WSU employee to retire after 34 years of service

Hill received a President’s Employee Excellence Award in 2005



Debbie Hill, Plant Communications Coordinator at WSU, recounts her job experiences as she prepares to retire on Monday morning at the McCluskey Services Building.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Former Evergreen reporter

A WSU employee who grew up in Pullman will retire after working at the university for over 34 years.

Deborah Hill, Facilities Service’s plant communications coordinator, will officially retire at the end of the month.

“It’s a fancy name for dispatch,” she said.

While working, Hill said she spends her days answering the phone when somebody needs something repaired on campus.

Facilities Services was created in 2010 when the former Facilities Operations and Capital Planning and Development departments were merged.

The department plans and constructs physical facilities on all campus locations and maintains and improves existing structures, according to the Facilities Services website.

Hill earned the President’s Employee Excellence Award in 2005, she said. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the university by administrative professionals and classified employees, according to the Office of the President’s website.

Five of those awards are given out annually. Hill said her coworkers nominated her after she handled dispatches for repairs from freezing temperatures across the university during winter break.

“It was like a zoo,” she said. “This one guy I work with said I seemed pretty calm and collected – I don’t know why.”

Her efforts during that crisis earned her the award which came with a plaque and money provided by the WSU Foundation.

“The people I work with nominated me,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “It felt good to be appreciated.”

Hill said despite never seeing most of the people she talks to, she enjoys getting to know everyone and becoming familiar with people on campus.

Hill’s boss Robbie Dudley, work management coordinator at Facilities Services, said Hill’s enjoyment and helpful attitude are highlighted through her work.

“I’ve only been here for two months but I’m going to miss her willingness to help people,” Dudley said. “She has great intuition and knows what she’s doing without having to think about it.”

Hill said she will miss the people she worked with the most and the feeling of keeping calm under pressure when maintenance is needed around campus.

She said it’s nice when people call in without an emergency, to express gratitude and appreciation to the employees at Facilities Services.

Hill said most of the people she misses have already left and thinking about them makes her emotional.

After she retires, Hill said she is excited to watch her granddaughter attend preschool.

Facilities Services will host a reception for Hill at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, in McCluskey Services Building Capital Group area.