New VP of Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to announce that Grace Crickette ’88 will join the University as our new Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer. Her first day on campus will be February 1, 2024.

As Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Grace will oversee the planning, development, implementation, and maintenance of the University’s administrative and financial departments. She will also play a significant role in shaping our institution’s financial stability and overall effectiveness as we implement our new strategic plan.

Grace joins the University from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire), where she has served as the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration. In this role, she developed UW-Eau Claire’s five-year financial forecast and central funding model to align resources in support of the strategic plan. Grace oversaw the design and construction of the new health and science building, established UW-Eau Claire’s first sustainability office, and launched the Chancellor’s Council on Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality.

Throughout her career, Grace has leveraged information technology to bring about transformational change throughout many areas, including compliance and risk assessment management.

Prior to UW-Eau Claire, Grace’s significant higher education experience included serving as the Vice Chancellor Administrative Affairs, Chief Business Officer and Ethics Officer at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, and Associate Vice President of Business Operations at San Francisco State University. She also led the Office of Risk Management for the University of California, one of the world’s largest higher education systems, encompassing 10 campuses, five health systems, and one national laboratory.

Outside of higher education, she has extensive experience in a variety of industries ranging from not-for-profit to Fortune 500 and domestic and foreign operations, having held leadership roles with AAA and United Rentals.

Grace has an M.A. in Liberal Arts Management from Harvard University and is a proud Bulldog alumna, receiving her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Redlands.

I want to thank the search committee members, especially Trustee Brad Adams ’93, who served as the co-chair for this search. I would also like to thank our Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration, Walt Branson, who has done a fantastic job leading the incredible administration and finance teams for the last several months. Walt’s last day with us will be on February 29, 2024.

Please join me in extending Grace a warm Bulldog welcome!


Krista L. Newkirk