January 12, 2019 10:03:04 PM
Mississippi University for Women has announced Mark Ellard as its new vice president of administration and chief financial officer.
Ellard entered his new role with MUW on Monday, replacing previous CFO Nora Miller, who was appointed the university's president in September.
Ellard's appointment still awaits approval from the State Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees, which meets Thursday.
"I am happy to be there and look forward to making a contribution to the university, to the area and to the community," Ellard said. "It's a great opportunity for me just based on the history and reputation of the university. I'm honored to be chosen."
Ellard previously served as CFO for nearly two decades with Bevill State Community College in Jasper, Alabama. Before his tenure with Bevill State, he worked for the state auditor's office in Alabama where he audited colleges and universities for nearly a decade, which pushed him into higher education.
In recent years, Ellard served as interim president for three separate community colleges in Alabama, most recently with Southern Union State Community College. Ellard's lengthy experience with higher education was key in the university's decision to hire, Miller said.
"We had a strong pool of candidates, but Mark's experience was just perfect," Miller said. "He's got 20 years of higher education experience. I'm very confident in his abilities and look forward to him being a part of our leadership team at the W."
Throughout the first week of work, Ellard said he's been busy familiarizing himself with the staff and campus. In his role, he will primarily operate the university's finances, administration, human resources and campus operations, all of which, Ellard said, he has done in the past.
"Most of the things I've done in the past are perfectly aligned with what the job duties are in this new position," Ellard said. "I've overseen accounting functions, facilities, human resources, resources management and planning events. Most of everything that I've done in the past 17 to 20 years at the community college level is perfectly lined up with my responsibilities here."
Though Ellard said he had never visited Columbus or the university before his interview, he had heard stories from colleagues and students raving about MUW and its history.
"I had known about the W for a long time," Ellard said. "When I saw the (job advertisement) I knew it would be a great fit for me. I'm excited about being there. I love the people at MUW. (The) big reason for me wanting to accept the job was after I came over for the campus interview and had a chance to meet everybody and get to know them, I really wanted to become a part of them."
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