Marlah Bonner-McDuffie, associate dean for advancement, has been named 2016 Boss of the Year by The Secretariat.

The award was first presented in 1990. Recipients are selected based on blind nominations from active Secretariat members. McDuffie was nominated by Colleen Hammel, office administrator in the advancement office.

McDuffie was praised for her leadership, positive attitude, tireless work ethic and support of others.

In part, the nomination stated “She provides good advice to help overcome any obstacle you are having with a particular situation – she goes to bat for you if she can assist in some way. She trusts and expects the most out of her employees, so they will be accountable and fulfill their duties as best they can.”

The nomination criteria includes:

  • Performs his/her duties beyond the expected
  • Enthusiastically supports UIUC and its programs
  • Routinely shows consideration and support of others – staff, colleagues, students and visitors to office/campus
  • Performs courtesies beyond the daily responsibilities
  • Exhibits other qualities that exemplify leadership and organization skills


The Secretariat is an organization for University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign employees in certain Civil Service classifications. The Secretariat seeks to build collegiality across campus. Learn more about the organization here: