Vassar exec selected for CFO position
March 18, 2012
Augustana has announced David English, CFA, as the college’s new chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration. Currently the assistant vice president for budgeting and planning at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., English will assume his new role at Augustana on May 7.
Lee Selander, a member of the Augustana College Board of Trustees and co-chair of the CFO search committee, said, “David brings a combination of educational background, CFA designation, and corporate and higher education experience that will benefit Augustana. His experience at an educational institution like Vassar brings unique perspective, and he has a demonstrated record of accomplishment.”
President of the College Steven C. Bahls agreed English’s experience at Vassar makes him well suited for the position at Augustana. “David understands the role that nationally ranked liberal arts colleges like Augustana play in preparing tomorrow’s leaders,” he said.
Bahls continued, “As chief financial officer, David will play a critical role in facilitating the best possible experience for our students, faculty and staff, and he will add to the dynamic leadership team at Augustana as we seek to continuously strengthen the college.”
In acknowledging the good fit between his experience and Augustana’s goals, English described himself as a person who “likes seeing and addressing new challenges.” He continued, “Having 20 years of experience in a wide range of financial positions in various industries, I have experience and skills that dovetail with the position and needs of Augustana.”
In his most recent role at Vassar, English has been responsible for the financial impact of major initiatives, including compensation, financial aid, international study programs, facility maintenance, capital projects and departmental operating budgets. Through an expansion of his responsibilities, English assumed oversight of Vassar’s purchasing/receiving and other departments, and the review of all major college contracts. In this role, he supervises more than 25 people in several operating departments. He has led initiatives to streamline processes, improve services and advance technology.
English also brings capital markets experience, both in the investment management and liability arenas. He has reviewed and directly overseen significant investment portfolios and has been involved in the issuance of both taxable and tax-exempt debt. Prior to beginning at Vassar in 2005, English was the manager of finance at San Diego State University for three years, where he analyzed capital projects and real estate investments for the university, including a $300 million redevelopment effort. He also has worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., Northwest Airlines and Gateway.
English earned a B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary. He is a competitive marathon runner and tri-athlete.
The committee charged with finding Augustana’s new CFO was led by Selander and W. Kent Barnds, vice president of enrollment, communication and planning. The committee included Dr. Kevin Geedey, professor of biology; Dr. John Delaney, associate professor of accounting; Dr. Burak Dolar, assistant professor of business administration; Sue Standley, director of financial assistance and associate vice president of enrollment; and Mike Zapolski, director of athletics.
Selander acknowledged the role Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm based in Oak Brook, Ill., also played in the search and selection process. “Witt/Kieffer thoroughly canvassed the market for available talent, identified high-potential candidates and assisted us in narrowing it down to six, whom we interviewed,” he said.
Sure that Augustana has selected the right person for the job, English added, “I truly believe in the mission of liberal arts colleges and am excited about the opportunity to play a key role at Augustana College.”
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