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College selects new VP for finance

Wyatt Smith

News Editor

A search committee recently selected Deanna McCormick as the College’s new vice president for finance and business. The post was previously held by Laurie Stickelmaier, who left last summer for a similar position at Beloit College.

Wooster’s vice president for finance and business is the institution’s chief financial officer, responsible for the College’s budget, business office, facilities, investments, grounds, purchasing, human resources, the bookstore and Dining Services. More specifically, the administration is expecting McCormick to oversee the design and construction of the new life sciences facility, continue efforts to make the College’s auxiliary operations — such as the bookstore and Dining Services — more efficient and raise revenue through increasing summer use of the campus by outside groups.

“[McCormick has] talked a lot before coming here about relationships being important and getting out and talking to different constituencies on campus,” said Angela Johnston, secretary of the College and chief of staff to President Cornwell.

McCormick currently serves as the vice president for finance and administration at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She has also worked at Clarke University and Wabash College.

“I am so excited to be joining the Wooster community,” McCormick said, as quoted in a College press release. “From the first minute I began exploring this position, I could tell immediately that the campus truly lives the mission. It is all about students and their transformation from the time they arrive at Wooster, until they make their final walk as graduates. I plan to immerse myself in the life of the college, as well as the community, and want to make a difference with the depth and breadth of my experience as a business officer in higher education.”

McCormick has already overseen the construction of two new science facilities over the course of her career.

The selection of McCormick, made official in a Feb. 6 email to faculty and staff, marked the end of an extensive and lengthy search process. A search committee chaired by President Grant Cornwell and made up of administrators, trustees, faculty and an outside consultant looked at a pool of more than 80 applicants, five of whom were interviewed.

“Dee McCormick is a seasoned chief financial officer,” said Cornwell. “She understands the financial challenges of colleges like Wooster and will provide experienced leadership as we strive to keep our costs low and our quality high.”

In the interim between Stickelmaier’s departure and McCormick’s arrival on April 1, the College’s business division is being jointly run by Associate Vice President for Human Resources Marcia Beasley, Controller and Assistant Treasurer Peggy DeBartolo and Associate Vice President for Facilities and Auxiliaries Jackie Middleton.

“One of the things that we were very fortunate to have was a very solid group of directors below the vice president for finance,” said Johnston, “so [we didn’t] feel like we were rushed or in a critical state that we had to get somebody in here very quickly.”

For the 2014 fiscal year, the College’s operating budget is $79.6 million dollars, 48 percent of which comes from tuition.

This new hire brings the number of vacancies in Wooster’s business division down to one. The College does not currently have a director of budget; it will be up to McCormick to fill the post or restructure the division to eliminate the need for the position.

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