Job: Danny Lienard is coordinator of grants and contracts in the Grants and Contracts Office. He has been in his current position more than four years and has been with the university for 16 years. He has a bachelor of science degree in sociology from Illinois State University and also one in computer science from DeVry Institute of Technology, Chicago.
What are your responsibilities as coordinator of grants and contracts?
Helping faculty and staff [members] submit their proposals for grants or contracts for research to sponsors for funding. We review the budgets and the technical portions of the proposals to make sure they’re not promising something that the university can’t deliver. If funding is awarded, we negotiate the terms and conditions of the grant or contract.
For what types of projects have you been involved in negotiations?
I do a lot of work with Army research projects. We do a lot of work with the local Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. When I first started in grants and contracts, my first projects were the Army-related ones, and they have kind of stayed with me.
What do you feel is the secret to effective negotiating?
The secret is to be patient. And know your facts before you go in. Be prepared before you go in.
I hear you have an interesting baseball-related hobby. Tell me about that.
Twelve years ago, a friend and I decided we’d take a trip. So we set aside a week to visit as many baseball parks out East as we could. We went to Cooperstown, N.Y., to the Baseball Hall of Fame and went to games in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston – all in one trip. It was a lot of fun and we decided we should do it every year and try to see all the baseball parks [in the United States].
We get all the teams’ schedules when they’re published every February. Then we match up games in cities that are close together so we can drive to as many as possible within a week’s time. We try to hit at least five games within a week, sometimes more.
Have you visited all of the major league baseball parks?
We’ve seen all of them except for the newest ones like San Francisco, Seattle and Houston.
Do you bring back souvenirs from all the parks to commemorate your visits?
Yeah, we’ve got pictures, ticket stubs, programs. And I try and buy a lapel pin from every park. I try and get something that has the year on it, so I know what year I was there. I have to cut down on what I bring back, though. My wife gets a little agitated at me because I have so many cups and hats. She thinks enough’s enough.
Do you collect players’ autographs, too?
We try to get autographs but don’t always have the extra time.
So when one game is over, are you in the car and on the way to the next game?
We’ve done that. It just depends where we’re going and how far apart the cities are. We drove from Dallas to Kansas City one time, leaving Dallas at 8 a.m. and getting into Kansas City right at game time at 7 that night.
Who goes with you? Do you follow any particular team?
There are several of us who go, but one guy has been to all the parks with me. I’m a Cardinal fan, and he’s a Cub fan. If we can work one of those two teams into our trip, then it’s great, but if not, it’s no big deal.
Where do you plan on going this year?
We haven’t finalized our agenda yet for this year. We’ve got three different possible trips mapped out. We’ll try to include one of the new parks that we haven’t visited yet.
Have you always been a big baseball fan?
I’ve always been involved in baseball one way or another. I play softball twice a week on two different teams. One team is sponsored by Fat City Saloon and Grider Truck Repair; we play at TK Wendl’s. We’ve all probably played ball together for 16 or 17 years. And then the other team I play for, in Champaign, isn’t sponsored by anybody; all the players just pitch in money to pay for the entry fee. I play third base.