During the past two weeks, two candidates for Vice President of Administration and Treasurer have given a public presentation on describing their approach to strategic and financial planning. As well as considering the challenges higher education faces.
The two candidates applying for the position are Gina Cregg and Chris Kuwitzky. Both candidates are experienced with the role of acting as senior administrators in a university setting and handling the financial requirements that are necessary for the role. The position of Vice President of Administration is currently held by Jim Martin who has been at Washburn for several years.
Some of the qualifications that are required for the position include working collaboratively with the executive team in the areas of strategic planning, financial planning and forecasting, telecommunications, professional development and internal financial policy development. In short, this position will handle much of the budgeting for Washburn on a yearly basis, including how the university’s funds are spent and how income is collected for Washburn.
Gina Cregg is a Kansas native who has experience in working at a university from her time at The University of Kansas. She worked with the financial department at KU and the state of Kansas early on in her career. She received her master’s degree in accounting from Kansas State University and graduated with something that many students are familiar with: student loan debt. This was a primary concern for her when she graduated and still remains one to this day, but presently that concern has shifted to the students attending Washburn. She hopes to increase opportunities for students on campus so that they can get the most out of their time at the university while not having to rely completely upon loans to pay for their education.
“Making sure that we stay in touch with what the student’s needs are and giving the students those venues and the ability to voice their concerns. We need to hear what the students have questions about and what they’re passionate about,” said Cregg. “One thing I am passionate about is having student ambassadors sit in budget meetings so that they can be part of the budgeting process.”
Chris Kuwitzky currently holds the title of Controller and Director of Accounting at our own Finance Office here on campus, which he has been working at for the past ten months. He has been working for over 30 years in the field of higher education and wants to bring his experience, engaging personality and other financial skills to the foreground with this new position. Much of his experience comes from the 24 years he spent at the University of Oklahoma. One of his primary concerns for our campus is the rising costs of tuition; he envisions finding ways to combat this slow increase by finding new sources of income and keeping a tighter budget.
“I want to find ways to work with student leadership on campus at the university, like WSGA, that would be a great start and just go from there.” said Kuwitzky.
New candidates may be considered for the position if they step forward but, at the moment, Cregg and Kuwitzky are the only candidates. The new VP will be chosen once a suitably qualified candidate has been selected, there is no set date for when this will occur.
Edited by Adam White, Abbie Barth