University of Toledo approaches the finish line in search for new Chief Financial Officer

September 16, 2015

A search set into motion in 2013 is coming to a close this September as the University of Toledo narrows down the finalists for the next executive vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer.



UT held public forums during August to help determine who should take the position.
Thomas Biggs currently serves in an interim capacity, but will retire on Sept. 30, according to President Sharon Gaber.


Gaber said Biggs stepped in as interim CFO when David Morlock, who held the position before him, became CEO at the University of Toledo Medical Center in December 2013.


“They’re both great,” Gaber wrote in an email interview. “I would have loved for either of them to stay as CFO.”


UT narrowed down the search to three candidates — Sherideen Stoll, vice president for finance and administration and CFO at Bowling Green State University, Gregory Scott, assistant vice president for finance and business at Pennsylvania State University, and Dawn Rhodes, vice chancellor for finance and administration at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.


According to Jovita Thomas-Williams, vice president and chief officer of human resources, the position was posted both internally and externally when Biggs announced his retirement. The university also secured the services of an executive search agency to conduct a national search for the strongest candidates.


Thomas-Williams is heading up the search for the new CFO. Along with the HR department, she will collect information from those who participated in the public forums and chose to submit their opinions to Wendy Davis, director of HR. The information will then be sent to Gaber who will have the final say on the matter, Thomas-Williams wrote.


“The opinion of faculty and staff is highly regarded because the successful candidate will be responsible for partnering with members of the UT community to drive university-wide success,” Thomas-Williams wrote.


The new person taking this position will be in charge of budgeting and finance for the university.


“When you think about it, the whole breadth of the university reports up to this person. The police report up to this person, the treasurer’s office reports up to this person … there are a lot of areas that report up,” Gaber said.

The new CFO will have the last say on financial matters before they are presented to the president, Gaber said. They will sit with the president and other vice presidents of the university around the table to offer financial input in any situation, handling “anything to do with money going in or going out, and making sure we meet our budget,” Gaber said.


Because of the involved nature of the position, Gaber said that the person hired for the position must have experience in higher education as well as the ability to understand the needs of the students and faculty and to be able to work well with herself and the other vice presidents.


“That’s what the mission is,” she said. “If it goes to the Jeep plant, the mission is to build Jeeps and sell them; here the mission is to provide a good, quality student education.”


The university pooled a number of candidates and thinks they could accomplish this mission before narrowing it down to the three aforementioned candidates. These candidates held open forums to help determine who would be best suited for the job.


After her public forum meeting on Thursday Aug. 27, Sherideen Stoll, contacted Gaber and withdrew from the race.


“She called up and she said, ‘Sharon I would love to work with you, I’d be really excited and I think you’re going to do great things, but I’m not sure I can give it 100 percent,’” Gaber said.


Now that the forums have concluded, Gaber will choose from the two remaining candidates — Scott and Rhodes — based on information gathered and presented during the course of the search.

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