Eileen Youens Heads Back to Texas

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I am sorry to report that Eileen Youens will be leaving the faculty in May 2011.  This is unhappy news for all of us.  Eileen is a wonderful colleague and a terrific faculty member, and she has done excellent work during her time at the School.  She succeeded Frayda in a field where Frayda was revered by her clients, and Eileen has managed to win their respect, trust, and affection in a remarkably short time.

Eileen and her family are moving back to Texas, where her husband, Kenny, has been offered a wonderful position with a private pathology practice in Dallas.  He is leaving a faculty position at Duke.  Perhaps more importantly, it is an opportunity to be much closer to their young daughter’s grandparents.  That will be good for Clara and for her grandparents.

In terms of meeting the needs of purchasing officials, Norma Houston will take lead responsibility for this field when she returns from UNC General Administration.  This will be added to her portfolio of emergency management and ethics, and she is excited about taking on this role.  Luckily, Norma and Eileen will be able to work together for several months to make this a smooth transition for everyone.  Thanks to Norma for stepping up under the circumstances.

A lot of country music is bittersweet, and that’s certainly how I feel about Eileen leaving for Texas.  I’m happy for her family and sad that we are losing her.  George Strait is a legendary country artist (when country was country) who had a smash hit in 1990 with All My Ex’s Live in Texas.  He had something slightly different in mind and he was wrong about the city, but I thought of this song because one of the ex’s he sings about is “Sweet Eileen in Abilene.”

In an email to me, our own “Sweet Eileen” said that “[t]he SOG is a uniquely wonderful place, and I am heartsick about leaving.”  The feeling is mutual, and we wish Eileen and her family all the best.

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