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University News

Chernow ’79 selected as next finance VP

Stony Brook administrator to begin in March, seven months before capital campaign’s launch

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, December 12, 2014

Barbara Chernow ’79 will succeed Beppie Huidekoper as the next executive vice president for finance and administration effective March 1, President Christina Paxson P’19 announced in a community-wide email Friday. The appointment concludes a search that began in August, when Huidekoper announced her intention to retire after more than 12 years in the position.

Chernow currently serves as Stony Brook University’s senior vice president for administration. Though her new title is different, the job description is the same, Chernow told The Herald.

Chernow said she has worked closely with students, faculty members and staff members during her time at Stony Brook to improve dining services, implement energy-saving programs and change parking and transportation systems. “I’m very, very proud of the work I’ve done with my staff,” she said.

At Brown, Chernow will be charged with “leading and directing essentially all of the non-academic operations of the University” and overseeing a “range of strategic planning issues to advance the University’s mission and goals, including the development of short- and long-term financial and capital plans,” Paxson wrote.

The impending capital campaign — set to go public in October 2015 — will focus on financing the priorities Paxson outlined in her strategic plan.

Chernow will also work in collaboration with Provost Vicki Colvin and the University Resources Committee to develop annual budget recommendations, Paxson wrote.

The University currently faces a structural operating budget deficit of about $10 million. To address this concern, Paxson and Colvin formed a Deficit Working Group in October and charged its 23 members with finding $7 million in cost savings.

Chernow said she is “looking forward to learning more about the issue” and plans to “listen carefully,” though she will not determine her specific goals and strategies until she arrives on campus.

“I really want to work with the team at Brown to find out what the needs are and what the priorities are,” Chernow said. “My goal is really to help the president with her plan.”

Huidekoper managed the University’s finances and operations during the execution of former President Ruth Simmmons’ Plan for Academic Enrichment.

Despite dropping by about $740 million when the 2008 financial crisis hit, the University’s endowment grew overall during Huidekoper’s tenure.

The endowment’s market value reached a record high of $3.2 billion during the last reported fiscal year, but it remains the lowest in the Ivy League.

“I think that Beppie had an incredible impact at Brown, and because of her insight, good work and planning, Brown is in a good place,” Chernow said.

Chernow said her undergraduate experience at Brown impacted her greatly and she is “excited to be back with an active and engaged campus community.”

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