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University of Tennessee Educator to Lead UCM Finance and Administration

By Jeff Murphy, July 11, 2016

WARRENSBURG, MO – After a national search for a leader to facilitate university business and administrative units that are key to supporting strategic priorities, Douglas Hawks, Ph.D., has been named Vice President for Finance and Administration at the University of Central Missouri. Hawks comes to UCM from his role as an administrator at the University of Tennessee (UTK), Knoxville.

UCM President Charles Ambrose made the announcement today, while also commending the work of the search team led by Deborah Curtis, provost-chief learning officer. He noted that Hawks, who has served as Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration at UTK Haslam College of Business, will begin his new duties Aug. 1.

“Our search committee did an outstanding job bringing quality candidates to campus at a time when much change is taking place. The business models that have historically worked in higher education are no longer adequate for UCM, so we must be willing to look for new opportunities that will help us move forward,” Ambrose said. “What resonated from our discussions with Doug is his passion for higher education, his vision and desire to seek out innovative ways to address the challenges we face. That’s exactly what we need to continue our forward momentum as we further implement initiatives such as the Strategic Resource Allocation Model (SRAM).”

SRAM is an innovative business model, which promotes student success, growth with quality, and sustainability and efficiency. Hawks will play instrumental role in the success of this new model, while leading the development, implementation and management of goals and plans for university operations and capital projects. His duties also include leading, managing and administering all university finance and administrative support units and services, and serving as a member of the Strategic Leadership Team with other vice presidents and senior level university administrators. His vice presidential area covers oversight for units in the Finance and Administration Division such as Accounting Services, Student Accounts and Loans, Investments, Budgets, Procurement, Payroll, Human Resources, Auditing, and Facilities Planning and Operations.

Hawks brings both higher education and corporate experience to his new job. He has served in his current role at UT since 2014, managing strategic initiatives for the Haslam College of Business related to financial and budget operations, technology, and facility services. He has direct supervisory responsibility for the Financial Information Office, Technology Integration Services, and Facilities staff; has been responsible for a total of $62 million in annual operating budgets; and allocating and managing earnings from more than $120 million in private endowments.

Other related higher education experience includes serving from 2012-2014 as a senior consultant and auditor for the UT System Office; serving from 2009-2012 as Director of Internal Audit for Southern Utah University, Cedar City; and Interim Director of Sponsored Research and Grants for Southern Utah University in 2011.

Hawks’ private business/industry experience includes serving as an Audit Manager for OfficeMax, Inc., Chicago, and Director of Internal Controls for Sonic Innovations, Inc., Salt Lake City.

In speaking about his new role, Hawks said he was impressed by initiatives such as SRAM and The Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership between higher education, public education, and businesses, which helps accelerate the time it takes to complete a degree, decrease student debt load, and provide students with job-ready skills.

“As a student and observer of higher education, I believe how we educate and fundamentally prepare our students for the workforce, and as global citizens, is undergoing significant changes – changes that the traditional model of higher education will struggle to support.  So, when I see an institution like UCM – increasing enrollments, keeping tuition increases low, and innovating curriculum through initiatives such as The Missouri Innovation Campus and innovating their business model through strategies like SRAM, I really want to be a part of that process.”

Hawks’ formal college education includes a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Tennessee; Master of Business Administration from Indiana University; and Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from Southern Utah University.


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