University Appoints New Administrators

While students were away this summer, Emory University hired a number of new officials to the University’s administration, including those who will oversee University finances and public relations.

The newly appointed administrators include: Jerry Lewis as senior vice president for communications and public affairs, Carol Kissal as vice president for finance/chief finance officer, Michael John Andrechak as the University’s first chief university budget officer, Mathwon Howard and Bill Kotti as associate vice presidents of the Division of Development and Alumni Relations and the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross as dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life.

Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs

University President James W. Wagner announced the appointment of Jerry Lewis to the newly created position of senior vice president for communications and public affairs, according to a July 25 University press release.

Lewis previously served as vice president for communications at the University of Miami and most recently as vice president for communications at the University of Texas at Arlington, according to the press release.

Lewis said that initially, he was not actively searching for a job, but when the position at Emory was brought to his attention, it was something he wanted to pursue.

“It’s a dream job, and I’m humbled to be entrusted with it,” Lewis said.
Lewis said that his first priority in his new position will be to meet with members of the Emory community to get “a good sense of what’s important to them in terms of telling Emory’s story and enhancing the University’s brand.”

Lewis added that his overarching goal will always be to ensure that “Emory receives the recognition and prominence it so richly deserves.”

According to Lewis, Emory is now integrating communications, marketing, government relations and public affairs under one umbrella, a process that Lewis says “will require focus and attention to be sure we have the infrastructure and clarity of purpose that fully support and enhance Emory’s strategic priorities in these critical areas.”

Vice President for Finance/Chief Finance Officer

Former Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal has been appointed to the position of vice president for finance/chief finance officer at Emory University, according to an Aug. 22 University press release.

Kissal was selected following a national search that called upon input from Emory deans, faculty and staff, according to the press release.

Kissal noted that she believes the people at Emory are its most valuable asset, and they are what made Emory stand out in her mind.

“That is the kind of organization I wanted to be part of and the type of colleagues with whom I wanted to work,” Kissal said.

She added that her goals will work to further Emory’s mission.

“I will continue the stewardship of Emory Finance, further the communication between finance and business operations to reflect the value that can be brought in by making good decisions for the University, modernize systems and find ways to connect more to internal and external customers, students, faculty and the community,” Kissal said.

Kissal noted that she plans to work closely with human resources to continue the work for attracting, retaining and training the work force to build the skill set Emory needs for the future.

Chief University Budget Officer

Michael John Andrechak has been appointed to the position of chief university budget officer as part of “a multi-year management succession plan of outstanding, long-term financial leaders at Emory,” according to a May 1 University press release.

Andrechak previously served 30 years at the University of Illinois, where he most recently held the position of associate chancellor and vice provost for budgets and resource planning, according to the press release.

At Emory, Andrechak will work with other administrators to “help further advance Emory’s financial management structure over the next several years,” the report stated.

“Emory is one of the best universities in the nation, with great students and faculty and beautiful campuses,” Andrechak said. “Because of that, I had to take a serious look at the position when it became available.”

He noted that what really convinced him to join Emory’s administration was the quality of people he met during the interview process.

Andrechak added that he believes many institutions of higher education are currently facing challenges in this economic climate, such as funding the increasing cost of education technology and science research. But he noted that, “budget officers like me are problem solvers. We help ensure that the available resources are put to the best use to further the institution’s goals.”

Associate Vice Presidents of the Division of Development and Alumni Relations

Mathwon Howard and Bill Kotti have been appointed as the associate vice presidents of the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, according to an Aug. 18 University press release. Howard will begin on Sept. 15 and Kotti on Oct. 1.

The two have a combined 40 years of experience developing and fundraising and will assume roles that lead development in different parts of campus.

Howard will lead development for the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory Libraries and Information Technology, the Offices of Development Communications, Foundation and Corporate Relations and Gift Planning.

Kotti will lead the development of the College or Arts and Sciences, Oxford College, Goizueta Business School, the School of Law, Candler School of Theology, Laney Graduate School, Campus Life and Parent Philanthropy, according to the press release.

According to Senior Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Susan Cruse, both Howard and Kotti hold impressive past records of fundraising success, she said in the press release.

The Division of Development and Alumni Relations handles gifts and donations to Emory University. According to its website, Emory receives a total endowment of $6 billion. Each school allocates its portion for research, scholarships and faculty recruitment, among others.

Howard and Kotti will be helping to raise money for immediate needs as well as to secure financial stability for their respective schools.

Dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life

Emory University has appointed the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross to be the next dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life starting July 1. She is one of the first minority women to hold a dean position at Emory, in addition to recently appointed Dean of the Goizueta Business School Erika Hayes James. Ross has previously held the position of associate dean of the chapel from 2000 to 2009, according to a May 13 University press release.

According to Ross, some of her goals in her new position will be to build upon the work of Susan Henry-Crowe, her predecessor, and help students and faculty members explore their spirituality.

Ross will oversee services at Cannon Chapel, including Methodist worship services every Sunday and certain holidays in the Muslim and Hindu faiths, among others. She will also handle administrative and financial duties related to the office.
“I think what is important about Emory from my nine years is that there’s always a desire to make progress on the issues of community and diversity,” she said.
Ross said she also wants the office to be accessible to students who are not necessarily involved in religious activities on campus. She plans to partner with Campus Life, the Center for Women and the Office of LGBT Life.

Ross noted that the name of the office has been changed from “religious life” to “spiritual life.” Ross said this is because, at times, spirituality more accurately describes its function in the lives of students and faculty.

“I think it’s important, in a way, that students feel invited in the conversation.”

—By Dustin Slade and Rupsha Basu

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Copyright 2018