UNT announces new finance vice president hire

UNT announces new finance vice president hire

April 15
09:23 2014

Joshua Knopp // Senior Staff Writer

After a national search, UNT announced last week that Janet Waldron, vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maine, will take over as the new vice chancellor of finance effective April 28.

Waldron takes over a position that has been vacant since January 2013, when Terry Pankratz took a job at the University of Texas at Dallas, for a school that has been under internal and state-level audits for its finances.

In February, chancellor Lee Jackson announced the school system had hired outside auditors to review budgetary inconsistencies. Top financial officials Andrew Harris, Jean Bush and Carlos Hernandez all resigned for personal reasons the same day.

Jackson said the budgetary crisis was in part due to a lack of organization and bookkeeping. For an organization like UNT, every financial transaction needs to be recorded and stored a certain way.

Recently, Jackson said, they had not been, and that lack of organization led to frequent confusion over how much money UNT actually had available.

The confusion climaxed last November over concerns that Willis Library might have to close. The situation continues to vex auditors who are trying to dig through transactions that weren’t all written down in the same place.

“There were manual processes that should have been automated. We’re talking about probably millions of transactions,” Jackson said. “Janet Waldron will assure that we have a financial system that accounts for all of the transactions and reports to the presidents so they may keep track of their finances effectively.”

Waldron brings 30 years of financial experience to the table, including eight years as the state of Maine’s chief financial executive serving under governor Angus King, who is now a U.S. senator. Waldron then took a job with the University of Maine, where she has worked for 11 years. Jackson said her experience in both government and collegiate finance made her stand apart from other applicants.

Waldron said she was excited for UNT’s future and thought her experiences in Maine would help the school down the road.

“The academic opportunities that they’re undergoing at the UNT system are very exciting for all campuses,” she said. “I had the opportunity to improve all the financial operations [with UMaine]. I have some excellent skills to bring to the table.”

UNT President Neal Smatresk said he expects to announce a new vice-president of finance within the week.

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