Leaving Penn

Jim Miller of Fire & Occupational Safety;

Other Veteran Members of Facilities Units

James M. Miller, the University's Director of Fire and Occupational Safety since 1981, is one of nine members of the former Facilities Management staff who resigned or took retirement effective June 30.

Most were members of the facilities/physical plant staff who had been moved to Trammell Crow under last year's outsourcing agreement, which contained a window for accepting a Penn severance package by the end of the fiscal year.

Mr. Miller's operation had not been outsourced in the Trammell Crow agreement but was later moved from its physical plant aegis to that of public safety.

At a retirement luncheon in the Faculty Club, Vice President for Facilities Services Omar Blaik said the longevity of service of the departing members represented over 250 years of institutional memory that would be sorely missed. "I wish they would stay," he said, "but I understand the personal decisions, the family needs" that led to their individual decisions.

Jim Miller came to Penn in January 1981 from the Philadelphia Fire Department, where he begun as a firefighter in 1956 and worked his way up through the ranks of lieutenant, captain, battalion chief, and deputy chief (which commands the Fire Prevention Division) to the second highest civil service post in the department, assistant chief. Before joining Penn he had attended the Fels Institute (1966-1969), and he continued a career-long emphasis on professional training for himself and his staff. At the luncheon he spoke with pride of the education and safety priorities that the Philadelphia Fire Department pioneered for the city and that he brought to Penn--with an emphasis on prevention and safety over violations and sanctions.

Mr. Miller has won numerous awards including a Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and, during the Penn years, the 1985 S. Robert Patrick Award of the National Fire Prevention Association; a first place award from NACUBO the same year; and a 1991 T. Seddon Duke Award from the Philadelphia Fire Department. Mr. Miller also served as president of the NFPA's Benjamin Franklin Chapter, 1987-88, and has been an active volunteer fund-raiser for numerous national and local charities.

Other members of Facilities Services and their years of service cited by Mr. Blaik are:
Robert Arnosky, Industrial Engineer/Planner--24 years, 1 month
Daniel Belton, Foreman, Air Condition--33 years, 10 months
Ron Brooks, Foreman of Control Shop (HVAC)--36 years, 7 months
Andrew Broxton, Supervisor of Hard Surface and Grounds--40 years, 9 months
Bernard Capuano, Supervisor of Storeroom and Service Mechanics--39 years, 8 months
William Clayburne, Superintendent of Auxiliary Services--29 years, 6 months
John McDermott, Manager, Information Systems, Physical Plant-7 years, 3 months
Robert Methlie, Superintendent of Construction and Repairs--36 years, 3 months

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 1, July 14, 1998