University of North Carolina Wilmington officials on Friday named the school’s next vice chancellor for business affairs.
Rick Whitfield, currently UNCW’s associate vice chancellor for business affairs, will move up into his new role July 1, according to a press release.
Whitfield will replace Charles Maimone, who is leaving UNCW to take a similar position at University of North Carolina at Greensboro this summer.
The appointment leaves one top administration hole filled at the university.
UNCW chancellor Gary Miller also is leaving July 31 to become chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Larry Clark, dean of UNCW’s Cameron School of Business, accepted a job as chancellor of Louisiana State University-Shreveport. And university officials also will have to fill the position of Cameron’s graduate associate dean since Rebecca Porterfield was named dean of the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University.
"This [Whitfield's appointment] was a direct appointment hire that the chancellor asked the BOT for approval to waive the normal search process due to extraordinary circumstances with the departure of Chancellor Miller and Vice Chancellor Maimone," UNCW spokeswoman Tara Romanella said in an email Friday afternoon. "In addition we had an extremely qualified person in Dr. Rick Whitfield which also factored in this decision for the Board of Trustees to waive the normal search process for this senior position at UNCW."
Whitfield came to UNCW in 2010. Before that, he was an executive vice president at Pace University and its chief financial and administrative officer, the release stated. He has 35 years of experience in higher education leadership, UNCW officials said.
“Rick Whitfield has an excellent track record, both at UNCW and other institutions, for innovative thinking and sound fiscal management,” Miller said in the news release. “With Rick’s expertise, UNCW has developed cost allocation and budget analytics programs that have earned well-deserved recognition as models within the UNC system. I am delighted that he has accepted the opportunity to lead our business affairs division.”
Whitfield has worked on a number of financial projects already at UNCW, officials said.
His work to refinance debt is estimated to save the school $8 million in interest during the next 20 years, according to the press release. He also worked on the school’s financial management plans for the recently opened MARBIONC building, purchase of the off-campus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship building on South College Road and outdoor campus facilities improvements, according to the release.
“Whitfield also served on the university’s steering committee for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaccreditation and worked closely with the executive leadership team to prepare for the Moody’s Investors Service review of the university’s overall credit rating. The outcome was an upgrade in Moody’s outlook for UNCW, from stable to positive,” the release stated. “As associate vice chancellor of business affairs, Whitfield has played a vital role in reducing student debt service fees. UNCW is the only campus in the UNC system that was able to make this adjustment.”
“I am honored to have been chosen for this role and to carry on Charlie Maimone’s legacy of excellence,” Whitfield said in a statement. “Our university has grown in so many ways since I arrived four years ago, and I look forward to continuing to bolster the financial programs and operational practices that have made UNCW a model for innovation, quality and efficiency.”
Whitfield, a certified public accountant, has an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a MBA from Vanderbilt and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Austin Peay State University.
He has held financial leadership roles at the University of Pennsylvania and its health system and Vanderbilt University and its medical center.