UNCG Minerva statue

The Minerva statue at UNCG

Earlier this week UNCG said that it had hired a new vice chancellor for finance and administration. It's Bob Shea, who now has a similar role (and a longer title) at Elon University. Here's the official UNCG announcement, and here's the word from when Elon announced his hiring in 2016.

Shea was introduced at the start of Thursday's online Board of Trustees meeting. He'll start May 1. 

Here's a little about Shea from the two links above and his LinkedIn page. He's a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy who later got a master's degree from the U.S. Naval War College and an MBA from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, which is my alma mater and the greatest institution of higher education in all the known world. Shea had a 25-year career in the U.S. Navy, where he was assigned to naval aviation stations, the Pentagon and the U.S. Naval War College. He left the Navy in 2007 as a captain.

After that, Shea held senior roles at a Rhode Island community college and NACUBO (the association of college business officers that puts out a handy annual report on university endowments, among other things). Elon hired him in late 2016 as associate vice president for business, finance and technology and promoted him last May after Gerald Whittington stepped down from his long-time role.

Shea will replace Charlie Maimone, who's now the vice chancellor for finance and administration at N.C. State. Charles Leffler, who worked for more than 30 years at N.C. State before retiring in 2015, has held the interim's job at UNCG since Oct. 1.

In his new role at UNCG, Shea will oversee a division that's generally responsible for finances, buildings, hiring and human resources, emergency management and campus police. The thing that will keep Shea up nights is UNCG's financial situation. UNCG is expecting to lose some state funding due to a decline in and recoding of student credit hours. COVID-19 has further complicated matters because a closed campus isn't generating any revenues — or any admissions tours or related events — and the legislature's traditional April surprise is most likely going to be a bad surprise. Moreover, and this wasn't discussed at the meeting, the recent nose dives by the Dow Jones and the S&P will put plenty of pressure on UNCG's endowment, which pays for a lot of student financial aid, among other things.

I'd describe the financial picture at UNCG (and all other schools, to be honest) as "challenging." UNCG's board chair used the word "sobering." You can read that story here and decide for yourself which word works best.

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