Meet the Staff: Don Dunbar

Meet the Staff: Don Dunbar

More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.

Don Dunbar
Senior Director of Budget Planning and Data Analysis, 
Office of the Dean

What do you like most about your job?
I like being able to work on a wide variety of puzzles, as well as continually trying to improve and simplify budgetary and planning processes to help us better achieve our mission as a division and university.

What was the last good book you read?
I’m currently reading The Premonition by Michael Lewis, which is a follow-up to The Fifth Risk. Lewis has assembled the stories of some fascinating government characters whose work influenced our federal response (or lack thereof) to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. In both books, he discusses the federal government as a sort of risk manager of last resort for problems, which are unlikely to occur but catastrophic in their impact if they do. I have found this hermeneutics to be fascinating.

You might work with me if ...
… you need help planning how to utilize your resources, clarity on how you are allowed to use your funds under University policies, information on dormant or mysterious accounts, modifying or creating special Business Objects reports, etc.

What is your favorite play or drama? Why is it your favorite?
I’m the treasurer on the Board of Directors for Mudlark Theater in Evanston. We’re a not-for-profit theater that allows child actors to produce professional quality theater, and so my favorite plays tend to be those produced by our staff and kids. Among my all-time favorite Mudlark shows are an adaptation of “The Nutcracker,” which we’ve mounted twice in the past decade and an original work “Concerning Foster,” which explored the closing of Foster School in the attempt to desegregate the public schools in Evanston in the 1960s and the continuing effects of those decisions. I’ve been so impressed by the effects that making quality theater has had upon the children involved in Mudlark, including my own sons.

May 24, 2021