The University of New England announced it has hired Jim Irwin, CPA, to be the university’s new senior vice president of finance and administration.

The University of New England hired Jim Irwin as the university’s new senior vice president of finance and administration. Courtesy photo

According to a May 11 news release, Irwin brings nearly three decades of professional experience to UNE, having served in both corporate and higher education settings. He has for the past four years served as the chief financial offer and vice president for Business and Finance at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.

At Washington & Jefferson, Irwin oversaw all aspects of the college’s financial operations; spearheaded a tuition pricing project to establish the college as a top regional value; initiated an academic program optimization project to analyze academic departments’ direct and indirect costs; created a College Budget Committee to ensure transparency; educated faculty and professional staff on key financial matters through an “open meeting” series; contributed to the planning and execution of several diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; reduced expenses and improved operational efficiencies; and oversaw several major information technology and facilities projects.

Earlier in his career, Irwin held positions at Claremont Graduate University, the University of La Verne, LA Fitness International, and KPMG. He holds a master of science in leadership and management from the University of La Verne, a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of California, Riverside, and is a licensed CPA.

“In addition to his impressive qualifications, Jim is also a terrific person, and he impressed the senior leadership team and the search committee with his friendly and warm demeanor,” said UNE President James Herbert in an email. “I would like to thank the search committee members who identified Jim and the UNE community members who shared their feedback throughout the search process. Through our collective efforts, we are bringing to UNE a seasoned professional who should be a real asset to the university for years to come.”

Irwin will start his new role on July 1.

Irwin succeeds interim senior vice president for finance and administration Phil Shapiro, who in his time as senior vice president, led a number of strategic initiatives that positioned the university for success going forward. These include a comprehensive plan for managing cash reserves, accelerating key business workflow efficiencies, and partnering with human resources to address compensation issues, among many others.

Shapiro will stay on as associate vice president for finance and administration and chief investment officer following Irwin’s arrival.

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