After a nationwide search, the two candidates in consideration to fill the vice president of business and finance position arrived on campus to participate in listening sessions on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.
Kurt Ashley, chair on the search committee for a VP of BF, sent out an email with the meeting times to students interested in attending the sessions with both speakers, where they could ask questions in person or over zoom.
In order to protect the privacy of both candidates, the reporting in this story will reference the two candidates as Candidate A and B. The Leader is conscious that these individuals hold current positions at different organizations and to avoid any conflict with their current employment, The Leader will grant them anonymity.
Candidate A has worked in higher education since 2009 starting off as a vice president at a nearby college, where they served for three years before moving into the position of vice president of finance and administration at a midwestern college.
In their current position, they oversee and direct human resources, financial, facilities, and information technology operations as some of their responsibilities. Candidate A has been in their current role as VP of BF since 2020.
One of the reasons they applied to EU is because the position would bring them closer to home.
“I’ve worked a long time out of state and I want to come home,” Candidate A said. “Everyone I’ve talked to says they want to figure out how they’re going to be here in the next 10 or 15 years, which I think is a positive and fits into the way I think.”
Candidate A earned their undergraduate degree in marketing and computer science as well as their MBA. While earning their MBA, they entered the realm of higher education through teaching, before taking on cabinet-level roles.
Candidate B has worked in the finance industry since 1995, after receiving their undergraduate degree in finance and later their MBA in 2005.
If given the position, this would be the candidate’s first time working on a cabinet-level position at a higher education institution and at a university.
Currently, Candidate B works at a collegiate sports division company where, they have held the position of chief financial officer for the past three years, but they have been with the organization for 13 years.
Being on a campus is what drew Candidate B to apply to the opening for VP of BF at EU.
“It’s always exciting to be on campus because that is the heartbeat of the student,” said Candidate B. “Being able to work with teams of people is what drew me to this position.”
If given the position, Candidate B would want to implement a new vision to aid the institution moving forward.
“You can look at finance or history, and it helps you inform the future, but to be able to do that and work strategically with the cabinet to say ‘these are the opportunities, these are areas we can grow in,’” said Candidate B. “There’s confidence not just in numbers but [knowing] what those numbers mean.”
The candidate hired will be replacing Cindy Gonya, who entered the position in May 2019, and left the position this August.