Steve Schofield: equipment maintenance coordinator, Procurement, Contracts and Materials Management

Years at OSU: 9

City of residence: Albany

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon State’s materials management unit, which handles surplus and recycling on the Corvallis campus, had eight full-time staff and up to 40 part-time student workers.

As the campus transitioned to remote operations, those numbers dropped dramatically, leaving just two employees and about six students working on campus.

Steve Schofield was one of those two employees. And almost overnight several new responsibilities were added to his job description.

Pre-pandemic, Schofield’s main job was to maintain the unit’s fleet of nine vehicles. Post-pandemic he acquired these jobs:  

  • Pricing and preparing for sale surplus items that still being generated on campus, especially as construction projects continue.
  • Coordinating online sales of certain surplus items, particularly computers.
  • Coordinating the disposal of certain waste items, such as Styrofoam, metal and electronics, to off-campus vendors.

There has been a learning curve for several of the new responsibilities, Schofield said, but he has handled most of them in the past so the knowledge comes back to him. Still it has been difficult at times.

“The biggest challenge has been keeping everyone happy and satisfied and trying to get it all done in your small window of time,” he said.

Rae DeLay, materials manager at Oregon State, who is Schofield’s supervisor and has worked with him for nine years, called him a jack-of-all-trades.

“He is the person I would want to back me up,” DeLay said. “We couldn’t operate with so few people if we didn’t have Steve.”

Schofield also used the phrase “jack-of-all-trades” to describe himself, but, humbly, followed it up with “master of none.”

Schofield has spent a lot of time in recent weeks in different areas of campus handling surplus items from buildings under renovation, including Cascade Hall, the Naval ROTC building and the former Nypro building on Research Way that the university owns.

“Everyone I come across seems to be in a good mood,” he said. “I’m sure they’re just happy to be working.”

Schofield feels the same way.

“This is my job,” he said. “This needs to be done and I’m doing it and trying to stay as safe as I can.”

~Sean Nealon

Have an OSU Unsung Hero suggestion? We are looking for submissions that highlight OSU employees and students who are not typically in the spotlight but are going above and beyond during this pandemic. Send your suggestions to [email protected] and our staff may contact them to conduct remote interviews that we would feature in OSU Today and elsewhere.