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Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Barbara Chernow ’79 announces retirement

Chernow to retire in September after six years in position

Barbara Chernow ’79, executive vice president for finance and administration, will retire from the University this September, according to a May 12 University press release.

After more than 30 years working in administrative positions in education, Chernow returned to Brown in 2o15. She spent the past six years leading the University in its nonacademic operations, ranging from facilities and dining to information technology and business.

During her time as executive vice president, Chernow worked with a variety of departments and offices at the University to improve and facilitate its operations. Under her leadership, the Transportation Office worked to improve pedestrian safety in the Jewelry District. Through her leadership in University Human Resources, the University reviewed and revised its HR policies to better support employees. In 2015, Chernow assumed control of Dining Services, where she sought to support the needs of both students and University dining workers.

Chernow also played an important role in the University’s sustainability efforts, working with University administrators to establish the University’s net-zero plan.

Alongside Provost Richard Locke P’18, Chernow implemented a zero-based budgeting process, in which University expenses must be approved each new period to ensure a predictable budget and reduce reliance on tuition revenue. This change has allowed the University’s offices “to develop proposed budgets that more closely align with spending needs,” according to the University Resources Committee’s Proposed 2020-2021 Operating Budget.

Chernow “has played a pivotal role as Brown has worked to ensure the highest levels of excellence in its administrative and business operations,” President Christina Paxson P’19 wrote in a campus letter announcing Chernow’s retirement.

“One of her strongest attributes is her commitment to investing in and supporting the people who help Brown function every day,” she added.

Chernow arrived at Brown in March 2015 after serving in various administrative positions during her 17 years working at Stony Brook University, most notably as senior vice president for administration. Among her former positions, Chernow also supervised a school bus system for more than half a million students while working at the New York City Board of Education in the early 1980s, according to the University’s press release.

“I will profoundly miss Brown’s incredibly collaborative spirit and vigorous sense of purpose,” Chernow said in the press release, adding that her second departure from College Hill will “truly be bittersweet.”

“Barbara’s last day will be in September, but her impact at Brown will be felt for generations,” Paxson wrote. “We will miss her genuine caring and appreciation for others, and I’m very pleased that as an alumna, her connections to Brown will remain strong.”

A national search led by Paxson will be held to find Chernow’s successor later this year.


Jack Walker

Jack Walker served as senior editor of multimedia, social media and post- magazine for The Herald’s 132nd Editorial Board. Jack is an archaeology and literary arts concentrator from Thurmont, Maryland who previously covered the Grad School and staff and student labor beats.

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