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VP of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes to retire June 30


Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes attends the Central Michigan University Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 5 in the Lake Superior Room at the Bovee University Center.

Barrie Wilkes, the vice president of finance and administrative services at Central Michigan University, is retiring on June 30, 2020.

On Dec. 12, Wilkes announced his plan to retire in a University Communications press release. He said his work with the College of Medicine is his favorite achievement at CMU.

Wilkes was one of the first staff members involved in developing the CMU College of Medicine, which began to form in 2008. The college opened in August 2013 and had its first graduating class in May 2017.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, CMED has a revenue of $21,230,592 and a net value of $692,098.

In October 2013, former President George E. Ross appointed Wilkes to be Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services.

In a CM Life article published Sept. 27, 2013, Barrie Wilkes explained his plans for CMU while in the position.

“The first order of business, of course, is enrollment and how it impacts the budget plans for the next couple of years,” he said.

The total student enrollment at CMU has seen a 14.59% decrease from 2013 to 2018.

In the press release announcing Wilkes' retirement, President Bob Davies commended Wilkes' team for keeping the budget "healthy and strong" amidst the decline in enrollment.

During his candidate forum in 2013, Wilkes stressed the importance of an open administration, as reported by Central Michigan Life.

"We need to do a better job of being transparent, of sharing information,” he said. “…I think we need to be having budget forums like we did a couple of years ago."

CMU hosted six Budget Priorities Committee Forums from 2014 to 2017, where students, faculty and staff gathered to learn about the budget at the university.

The last forum, which occurred in April 2017, discussed the projected two-year $20 million budget deficit at the university, which prompted impending program cuts and staff layoffs. CM Life reported that the forum had high attendance and was standing room only.

As the vice president of finance and administrative services, Wilkes was a part of the group that implemented the $225 student services fee in 2018. 

Many students reported feeling blindsided by the student services fee, saying CMU did not educate them about where the money was going.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Michigan State University and is also a certified public accountant. Wilkes began to work at CMU in 1992 as a controller. 

On Oct. 1, 2005, Wilkes was appointed interim associate vice president of financial services and reporting in addition to holding the position as the controller. Exactly one year later, he was officially appointed to the position full time. 

From 2007-08, he served as the interim vice president of finance and administrative services, before returning to his previous role. 

"I have sincerely appreciated Barrie's insight, advice and support during my first year as president," Davies said in the press release. "He has provided exemplary leadership within the finance and administrative services division and has been a tremendous advocate for CMU."

In 2020, the university will form a search committee and conduct a national search for Wilkes' replacement.