Not many employees would care enough about their boss to buy him such a unique gift as fly fishing lessons. But Jim Kanning’s staff did.
Jim Kanning’s staff at IU Southeast
arranged for an instructor to teach him the art of fly fishing.
Realizing that Kanning, director of IU Southeast’s Office of Career Services and Placement, really wanted to take up the leisurely activity, and that he had inherited a staff rod and reel from his father-in-law, they arranged to have an instructor take Kanning out to the campus lake for a day.
Cathy Denton, who has worked for Kanning for 17 years, joked that the staff wanted to lure him away from work for awhile because of his incessant drive. “He just keeps going and going and going, and he wears himself out!” said Denton, an office services assistant.
Trying to recount a typical day is not easy for Kanning, whose job encompasses close ties with students, alumni and area businesses as potential employers. For example, he received a phone call from an alumnus who Kanning’s office had assisted in finding a job some years back. Desiring a change in careers and a willingness to relocate, the caller sought Kanning’s advice on how to achieve those goals.
A fervent work ethic has kept Kanning—who earned his undergraduate degree in marketing from IPFW, where he also met his wife, Cindy—at IU for more than 35 years. He first worked as an assistant to the dean of IU South Bend’s School of Business, where he and Cindy received master’s degrees. When he came to New Albany in 1976, he intended to move after three years. However, he developed a deep bond with the campus community and realized that he loves his job.