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Published May 17, 2018
An experienced higher education administrator who served as president of Temple University and chief financial officer at Indiana University has been appointed as the University of Wyoming’s vice president for finance and administration.
Neil Theobald is scheduled to begin his new role at UW July 1. He will succeed retiring Vice President Bill Mai, who concludes his service at UW June 30.
“I am delighted that an administrator of Dr. Theobald’s stature and experience has agreed to join our team at UW,” President Laurie Nichols says. “The expertise that he brings will not only benefit the implementation of our new financial and human resources system, but also will give leadership to facility projects, operational and auxiliary improvements, and campus planning.”
Theobald currently is senior adviser to the president for financial and governmental affairs at Indiana University, where he worked for close to two decades -- as senior vice president and chief financial officer (2007-2012), senior vice chancellor (2002-07) and director of the Indiana Education Policy Center (1993-2002).
From 2012-16, he was the president of Temple University.
“My passion is analyzing the challenges facing the institution I work for and then bringing people together to create clearly stated strategies and priorities,” Theobald says. “I know the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with public officials and, also, working collaboratively within a university for the good of the whole institution. I look forward to applying my skills and experiences in these areas at UW, a university I have admired for decades.”
Theobald and his wife, Sheona, have maintained a second home south of Laramie for a decade, and he has visited Wyoming for years because of a friendship with former UW College of Education Dean Dick Andrews.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics at Trinity College in 1978, Theobald earned a master’s degree in educational administration (1986) and a Ph.D. in education finance (1988), both from the University of Washington.
During his time as senior vice chancellor of Indiana University’s flagship campus, the university completed 73 major building projects at a cost of over $700 million. He says a projected $357 million in new construction and remodeling at UW is “crucial to maintaining UW’s national standing as an excellent arts and sciences and professional studies university, with an outstanding faculty and world-class research facilities.”
At Indiana, Theobald helped deploy Oracle enterprise resource planning systems for human resources and student systems.
“Thus, I am well aware of the opportunities and challenges UW faces in aligning its business processes to the specifications and functionality of the new WyoCloud financial and capital management system,” he says. “Over the next decade, WyoCloud will allow accounting, procurement, sponsored programs and budget staff to partner across the university to better uphold UW’s goals for fiscal responsibility and excellence in financial stewardship.”
Also, at Indiana, Theobald co-chaired a more than $1 billion capital campaign that increased the number of tenure-track faculty by 120. During his time at Temple, that university set research funding records each year and doubled its number of invention disclosures.
UW’s vice president for finance and administration has responsibility for more than 380 staff members in UW’s Division of Finance and Administration; manages an operational budget of $205.5 million; and oversees 832 acres on the Laramie campus, 188 facilities representing close to 7.2 million square feet, and additional property located throughout the state.