February 1, 1999 Vol. III, No. 9

Sullivan Takes Over as Interim VP in Admin and Finance

Former UC Exec Replaces Art Elbert, Who Moves to Facilities Job in the Chancellor's Office

James F. Sullivan, a former vice chancellor of administration at the University of California at Davis, as been named interim vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer at Cal State Northridge.

President Blenda J. Wilson appointed Sullivan, who has nearly 20 years experience overseeing the business operations of universities, to his new post on Jan. 14.

"We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Sullivan's experience and background to provide leadership for the campus and the Division of Administration and Finance," Wilson said.

"Although this is an interim appointment, there are important initiatives within the division that require strong leadership. I know that with Jim's guidance, our fine staff will achieve its goals," Wilson added.

Sullivan, a Pebble Beach resident, fills a position left vacant in December when Art Elbert departed to take a position as senior director of facilities projects in the CSU Chancellor's Office. Sullivan is expected to hold the job for about six months while a search is conducted.

"I have just begun meeting with the team of directors who work in administration and finance, and they seem to be good people who have a wealth of experience," Sullivan said recently. "I look forward to working with them and to continue to ensure that the university is operating smoothly."

Sullivan has served in similar interim positions in the past. He was interim assistant vice president of employee benefits programs for the University of California during 1996-1997, and interim vice chancellor of business and administrative services for UC Santa Cruz during 1995-1996.

Earlier in his career, Sullivan worked at UC Riverside from 1969 to 1974, and then was vice chancellor of administration at UC Davis from 1978 until his retirement in 1991.

His duties at Northridge will include streamlining the university's fiscal operations as well as overseeing the campus' continued reconstruction from the 1994 earthquake, which caused more than $390 million in damage.

Sullivan said he came out of retirement to work at CSUN because he missed the university environment.

"I thoroughly enjoy universities and everything they stand for," he said. "While retirement has different sorts of excitement, I find I miss the excitement of being part of the university. When the opportunity came up to be part of a place that was so dynamic as Cal State Northridge, I couldn't resist."

Sullivan also said he expects his Northridge job will not be much different than his past experience in the UC system.

"Every campus is unique, with its own strengths and political infrastructure. But the UCs and CSUs are all in the teaching and research business, and they have a lot in common, including a lot of good people," he said. "I look forward to working with everyone here."

Sullivan earned his bachelor's degree in government from Dartmouth College, his master's in public administration from the University of Colorado, and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pittsburgh.

-Carmen Ramos Chandler


February 1, 1999

Return to the top of the page