The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday May 29th

Search for UNC chief financial officer continues

While other top administrative positions are slowly being filled, the search continues for the University’s next vice chancellor for finance and administration.

Kevin Seitz has held the interim position since Oct. 1, following Karol Kain Gray’s decision to take a position in the private sector to be closer to her home in New York. Seitz previously served as associate vice chancellor for finances.

Though members of the search committee could not give a time table for when a replacement will be chosen, they all agreed that there are many characteristics needed to fill such an important position.

Serving as vice chancellor for finance and administration, or chief financial officer, is a tall order, and the office encompasses five separate offices: business and administration; energy, environment, health, and campus safety; facilities services; finance; and real estate development.

“The breadth of the position is wide, and touches a lot of different areas,” Seitz said. “It requires someone who can feel comfortable in those areas.”

These departments include offices ranging from dining and energy services to public and fire safety. The position is also accountable for the University budget.

Charles Leffer, vice chancellor for finance and business at N.C. State University, said the CFO position is one of the most important at a university.

“The chancellor and the provost in that order represent academic decision making,” he said. “The third leg of that administrative stool is the CFO, who is responsible for all financial affairs of the university.

“He said there is no typical day for a CFO because of the variety of departments and responsibilities the office covers.

Seitz said he will help the next vice chancellor transition and learn to handle the unexpected issues.

“One day brings in a storm and all of a sudden there’s a facilities problem and new issue of the day,” he said.

The search committee met last week to consult with the executive search firm, Korn Ferry, which has been hired by the University to identify candidates.

The committee will ultimately submit at least two names to Chancellor Carol Folt to choose from, said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jim Dean, chairman of the search committee.

Dean said leadership to direct people day-to-day is important for the job, as well as technical expertise in areas like finance and real estate.

UNC has several other administrative positions to fill, and has commissioned search committees to find the next dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School, a position which was vacated by Dean.

Jayne Grandes, the interim director for the Equal Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act Office office, said the search for her replacement has not yet begun.

Although the search committee for the CFO couldn’t predict when a candidate would be announced, Mary Beth Koza, director of UNC’s Department of Environment, Health and Safety and member of the committee, said the length of the search is typical.

“Experience and leadership are the two most important things the person will bring to this position,” Koza said.

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