After a nationwide search, Centre College has announced the hiring of Brian G. Hutzley to serve as vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. He begins his appointment on Dec. 1.
A Michigan native with a B.S. in accounting from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. from Syracuse University, Hutzley served most recently as vice president for finance and administration at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. He brings an impressive 30-year record of service in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, including key leadership roles at public and private universities.
Before Colgate, Hutzley served as vice chancellor and CFO for the State University of New York (SUNY), which includes 64 campuses and is the country’s largest public higher education system. Hutzley was responsible for overseeing the $12 billion annual operating budget, along with relevant finance and budget areas in addition to financial aid and information technology.
He came to oversee the entire system after six years as vice president for business and finance at SUNY’s Delhi campus, where he managed an annual budget of $80 million.
Prior to his career in higher education, Hutzley spent some two decades in the private sector, ending that part of his career as director of financial planning and analysis for Mead/AT-A-GLANCE, in charge of a $1.2 billion annual budget.
The breadth of experience was one of the things that impressed Centre President John A. Roush, who served as co-chair of the search committee with Centre Trustee Thomas Meeker, the former president and CEO of Louisville’s famous Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.
Meeker was joined on the committee by fellow trustees Edmund C. (Eddy) Roberts, Jr., former state president of BellSouth Kentucky (later AT&T Kentucky), and Greg Caudill, president and CEO of Danville-based Farmers National Bank.
Having so many trustees on the committee with strong business and finance backgrounds was important to Roush, given the central role that the CFO plays not only in the fiscal operation of the College but also all strategic and planning aspects, not to mention oversight for the College’s physical plant and facilities management function.
“Attracting a candidate like Brian who has excelled in both the private and public sectors was a real accomplishment for Centre,” said Roush. “He will hit the ground running from day one. And besides being a good fit, Brian is excited to join our team and we are excited to have him do so.”
Centre faculty members who comprised the rest of the search committee agree. They included Assistant Professor of History Sara Egge, Assistant Professor of Biology Marie Nydam and James Graham Brown Professor of Economics Bruce K. Johnson.
Egge took notice of Hutzley’s attention to detail when she accompanied him on a campus tour with Wayne King, Centre’s longtime director of facilities management.
“What impressed me were the questions Brian asked,” said Egge. “He noticed the slate roofs and wanted to know about how we preserved them. He asked questions ranging from storm drains to lighting, while expertly assessing issues like accessibility and long-term maintenance.”
Egge concluded, “Brian sees the small details in the big picture, and he’s going to be an incredible asset to our community.”
These sentiments were echoed by Johnson, who observed that the search committee was impressed by the depth and breadth of Hutzley’s experience and effectiveness in higher education, including at a selective liberal arts college similar to Centre.
“As a professor,” Johnson added, “I was attracted by his demonstrated track record of transparency with faculty while working with them to advance the academic missions at his previous schools.”
For his part, Hutzley said he became increasingly interested in the CFO opportunity for a combination of reasons.
“Everyone I met throughout the search process had a high level of passion for Centre, which really impressed me,” Hutzley said.
“Centre is clearly one of the nation’s great colleges and in an absolutely beautiful part of the country,” he added. “And John Roush has assembled an excellent leadership team that I’m proud to join.”
The timing of his arrival also excites Hutzley. “Being part of Centre’s bicentennial celebration in 2019 will connect me to an important part of history in the world of American higher education,” he said.
Hutzley will take over from Centre’s current interim CFO, John Farris, who will move into a newly created part-time role at the College as senior investment advisor.
by Michael Strysick
November 17, 2016