Gregory Brown Joins Swarthmore as Vice President for Finance and Administration

By Nancy Nicely
Gregory Brown
Gregory Brown

Swarthmore College President Rebecca Chopp announced today that Gregory Brown will join the Swarthmore community as its new vice president for finance and administration, effective June 15, 2014.

"Greg brings extraordinary experience with him to the College, serving with distinction for 15 years as a financial executive in higher education, and before that, as controller for the City of New Haven, Connecticut," says Chopp. "In each of these institutions, Greg has gained an extensive background in the financial administration of complex, global institutions. He has also earned a reputation for being an intellect, a highly collaborative campus partner, and an excellent communicator."

"I am delighted by the opportunity to join the Swarthmore community in this new role and to helping the campus move forward with its ambitious plans for the future," says Brown. "I am grateful to the search committee and all of the members of the campus community who were involved in the recruitment process. Their enthusiasm about the institution and their warm hospitality greatly increased my interest in coming to Swarthmore. I look forward to becoming a part of the vibrant Swarthmore community."

Brown is currently the chief operating officer at Barnard College, a position he has held for the previous eight years. At Barnard, Brown is responsible for finance and planning, information technology, general counsel, facilities, public safety, dining services, and capital planning. He is the sponsor of "Taking Care of Barnard," which has realigned Barnard's administrative systems, campus networks, and computer support services. He was the architect of a streamlined system of financial reporting to the Board of Trustees and an improved budgeting process. Under Brown's guidance, Barnard was able to construct and finance a mixed-use facility in the height of the financial crisis. As a testament to his devotion to liberal education, Brown led an academic space planning process and is presently chairing a campus-wide steering committee for the creation of a new teaching and learning center. Brown also worked closely with the Student Government Association to establish the Financial Advisory Council to explore financial matters of interest to the student body. As a result of his efforts, the Student Government Association named Brown the Administrator of the Year in 2012.

"Greg's experience, expertise, and style are a wonderful fit for us," says Elizabeth Vallen, professor of biology and a member of the search committee. "He is clearly enthusiastic about and committed to working with faculty, students, and staff to understand and align institutional priorities with responsible financial decisions. Greg's knowledge about the strengths of and challenges to liberal arts education in general, and to Swarthmore in particular, were impressive, as was his ability to communicate clearly to all of the committee members."

Prior to his current leadership role at Barnard, Brown worked at Yale University, the University of California-Berkeley and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

"Amongst a number of strong candidates Greg clearly stood out in our search for a new vice president for finance and administration," says Koof Kalkstein '78, also a search committee member and a member of the Board of Managers. "His extensive experience in a similar role at Barnard College, guiding their finances and operations through both the Great Recession and years of growth and renewal, gives me confidence in his ability to help lead the College in the years ahead. Greg's collegial style and inclusive approach to working with teams will fit marvelously with our community."

Brown, who received a bachelor of arts from Wesleyan University and a master of public administration from the University of New Haven, will be joined at the College by his husband, Linton Stables.

As Chopp noted in a community letter in September, Sue Welsh shared that after 31 years at the College, she would be stepping down as vice president for finance and treasurer this summer to pursue the next chapter in her career. "Sue has treasured her time with us, and we have all benefitted enormously from her leadership and service," Chopp says. "I look forward to continuing our strong partnership and work together during the coming months."