New financial vice-principal starts January

Finance and Administration and Academic vice-principal roles filled

Incoming Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis will take up her post on Jan. 4, 2010.
Incoming Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) Caroline Davis will take up her post on Jan. 4, 2010.
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Queen’s has hired two new vice-principals for the four vice-principal positions which will turn over this year.

The vice-principal (finance and operations) position has been vacant since Andrew Simpson resigned on Nov. 20, 2008. Bill Bryck has been acting vice-principal (operations and finance) since then. The position has since been renamed Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration).

Vice-Principal Advancement has also been vacant since Nov. 20, 2008 when David Mitchell resigned. The Vice-Principal (Academic) position opened up when Patrick Deane accepted a position as President of McMaster University, beginning July 1, 2009, when his term at Queen’s ends. Kerry Rowe, Vice-Principal (Research) will be retiring at the end of this year leaving the position vacant.

Caroline Davis will begin as Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) on Jan. 4, 2010.

“Last spring I was invited to come and be an adjunct professor,” she said. “Later on when a friend of mine was reading the Globe and Mail and she saw the ad she called me up and said, ‘Caroline, you must apply’ and I did and here we are.”

Davis is an adjunct professor in the School of Policy Studies and Assistant Deputy Minister, Resolution and Individual Affairs at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

Davis said her role will include producing accurate financial information, working with financial technology to make sure Queen’s has up to date financial infrastructure and making sure Queen’s gets the best value when contracting work.

“The main focus has to be on the financial situation at Queen’s now because the economic situation has meant that people’s ability to make donations has decreased,” she said.

Davis will be working closely with Principal Daniel Woolf to implement what’s remaining of the 15 per cent budget cut over the next three years. She said she has a lot of experience working on expenditure reductions in the federal government.

The Board of Trustees asked former Principal Tom Williams at its May 2 meeting to rework the University’s operating budget, which projected a $33.3 million deficit after three years.

Davis said she will be providing Woolf with the expertise to get there and will develop multiple plans to bring before the board.

“I think there probably is [a way to balance the budget] but it’s going to take me a little while to find it.”

Robert Silverman will begin as acting Vice-Principal (Academic) on May 1 but will begin shadowing Deane in January.

Silverman worked as Dean of Arts and Science at Queen’s from 1996 to 2006 and is a sociology professor.

Silverman said the major issues he will face are the transition to the provost model and budgetary concerns.

“The University finances are not in great shape,” he said. “We have to see how we can use what we’ve got to keep the quality if education and hopefully improve it.

“Both those people need to be resourceful and capable of being flexible and able to deal with the challenges in the coming year,” Patrick Deane, current Vice-Principal (Academic) said, adding that a major challenge this year will be handling the financial constraints without compromising the quality of education.

“The interim appointment of Bob is an appointment that can be made at the discretion of the principal,” said Deane, adding that the committee which selected Davis was chaired by the Principal and considered a number of applicants.

“The finance VP needs considerable experience in the public sector,” Deane said, adding that they also need to have experience within the University and an understanding of the challenges faced at Queen’s.

Deane said vice-principals are concerned with the planning process of the University including enrollment level, proportion of undergraduate to graduate students, and how the different parts of the University fit together.

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