This January saw the retirement of Jean Vassier, who had served as PLL's business manager for many years. During 37 years at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, she had held a number of positions, but she devoted herself to PLL, undertaking an ever-expanding variety of tasks.
Ms. Vassier came to the journal from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, where she was departmental secretary. Under the editorship of Professor Alvin Sullivan, she gained a reputation for the greatest efficiency in every part of her duties. In the early 1990s, PLL faced two crises. First, with the death of Professor Sullivan we lost an editor of brilliance. Second, a fiscal crisis made it impossible for the journal to continue to operate in its traditional manner. Jean Vassier helped the journal through both crises. She provided the editors with a badly needed institutional memory in the months after Sullivan's death. And her willingness to take on new responsibilities was largely responsible for PLL's survival in the face of a dramatic budget cut.
Before the reorganization, PLL's editors enjoyed two units of reassigned time a term and the help of a graduate assistant. The journal's layout was handled by a professional printer. After it, the editors had half as much reassigned time and no graduate assistant, and the page-layout had to be done in house. There was consequently not only more work to be done, but work involving completely new technologies. By far the greatest bulk of these new responsibilities fell on Jean Vassier. She assumed them with both skill and grace.
Jean has always been our most trusted proofreader. She now became our page-layout department, setting every article we published from 1992-1999. …