadership,” says department chair Diane Dalecki.
Boff is also responsible for leading the department’s administrative team, performance evaluations, faculty appointments and salary reallocations, faculty promotion packages, building and facilities operations, compliance issues, and interacting with the department’s external advisory board.
She assists faculty with countless items including hiring staff, immigration issues, onboarding new faculty, leave of absences, and educating them on many university policies and procedures.
Her colleagues marvel that Boff can do all of this in a seamless fashion and still cheerfully stop whatever she is doing to pitch in to help someone else meet a deadline—or move tables or set up posters for a department event.
When the campus shut down because of COVID-19, Boff “worked tirelessly, through weekends and evenings to ensure that our faculty, staff, students, and department remained strong through the pandemic,” Dalecki says.
“With every new required change in operational procedure, twist in policy, need for space modification, change in work locations and patterns, and more, Carla was always the first to respond, help, lead, and offer strategy to meet each and every new COVID demand.”
Boff also worked hard to ensure that subsequent furloughs were applied equitably across the staff, including herself. And she worked just as hard to help fill in the gaps during a recent spate of staff turnovers.
“She has been rock solid,” Dalecki says.
Boff began her career with BME before it was even a department, helping administer the program with founding chair, Rick Waugh, for a couple of years. She then departed to expand her career development through several administrative positions across the university.
Her colleagues are glad she returned.
“One thing that I would like to highlight above all else is her positive attitude when she comes to work each morning. The first thing she does is stop at each office and say ‘good morning’ with a smile on her face and ask us ‘how was your weekend’ or ‘how was your evening,’" one member of her staff notes.
Another says, “she is the best of bosses and a pleasure to work with and for.”