David Burdette will finalize his retirement at the end of the month, stepping down from his position as the vice president of finance and administrative services to make way for Barrie Wilkes.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the VP for finance. Central Michigan University is an outstanding university,” Wilkes said. “It’s very exciting, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”
As CMU’s next chief financial officer, Wilkes said he plans to get right to work tackling some of the university’s serious financial woes, starting with a drop in on-campus enrollment and revenue.
“The first order of business, of course, is enrollment and how it impacts the budget plans for the next couple of years,” he said.
Wilkes has been at CMU since 1992, serving as vice president of financial services and reporting since 2005. He previously served in the top VP position on an interim basis in 2007-08.
“It’s given me the broad understanding of the finance division and the university as a whole,” Wilkes said. “I’ve done the job. I know the players. I know the senior leadership and people across campus, which makes it a lot easier to get things done.”
Defeating his only competitor for the position, Valcosta State University’s Sue Fuciarelli, Wilkes will officially begin his role as chief financial officer Oct. 1 with an annual salary of $228,000.
“The search committee did an outstanding job and produced two excellent candidates. Both had much to offer CMU,” University President George Ross said in a news release. “In the end, Barrie’s knowledge and expertise made him the best person for this critical position. This is an exciting time for our university.”
Holding a B.S. in accounting from Michigan State University, Wilkes is also a certified public accountant, treasurer of the Mid-Michigan Development Corp., and a board member of the Local Development Finance Authority.
“He knows our university well, he has vision for the future, and he is extremely dedicated to ensuring that CMU is an extraordinary university for students, faculty and staff,” Ross said.
Wilkes said he looks forward to connecting with the campus community.
“I’ll be going around and visiting with people on campus and finding out what their needs and wants are,” he said.
Wilkes replaces Burdette, who originally planned to retire in July before Ross asked him to stay through the end of September after the search process for Burdette’s replacement took longer than expected.