Academic Staff Assembly Document #390
8 October 2007
One is never prepared for the death of family, friend or acquaintance. This was the case when university colleagues learned of Assistant Registrar Sharon Pero’s unexpected death in April of 2007. Shari’s experiences and involvement in our campus life were deeply rooted and wide-ranging. The dedication she exhibited in all aspects of her work was a clear indication of her passion for this community.
Born and raised in Ashland, Wisconsin, Shari was the salutatorian of the De Padua High School Class of 1966. She continued her education at University of Wisconsin-Madison. While a student, she worked at the Financial Aid Office under the direction of Wallace Douma. In 1971, Shari graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Sociology.
After graduation, Shari remained part of the UW-Madison community, beginning her career on campus in the Instructional Space area of the Space Management Office. While there she worked under the direction of Forrest Todd and later, Rose Barroilhet. It was here that Shari’s knowledge and experience with Timetable, classroom assignments, instructor course loads and instructional facilities utilization began.
Shari’s contributions to the university over the past 35 years were numerous and broad-based. Most recently, as Assistant Registrar for Timetable and Classroom Scheduling (TACS), she was a key member of the Office of the Registrar management team and a well-respected campus leader.
During her long tenure at the UW, Shari guided her unit through transitions that included several technical implementations. She played a leadership role in the campus’ conversion from the early data processing applications to the legacy system to the current PeopleSoft student information system (and the subsequent system enhancements and upgrades). She was there, supporting the introduction of the former touchtone registration system as well as a new classroom scheduling software. She also led the transition to a paperless Timetable.
Each of these projects was complex, difficult, stressful and often frustrating. Typical of her style, Shari dug in, worked with her staff to bring the initiatives to closure and was integral to the success of these implementations.
A poignant footnote to her contributions is that Shari’s death came only weeks before she was to be formally recognized by the Academic Staff Assembly and the Chancellor, as the recipient of the 2007 Martha Casey Award for Dedication Service to the University. Fortunately, Shari was aware (and very proud) of her nomination and only days before her death, was told she had been selected for the honor. On May 14, 2007, Shari’s family, staff and colleagues were present when the award was conferred posthumously.