Officials to select candidate for vice president of administration and finance


By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — The selection process for a new vice president of Administration and Finance is coming to a close as the final candidate forum was held Wednesday.

Now that forums for the vice president of Administration and Finance are complete, officials must make a selection and have the candidate approved by the Board of Trustees.

Each of the three candidates individually visited the university and engaged faculty and staff during open forums. The campus community was encouraged to attend the discussions and learn about the qualifications each candidate holds.

One of the three selected candidates will likely be chosen to fill the position that has been vacant since the retirement of Alan Phillips, former vice president of Administration and Finance, in March. Larry Pinkleton has filled the position in the interim.

Some of the responsibilities of the vice president of Administration and Finance include working as a member of the president’s executive cabinet, providing direction and management oversight to external audits, assuming treasurer functions and overseeing enterprise risk management, according to Human Resource Services’ job details for the position.

Witt/Kieffer, a firm selected to search for a replacement, began accepting applications for the position toward the end of May. A university-headed search committee began reviewing applicants in mid-June, according to an NIU employment webpage.

Spokesperson Joe King said the university has not yet pinpointed a specific date by which officials plan to have the position filled.

Beatrice Kooken, chemical engineering office manager, said she attended two of the forums because she thinks it is important to have an idea about those who will work within the administration.

“I’m interested,” Kooken said. “I have an interest in the people on the top.”

Sarah McGill, Northwestern University’s associate vice president for Strategic Initiatives since July 2016, spoke on campus Sept. 22. McGill has worked administrative positions in higher education since May 2016, according to her résumé.

Candidate Sean Reeder, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s interim director for Capital and Utility Services, has held various positions in higher education. His experience includes associate director for Michigan State University Technologies and other administrative positions since 2008, according to his resume.

Reeder, who has worked at public and private institutions, said he is well informed about the challenges facing Illinois as well as higher education within the state.

“I am particularly well connected to the university’s effort to increasing diversity and increasing its avenue for first generation students,” Reeder said.

Reeder said he found the campus community’s participation at the forum to be very encouraging and believed it was “very appropriate and forward thinking” to include Student Trustee Giuseppe LaGioia in the search committee.

Candidate Kenneth Goodell presented the final forum on Wednesday. He said he acknowledges his role at healthcare operations at University of Chicago differs from the vice presidential position, but he wants to spend some, if not all, his final working years at a university.

“I want to be in an environment where I can hopefully advise people to make the right decisions, to put the resources that are going to give the students here the experiences that I’ve had and that my kids have gone through,” Goodell said.