Inside Furman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.
Up the ladder
Redderson named director of facilities services
When a department head or vice president position becomes available the university typically conducts a nationwide search.
But when Doug Lange, director of facilities services, announced that he had accepted a position as vice president for administration at Stephens College in Missouri , there was little doubt that the best candidate was sitting across the hall from Lange.
So few were surprised when Jeff Redderson, Furman's associate director of facilities services, was told earlier this month that he could delete the first word of his job title beginning October 1.
“When the position became available the support for Jeff was overwhelming,” says Vice President for Business Affairs Mary Lou Merkt. “I received many emails representing a cross section of campus.”
For Redderson, who joined Furman in 1997, the new shoes won't be altogether unfamiliar. In recent years, he had filled in as director when Lange, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, served tours in first Kosovo and then Afghanistan .
As associate director Redderson played a prominent role the university's sustainability movement by helping to oversee the construction of environmentally friendly buildings. He also assisted in the design and implementation of the university's central cooling system, which has become a big cost savings since it went online in 2000.
A native of Statesboro , Georgia , Redderson earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina in 1996.
After graduating from Auburn in 1989, Redderson joined Wellman Inc., a chemical textile company that specializes in manufacturing and recycling polyester products, launching what he thought would be a long a career in private industry.
Redderson had never considered working on a campus until he noticed the associate director position posted in the paper during a transitional time for his family and career. In 1995, Redderson and his wife, Marie, moved from Conway to Greenville where Redderson and a seven-member team of Wellman engineers partnered with Fluor Daniel on a two-year project to develop plans for a $300 million manufacturing facility.
As the project neared completion, Wellman informed Redderson that he was being relocated to Mississippi . The Reddersons, then with a one-year-old daughter, liked the area and had decided that they wanted to sink roots in Greenville when the Furman job became available.
“The prospect of moving to the middle of Mississippi was not that appealing,” says Redderson. “Two of us (of the seven Wellman engineers) ended up bolting.”
Redderson, known for his easy-going management style, says working on a campus has given him an opportunity to work more with a variety or people. “The working environment is so much more pleasing,” he says. “I am more people-oriented and less technical.”
Comfortable with his new job title and familiar with his staff, Redderson is not planning to make any earth-shaking changes in Furman's largest single department. But he will explore opportunities to improve efficiency in a number of areas.
At the top of his to-do list is improving communication.
“As a department I don't think we communicate with the campus as well as we should,” he says. “We are going to be working on that.”