After working at Duke for over 40 years, Jimmy Johnson, director of University Housekeeping, has announced he will retire June 30.
Johnson, who has served in various roles throughout his career, has acted as director of University Housekeeping since 1989. During his tenure, Housekeeping created a fleet management plan, improved equipment and products used and developed tasks to ensure best care practices for buildings.
Johnson began his career at Duke as the person responsible for vending routes - filling up vending machines, taking charge of inventory control and addressing vending revenue issues. He then worked in Auxiliary Services, first as a personnel coordinator for student labor and later as manager of student labor, before assuming his role as director of University Housekeeping.
While construction has added many buildings to campus since Johnson started in 1969, he said his favorite buildings are the Intramural Building and Card Gym because those places are where he interacted most with students. In this role with Auxiliary Services, Johnson brought together students from North Carolina Central University, Duke, and Durham high schools to form a labor pool for functions at Duke, sometimes using more than 40 students at a time. He also started the first catering program at Duke and designed the caterer uniform, which is still worn today.