Maxine Andrews is the glue that holds Dean Jim Cook’s office together in the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. Just ask him.

Andrews, assistant to the CAHNRS dean, has worked at Washington State University for 41 years. “She knows better than I do what I am doing sometimes,” said Cook. She should. Cook is the eighth dean Andrews has assisted. “Having Maxine’s help is the difference between doing a mediocre job and doing the job well,” Cook said.

The professionalism, quiet competence and commitment to excellence Andrews brings to the dean’s office will be publicly acknowledged with a 2004 President’s Employee Excellence Award, to be presented today at WSU’s Celebrating Excellence awards dinner.

Andrews also assists research, extension and teaching programs in 39 counties across the state, at Spokane, Vancouver and Tri-Cities, at seven research and extension centers, and at other locations where CAHNRS has programs.

When Cook began his tenure as dean, Andrews aided him in every detail of the transition. She also has the knack of responding to Cook’s requests nearly instantaneously, almost before he has spoken a word.

One of Andrews’ achievements within the college was organization of a women’s lunchtime brown-bag series. This was a time when the dean could meet with female staff and faculty members to identify any problems they were facing within the college.

She also spearheaded formation of the Administrative Support Group to solve mutual problems and improve communication between the departments and the dean’s office. These accomplishments were recognized in 2000, when the Staff Development Team nominated Andrews as the WSU Woman of the Year.

Her dedication, organization and professional demeanor are necessary to keep the large college running smoothly. It has more than 355 tenure-track faculty placed in more than 50 locations.

Andrews’ relationships with state and federal agencies is well known within the college. Often when agency representatives contact the college, they mention to “Say hi to Maxine, and tell her thank you” early on in their greeting.

Cook said Andrews also is known and respected for her ability to be helpful, whether she is speaking with the director of the State Department of Agriculture or a scholarship donor.

From her upbeat attitude to the pumpkin pies made from her garden at Halloween, Cook said Andrews’ abilities and personality have made her an icon at CAHNRS.

It will be a sad day when Andrews decides to retire, said Donna Clark, assistant to the provost.

Prior to becoming assistant to the CAHNRS dean in 1981, Andrews was secretary for the WSU Department of Forestry and Range Management in 1969, and the senior secretary for Cooperative Extension from 1970-1981.

When she is not hard at work, Andrews enjoys bowling, sewing, playing softball and spending time with her 6-year-old granddaughter.