Volunteer Spotlight

 

Ahren Crickard
Director, Center for Operational Excellence
UC San Diego

Ahren Crickard is the Director of the Center for Operational Excellence at UC San Diego. She serves as the chair of the WACUBO Women's Leadership Conference. Through WACUBO, Ahren enjoys the chance to connect with colleagues at other institutions and help shine a spotlight on all of the incredible work done by colleagues in the profession.    

Ahren is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and enjoys being able to share LSS with colleagues.  As a Director of the Center for Operational Excellence in the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, Ahren has launched new programs or technologies (on time and on budget), has driven continuous improvement and process efficiencies, and has accelerated the adoption of transformative change - through collaboration, communication, and professional development.  

“I have met some incredible colleagues and learned about the improvements and progress they are making at their institutions and it served as an inspiration for my work. Bringing innovative and transformative leadership to jump-start organizational growth has been the foundation of my success at UC San Diego.”       


Linda Kosten, Ph.D. PhotoLinda Kosten

Vice Provost, University Budget, Planning, and Administration
University of Denver 

Linda is the Vice Provost for University Budget, Planning, and Administration at the University of Denver. She manages the development of budget, oversees the institutional research and analysis office, and coordinates multi-year planning. Linda has served DU for 28 years, since 2006 at the University level. She has her PhD and MA in higher education from University of Denver and her BA in theatre and psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Linda’s book, Decentralized Budgeting and the Academic Dean: Perspectives on the Effectiveness of Responsibility Center Management (2009), explores the effectiveness of RCM from the perspectives of 146 deans at 27 universities. She has consulted with other universities investigating a transition to decentralized budgeting, worked with the Lumina Foundation on investigating the connections between states’ outcomes-based funding policies and responsibility center management, and currently teaches in the higher education graduate program at DU on higher education finance.


Photo: Callie JuarezCallie Juarez

Director, Academic Budget Management
California State University, Northridge (CSUN)

Callie Juarez is currently the Director of Academic Budget Management for the Division of Academic Affairs at California State University, Northridge. She has been at CSUN for 8 years, holding positions in the Michael D. Eisner College of Education and the College of Health and Human Development. Previously, she held various positions at California State University Channel Islands. When not working or volunteering for WACUBO, she enjoys traveling to national parks and camping with her family.


Mike Clune PhotoMike Clune

Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer
University of California, San Francisco 

Mike joined UCSF in 2011 and currently serves as the senior associate vice chancellor and chief financial officer for the finance organization, including budget, controller, risk management and insurance services, supply chain management, and financial services. In his budget and resource management role, Mike’s primary responsibility is to ensure that campus financial resources are carefully stewarded and effectively managed to assist in achieving the UCSF’s mission to advance health worldwide. Prior to joining UCSF, Mike worked in the UC Office of the President in Oakland, California for 11 years, primarily on University-wide administrative and policy issues related to enrollment management, budget development, and resource administration. Mike grew up in Salinas, CA, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of San Diego, and later earned a master’s in statistics and PhD in demography at UC Berkeley.


Photo: Lupe Valencia-Skanes

Lupe Valencia

Associate Vice President for Business Affairs
The University of Texas at El Paso

Guadalupe Valencia-Skanes supports The University of Texas at El Paso’s strategic and fiscal planning in her role as Associate Vice President for Business Affairs. Those responsibilities include governmental relations and organizational development to ensure fiscal resources properly align with the institution’s mission and vision.

Valencia-Skanes returned to UTEP in 2019 after several decades as an accounting executive at academic institutions across the United States to include the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Arizona and, most recently, the University of Washington. She began her financial management career at UTEP as a student employee.

The El Paso native is a two-time graduate of the University. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration with concentrations in accounting. She also is a Certified Government Financial Manager.

Valencia-Skanes is a Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO) faculty member and holds several committee appointments to include the Comprehensive/Doctoral Institutions and Research Institutions Committee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She recently was elected as third vice president of WACUBO. Additionally, she serves on the board of the El Paso Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants.

The UTEP administrator also has served the University as its Interim Vice President for Information Resources. During that time, she led a successful evaluation of the organization’s structure.


Rebecca T. Barber, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Management Analysis
Arizona State University

Rebecca works extensively with all aspects of university data for the purpose of strategic and financial planning, benchmarking, predictive modeling and econometric analysis. She also teaches within the college of education and has recently launched a 15-credit online graduate certificate in Advanced Analytics in Higher Education, which she developed, coordinates and teaches. She became actively involved in WACUBO in 2012, becoming an inaugural member of the research committee. In 2015, she created and began teaching the Predictive Analytics workshop for WACUBO, allowing her to meet finance leaders throughout the region and help them to apply analytics to solve real problems in their organizations.


Mary Frances Causey

Associate Dean, Enrollment Services and Director of Financial Aid
Prescott College


Mary Frances is the Associate Dean for Enrollment Services and Director of Financial Aid at Prescott College. Over the last three years, she has also been responsible for Institutional Research including IPEDS submissions and other external reporting. With an interest in learning – particularly about data storage, integrity, maintenance, mining, and analytics – Mary Frances put in a volunteered for WACUBO’s research committee. Coming from a small nonprofit tuition-dependent college, she saw this as an opportunity to learn how an organization with limited resources tackles these topics. Since May 2015, she has enjoyed getting to know the other volunteers over monthly conference calls and working on various projects as a team.

Some of the time spent with the research committee must have paid off, because later this year she will be transitioning to a new role at the college, as Associate Dean for Institutional Research and Compliance.


Betsy Clark

Investment and Endowment Accountant
Utah State University


Betsy is the Investment and Endowment Accountant at Utah State University. She has been with the University since 2004. She first volunteered with WACUBO in 2009 as a workshop site coordinator. In 2012, she moved up to the Professional Development Workshop Committee (PDWC) and is currently the vice co-chair of that committee. While on the PDWC, Betsy has trained new site coordinators, organized multiple professional development workshops covering various topics, and grown her leadership skills. WACUBO has given her countless opportunities to network and become lifelong friends with those she volunteers alongside. Betsy has also volunteered as the President and Treasurer of the PTA, Community Council at Ellis Elementary, the Professional Employee Association at Utah State University, and is currently a Webelos den leader with the Boy Scouts of America. Betsy and Kevin, her husband, have five children ranging in age from two to thirteen years old. She and her family love to travel together and their favorite place to go is the Oregon coast.

 
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