Search committee begins interviews for FAMU CFO

Lee Hall, where upcoming interviews will take place.
Photo Submitted by Jamal Sharp

The search committee tasked with identifying a permanent CFO for FAMU conducted its first two preliminary interviews on Wednesday.

The interviewees were Gloria J. Walker, currently vice president of finance and administration at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas; and Kevin Appleton, an agency fiscal officer for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Florida A&M has been without  a permanent vice president for finance and administration since June, after Wanda Ford resigned abruptly amid an investigation into monies transferred from auxiliary funds to make up for a deficit in FAMU’s Athletic Department.  Since then, Richard Schweigert has been hired as the interim CFO/vice president for finance and administration.

The 30-minute interviews were led by FAMU Provost Maurice Edington, chair of the search committee.  These 30 minute interviews started by each of the committee members introducing themselves.  There were a total of six questions asked by different committee members.  These questions were in regard to financial familiarity/literacy and personality.

The interviews concluded with the interviewee being able to ask the committee questions as well.

The search committee was asked by Walker, “What are you expecting from the new VP when hired?”

“We are looking for a self starter and independent candidate. There is no room for micro managing; we need someone in this role that can work well with others and move forward aggressively,” Edington replied.  “We do not need someone to just keep the boat afloat, we are looking for someone to make the boat accelerate.”

Walker told the committee she was thankful and appreciative of the opportunity given and is excited to potentially work as FAMU’s CFO.

“I am interested in FAMU because of the mission and ability to serve students, I have a passion to serve,” she said.   “I am a great engager and decision maker within the internal and external community.”

Appleton told the search committee he is strong in all areas of finance and has significant expertise in finance.  “FAMU interests me because it is a comprehensive research institution which aligns with my background,” Appleton said.

Both candidates talked about their experience and how they can help FAMU push forward.  The search committee members said they are determined to pick the best candidate, so they are listening carefully and awaiting to hear the candidates they have ahead.

The search committee will be conducting a second set of interviews Thursday, with two more candidates in the fourth floor conference room in Lee Hall. More interviews are scheduled for Friday.