Whitman College Names New Vice President for Finance and Administration
Whitman College President Sarah R. Bolton announced the appointment of Jeff Hamrick as the college’s new Vice President for Finance and Administration. Hamrick currently serves as the Senior Director of the Data Institute at the University of San Francisco where he is also a member of the faculty.
“I am delighted to welcome Jeff Hamrick to Whitman College,” says Bolton. “From the beginning of the search process, he stood out for his breadth of experience—from teaching mathematics, innovating in the curriculum and doing interdisciplinary research to working in capital management in the private sector and leading budget and planning work as Vice Provost. Jeff’s interest in the liberal arts is clear, and his commitment to supporting Whitman’s faculty, staff and students as we advance our mission was evident in all of our conversations.”
Prior to his work with the Data Institute, Hamrick served for nearly eight years as the University of San Francisco’s Vice Provost for Institutional Budget, Planning, and Analytics. In this role, he managed the institution’s half-billion-dollar operating budget through its Office of Planning and Budget. Hamrick also managed the university’s Office of Institutional Research and Analytics, its market research function, its portfolio of professional certificate programs and its network of branch campuses across the state of California. He served on the President’s Cabinet and as a liaison between the Division of Academic Affairs and other vice-presidential divisions concerning matters related to budget, space and data. Additionally, Hamrick served as a resource to trustees on the institution’s Finance Committee and its Physical Facilities and Master Plan Committee. Hamrick’s vast experience makes him well-positioned for his new role at Whitman, Bolton says.
“I’m excited to join a strong team that is committed to managing Whitman’s formidable financial, infrastructural, technological and human resources in ways that place partnerships with students at the heart of the college,” says Hamrick. "Under President Bolton’s leadership, Whitman is reimagining its strategic priorities in ways that will position it to thrive over the coming decade—a decade that will really challenge the business models of many institutions of higher learning."
Hamrick earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Economics from Stetson University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and named a Goldwater Scholar. After completing his Ph.D. at Boston University in 2009, Hamrick’s first tenure-track appointment was at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2012, he was recruited to the University of San Francisco to launch its innovative Master of Science in Data Science program, which was recently ranked No. 4 in the United States by Fortune Magazine. Hamrick is a CFA charterholder and a Chartered Financial Risk Manager. Hamrick also has experience in hedge fund management and consulting for financial services, B2B, B2C and software engineering firms.
In his new role at Whitman, Hamrick will serve as a strategic member of the senior leadership team, set strategy for the college’s budget model, work to build and support the college’s financial and human resources, develop the college’s buildings and spaces to meet Whitman’s mission for the future, enhance administration and operations and guide the college’s next steps in sustainability.
Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, also serves on the college’s senior leadership team and was a member of the search committee.
“Jeff articulated a passion for the liberal arts environment and a willingness to continue the tradition of transparency and work with others to solve difficult problems,” says Johnson. “I believe he will perform the role with a deep care for the fiscal health of the institution.”
The search committee, consisting of faculty, staff and students, worked with executive search firm Storbeck Search starting in the fall of 2022 on the nationwide search, vetting and interviewing a diverse group of highly qualified candidates. The committee included President Sarah Bolton, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion John Johnson, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Steve Setchell, Programs and Budget Coordinator Marisol Becerra, Associate Director of Financial Aid Services Karri Mickelson, Senior Lecturer of Music Amy Dodds, Mathematics Professor Barry Balof, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology Jim Russo, and trustees Bill Neff and Charlie Nelson and student Feras Natsheh ’24.
Overall, the committee sought a candidate with superior understanding of finance and administrative operations in higher education, a history of creating and managing financial and administrative systems and operations, comfort leading financial and operational discussions across a wide range of constituents, proven skills in building relationships, expertise using analytics in recommending and implementing organizational change, experience with master planning and facilities management oversight, a high level of discretion and integrity, and a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Among his accomplishments, the search committee noted Jeff’s significant engagement with advancing inclusive excellence, including in his work leading campus climate studies at USF. We were also interested in his leadership in advancing research at the intersection of data science and sustainability, which is such an important issue for our future,” Bolton adds.
Hamrick is a member of the faculty at the University of San Francisco (USF) and designed and taught courses in probability theory, statistics, linear regression analysis, time series analysis, multivariate statistical analysis and SAS programming for the College of Arts and Sciences’ Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program. Hamrick previously taught in the Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) program at USF’s School of Management, contributing his extensive knowledge of finance, mathematics and statistics to prepare students for jobs in data science and finance. His list of publications includes papers on nonparametric statistics, sabermetrics, statistical pedagogy and mathematical finance.
When he arrives at Whitman, Hamrick will also hold the title of Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. While he will not teach regularly while vice president, he hopes that his experience as a faculty member will help him to partner with people across the college to continue to build a financial model that centers and advances the college’s academic mission.
Members of the math department are looking forward to welcoming Hamrick. Professor of Mathematics Barry Balof served on the search committee and points out that Hamrick’s experience in data science dovetails nicely with flourishing areas in Whitman’s own Mathematics and Statistics Department. “Dr. Hamrick’s data-driven approach to the work of Vice President of Finance and Administration will be a strong asset that will give us solid guidance for whatever challenges lie ahead.” He added, “The search committee is confident that Dr. Hamrick’s leadership will keep the college on the firm financial footing that we’ve worked so hard to achieve over the last few decades.”
Hamrick succeeds Peter Harvey ’84 who is retiring at the end of the academic year after serving the college for more than 30 years. The two were able to meet several times during the search process and will meet regularly over the coming months to coordinate the handoff of several key initiatives at Whitman.
“I am excited for Jeff Hamrick to be the next Vice President for Finance and Administration at Whitman,” says Harvey. “Jeff has an ideal combination of academic studies, finance and higher education experience. I look forward to working with Jeff to ensure a smooth transition.”
Starting in April 2023, Hamrick will begin transitioning into the role with several trips to campus that will allow him to work with Harvey during the transition. Hamrick will be on campus full time in August.