Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Shirley Rabo


Staff Council

Shirley Rabo was a caring and helpful presence on campus for 37 years, during which time she, more than any other person, helped make Staff Council the envy of other CSU campuses.

Rabo began working for Staff Council in 1978 on a part-time basis, after she had earned her bachelor’s degree in business and management and briefly worked as a federal employee. She could not have known that this would be the start of 34 years of service in the office, spanning 17 different Staff Council chairs. Her longevity at Staff Council allowed for transitions and change to occur smoothly over the years. In particular, Rabo oversaw a reorganization mandated in the 1980s that led some CSUs to suspend their staff councils. As other campuses slowly rebuilt their councils, they used Chico State’s Staff Council as their model for shared governance and staff recognition and support.

All of the many successful Staff Council programs bear Rabo’s fingerprints, including the annual art exhibit, blood drives, fundraisers and get-togethers, the University Needy Children’s Program, and the Staff Awards Luncheon, which she helped expand into one of the largest employee events of the year. Rabo herself was honored at the event in 2009, as Outstanding Staff Employee of the Year. “Shirley’s work ethic, cooperative and caring attitude, loyalty, people and communication skills, adaptability, and willingness to help whatever the tasks were all extraordinary,” said retired staff and Hall of Honor member Eunice Toussaint, who was the first recipient of the annual award. 

For the last three years of her campus service, Rabo worked in University Advancement. Her communication and organizational skills, as well as her knowledge of the campus community and local and regional groups, were extremely helpful to the fundraising and friend-raising aspirations of the University.

Perhaps most significantly, staff colleagues simply loved working and getting to know Rabo. “Shirley is an extraordinary woman with a heart of gold,” said Terry Battle, Hall of Honor member and former Staff Council chair.

“She added that essential ingredient to what we often refer to as the Chico Experience: humanity,” added former Staff Council chair and librarian Paula Scholtes.

Portrait of Shirley Rabo