Math prof-turned-administrator named new vice president for finance and administration

Andrea Young, a mathematician-turned-college administrator, will be DePauw University’s next vice president for finance and administration, President Lori White announced today. She will start July 15.

Young, who will also be chief financial officer, has been interim president of Ripon College since January, having been appointed to the interim position as Ripon’s Board of Trustees searches for a new president. She has held a variety of administrative roles at Ripon, including vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives, which she had held since July 2019, dean of faculty, special assistant to the president and liaison to the board of trustees.

Ripon, located in east central Wisconsin, is a liberal arts college with about 800 students.

“The thing that I love about higher ed, particularly institutions like our small liberal arts institutions, is the way that we embody principles of shared governance,” she said. “We work together across areas– across the constituencies of faculty, staff, students, board members, alumni and administrators – to solve the big problems of how to continue to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace and to provide transformative educational experiences for our students. ”

Young is a tenured math professor who “never expected to be an administrator” but “got tapped on the shoulder by our president, who asked me to join the administration.” She has held a variety of administrative roles since then, “and it turns out, II love working in the administration to do the behind-the-scenes work that allows our faculty and our staff to help our students succeed.”

As a university’s top financial person, “you are working with complex institutional and financial data and communicating that to a wide variety of audiences,” she said. “And that’s what you do as a math teacher as well. In a lot of ways, the work of the CFO is kind of a giant math problem. I enjoy institutional problem-solving and working with different areas of campus to do what’s best for our students. ”

Said President White: “Dr. Young brings great knowledge and vigor to DePauw, including her experiences as a faculty member who has served on important faculty and university committees and as a member of the cabinet at Rippon. During the search process for the vice president for finance and administration at DePauw, Dr. Young impressed us with her knowledge of the financial challenges and opportunities for small liberal arts colleges. She also demonstrated her ability to communicate the nuances of university budgets to a wide variety of constituencies. That’s always important, and especially so at a time when we are undertaking many new initiatives called for in the strategic plan. ”

Young said she is excited to work on implementing the strategic plan, which calls for academic renewal and work toward an exemplary student experience, institutional equity and a flourishing university.

DePauw has “created an inspiring and forward-thinking strategic plan,” she said. “I’m excited to join in on the work of realizing that vision and working with internal and external partners to put our time and our resources behind the strategic pillars that you’ve collectively identified will move the institution forward.”

Young started at Ripon 11 years ago. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in math, with a minor in Italian, from Pennsylvania State University. As a professor, Young won several teaching awards; published many peer-reviewed articles; and has been a principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant aimed at improving undergraduate STEM education.

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