After 44 years at the helm of the College of Education’s Office of the Dean, Bettina (Tina) Hass is hanging up her hard hat and retiring Oct. 2.
Over the past four-plus decades, Hass has been a key part of the Office of the Dean’s administrative staff – and one of the most familiar and friendly faces to generations of students, faculty, staff, and community members.
She’s trained and worked with eight deans and as many university presidents. She has overseen multiple major Lindquist Center renovation projects, and she’s witnessed sweeping changes on campus and in the community, whether the landscape or fashions in college students’ clothing.
Working most recently as the Executive Assistant to the Dean and the Lindquist Center Building Coordinator, Hass says her job has constantly evolved over the years.
“It has been fascinating to witness the evolution of the workplace during my time here,” Hass says. “I have been fortunate to do a wide variety of things with some very talented people.”
But one thing that hasn’t changed? Hass’s enjoyment in meeting some of the most intelligent, compassionate, and dedicated students, faculty, staff, and alumni on the planet.
“I was honored to provide staff support when the Belin-Blank Center and UI REACH were started, in 1988 and 2008 respectively, and seeing how successful they are,” Hass reflects. “I stayed as long as I did because of the great people and opportunities to contribute to the college.”
Generations of Hawkeyes recall being warmly greeted by Hass, who always seemed to have the answer to any question. Many people say they think of Hass as the Lindquist Center’s “walking Google” – the go-to person when information could not be found elsewhere, who knew every nook and cranny of the building, who to call, or where to go.
“Tina’s institutional knowledge and professional networks have been invaluable,” says UI College of Education Dean Daniel Clay. “Tina has been the face of our college for years, building and strengthening relationships wherever she goes. One of her many strengths is her capacity to make those relationships on a real level. Tina takes time to walk around, talk to people, and she always knows what is going on. She is our ambassador, and we are really going to miss that unifying and welcoming presence.”
Hass was recognized with a UI Staff Excellence Award from UI Staff Council, for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions that significantly benefited or brought honor or recognition to the university. She has also served on numerous campuswide and college committees including the UI Campus Facilities Group.
Most recently, an especially challenging but rewarding experience was Hass’s role in overseeing a major renovation of both North and South Lindquist Centers during the pandemic.
She has worked so closely and successfully with construction crews, that one firm gifted Hass with her own hard hat – both honorary and practical since she often had to do walk throughs in areas of the building under construction.
“It was fascinating to see how the architects envisioned changes and how the skilled trades workers implemented them,” Hass says. “Recent changes have resulted in a much more modern and functional environment in the Lindquist Center.”
A UI alumna, Hass received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech and hearing science in 1975. She was also an active member of the Scottish Highlanders, a student group dedicated to practicing and performing the Scottish arts of piping, drumming, and dancing, serving as drum major in 1974-75.
When Hass graduated, did she envision dedicating her entire career to the College of Education?
“I never imagined that I would spend my entire career in the college,” Hass says, “but as time went by, I found the many opportunities I was given to be fulfilling and meaningful.”
In retirement, Hass looks forward to spending time with family and friends but hopes to make cameo appearances at homecoming celebrations or other festivities.