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Barker retires after 32 years in administration (12-27-99)

When Billy J. Barker began work at the then South Texas Medical School in September 1967, there was only a four-story Medical School building, two grain silos and not much else.

Originally hired as the director of accounting for the institution that later became The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, he and other administrative staff members shared offices in the engineering building of a nearby university while construction was under way in the South Texas Medical Center.

Barker watched the institution blossom into a state and national leader with a fiscal year 2000 budget of $332.9 million. He served as the budget officer, the executive director of financial services and the executive assistant to the executive vice president. Last year he became executive assistant to the vice president for administration and business affairs.

"I have enjoyed watching the place grow," he said.

On Dec. 31 Barker will officially retire from the Health Science Center after 32 years of service. "After you have put this much time into a place, it is with mixed emotions that you leave. You always have reservations," he said. "I have had a lot of opportunities to meet great people here and learn many different things."

Over the course of three decades, Barker has worked in an area responsible for the Department of Accounting, Budget and Payroll Services, Purchasing, the Department of Human Resources, the Bookstore, Mail Services and the Office of International Affairs.

"Ever since my arrival at the newly created Health Science Center in the fall of 1972, Bill has been one of the most important people in the organization," said Robert B. Price, executive vice president, who worked with Barker for more than 12 years. "His role in the development of the Health Science Center cannot be overstated and his institutional memory can never be duplicated."

"I would like to thank Bill for staying around a little longer to assist me in my first year at the Health Science Center," said Anthony Ferrara, vice president for administration and business affairs. "His knowledge and expertise have been invaluable in my getting acquainted with our faculty and staff and in the business operations at the Health Science Center."

With retirement approaching, Barker has no plans to slow down. He intends to travel with his wife, do volunteer work with several local organizations, devote more time to his woodworking hobby and help out at his sonís business.

Barker came to the Health Science Center from Pan American University (now The University of Texas Pan American) in Edinburg, where he served as chief of accounting for three years. Before that, he was employed by Texas A&M University for eight years.

Contact: Will Sansom or Heather Feldman