Leach continues interviews for next Business and Finance leader | Nebraska Today

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s national search for its next vice chancellor for Business and Finance continues with a finalist interview on Oct. 3.

The second candidate is R. Gavin Leach, vice president for finance and administration, and treasurer of the board of trustees at Northern Michigan University. Leach will be on campus Oct. 3.

Bonnie Whalen, associate vice president for institutional finance and strategy at Iowa State University, interviewed for the position on Sept. 27. Additional candidates will be announced prior to their campus visits.

Leach has worked in higher education for 33 years, including 15 years as the chief financial officer at Northern Michigan. He previously served in a variety of permanent and interim finance-related roles at Northern Michigan, including associate vice president for finance and planning and budget director.

Responsibilities in his current role include overseeing planning and implementation of university’s campus master plan, computer leasing program, wide-area network, administrative computer systems and programmers, facilities operations, auxiliary operations, and human resource operations.

In the role he has led development of annual and long-term planning for Northern Michigan’s $178 million budget, state budget requests, legislative hearings, compensation, technology, facilities, auxiliary operations and financial aid.

Leach represents the university on several state and national committees, including the Michigan Universities Coalition on Health, Midwestern Higher Education Commission’s Computing Task Force, and Educause.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master of Public Administration, both from Northern Michigan. He also has a certified public accountant certificate.

Leach’s complete curriculum vitae is available for review here. An evaluation form for Leach’s candidacy is available here.

Nebraska’s vice chancellor for business and finance is the university’s senior business officer and reports to the chancellor. The position is responsible for oversight and administration of the university’s $1.2 billion operating budget, all financial and administrative services, and following university policies, as well as state and federal laws.

The vice chancellor leads operational activities related to the university’s physical facilities and grounds, sites across Nebraska, university police, parking and transit services, human resources, and other business services.

The position serves on the chancellor’s executive leadership team and is a member of the chancellor’s extended cabinet. Learn more about the position and duties.

Finalists were selected through a national search. A search advisory committee led by Richard Moberly, dean of the College of Law, assisted with the search. The committee, which featured student, faculty, staff and greater-Lincoln community representation, includes:

  • Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion;
  • Ken Bloom, faculty associate to the chancellor for budget model implementation and chair/professor of physics and astronomy;
  • Jacob Drake, president, Association of Students of the University of Nebraska;
  • Chris Kabourek, vice president and chief financial officer, NU system
  • Kelli Kopocis, president-elect, Faculty Senate, and assistant professor of architectural engineering and construction;
  • Mary LaGrange, interim vice chancellor for business and finance;
  • Ann Powers, research technician, agronomy and horticulture;
  • Hassan Ramzah, assistant vice chancellor, chief of police;
  • Tyrell Ross, director of finance and budget, College of Business
  • Lisa Smith, senior vice president, financial adviser, portfolio manager, D.A. Davidson and Co.; and
  • Becky Zavala, assistant vice chancellor, research and economic development.

Complete details about the search are available here.

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