Joan Tambling ’83G

Hometown: Strafford, New Hampshire
Degree: Masters in Business Administration
Class Year: 1983

Current or previous employer and a brief professional summary:

I recently retired from the University System of New Hampshire. I served as the Chief Human Resource officer for the 6000 employee university system since 1989.   I was awarded the lifetime achievement and service awards for excellence in HR.

Why did you choose Plymouth State?

I chose Plymouth because of its excellence for adult learning in its graduate programs.   The academic approach in the MBA program combined theory and every day practice.  Most of the faculty had business experience as well as doctoral level academic credentials.  Price, location, and easy of schedule were also factors but the biggest was the content of the academics.

How did your Plymouth State education prepare you for your career?

I was 10 years into my profession at the time I applied to Plymouth State.  I was ready both to improve my own credentials and to learn more about that work through courses. Quantitative Analysis better prepared me to work with HR salary surveys and HR data in employment statistics.   Organizational behavior courses enhanced the experience I already had in understanding choices in labor negotiations and individual grievance handling. Without Plymouth, I would not have achieved all that I did in my career.

Please describe your community service or hobbies. How do you spend your “free” time?

Given the recent timing of my retirement this is something of a new exploration.  I served as a volunteer last fall for the NH efforts in the Presidential election.  My hobbies include work on genealogy, hiking, ballroom dancing, and preservation of historical materials.

What inspired you to serve on the PSUAA Board of Directors?

It is a Board whose mission is about the “positive”.   I’ve spent a career in higher education, including 12 years working for PSU (PSC at the time), and continue to identify with the importance of higher education as a means for adult development, employment, and good citizenship.  In particular, PSU cares about what it can give to the community, state and region, rather than what it receives from it.  The idea of being able to advocate for the University and contribute something useful to it is most appealing.

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the PSUAA Board of Directors?

I plan to be a contributor to “making friends” for the University.  I believe that there are significant external factors, including political polarization, financial strain, untested but exciting alternatives to the way learning is achieved and speed of technology change, which make it important that PSU have as many friends and contributors is the Alumni can help garner.  On a personal basis, I would like to use my considerable experience with Board dynamics and with higher education to enhance the Alumni Association’s sponsorship of  events, ideas, advocacy which serve to bring out the best in people and organizations.  It’s easy to say, and yet so difficult to do effectively.

Why is it important for alumni to stay connected with Plymouth State?

Plymouth State is fun. I believe most graduates take away a sense of identity with the university.  So in part, alumni connection is a service PSU can provide for graduates–its new buildings, new programs, changing demographics in order to keep that connection as an active identity.   The positive word of mouth is also of great benefit to the PSU in garnering both support and critical feedback for its initiatives.  The path to relevance of residential higher education in the 21st century is not a given.

Favorite book, movie, or TV Show?

Book: “A Separate Peace” (John Knowles), Movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird” ,  and no all-time favorite t.v. show —  but at present I enjoy “How I met your Mother”.