2014 College of Engineering
Classified Staff Award for Distinguished Achievement
Throughout his time with the College of Engineering, Dennis Manthey has been highly sought after for providing insight on financial and administrative matters. In his current role as academic department manager for the Department of Engineering Physics, Manthey actively works to streamline processes, improve departmental practices and create a better working experience for his staff and students.
An employee of the College of Engineering for more than 30 years in various capacities, Manthey understands the importance of taking the time to effectively communicate with staff and students. In all of his roles, he has made it a priority to provide high-quality training. For example, he standardized the training of all new financial specialists to create consistency and continuity. He also prioritized providing his staff with opportunities to improve and expand their skills, making them more valuable employees.
Manthey is known for his ability to solve problems and to review and streamline processes. He is willing to pilot new policies and procedures and he works to share his innovations and ideas across the college. “Change does not scare Dennis," says former colleague Rose Birzer. "His style is to think about it for a while, sit down and create a flow chart of how it will work, and then sell it to the staff. And he’s successful at it.”
That success is why, when former Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services Donald Miner needed to validate a new system, the College of Engineering emerged as a testbed. Manthey provided invaluable feedback, including flow charts and step-by-step instructions.
Manthey's contributions also are highly regarded outside the college. He stepped in when the state Department of Administration wanted the UW-Madison Business Services unit to use a new software package for monitoring and processing procurement card activities. The change in software would require a significant investment to train 300 site managers. Manthey assembled a team to compare the new software to the old in an effort to identify functionalities that should be included in the new software before its implementation.
Colleague Lori Burrow, administrator for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says Manthey’s altruism sets him apart. “He is never too busy to help others, to give advice, or to serve as a sounding board when needed,” she says. “He is a friend to many and a trusted colleague to all of us.”