Interim VP of business and finance interview


North Central has a new interim Vice President of business and finance, Jan Haas. Photo by Ericka Sura.

As of June 1, 2017, Jan Haas has filled the role of interim vice president of business and finance at North Central. Haas replaced Joy Brathwaite who held the position since February 2016. Prior to coming to North Central, Haas served at Cairn University for 16 years as senior vice president of finance and administration. Haas works as a senior consultant for CFO Colleague, an advisory firm providing interim services and financial and operational consulting to private institutions of higher education.

Haas first connected with North Central when he served on a board with Sheryl Book, the predecessor of Brathwaite. He was on a prayer team when North Central was in the process of selling the Praise FM radio station in 2014.

Haas’ role includes working with a committee to actively search for a new full-time vice president of business and finance for North Central. Haas personally reviews all applicant’s resumes. He will categorize them by how well he determines they will fit the position.

A committee of people including Haas; Don Tucker, vice president of academic affairs; Andrew Denton, vice president of university relations and Sue Bentley, director of human resources will narrow the applicants to a small group. Telephone interviews will be conducted with the individuals in the narrowed down group to determine who will come to North Central for on-site interviews.

Haas looks for three qualities in candidates which he believes are critical for this role. Agreement with the mission of North Central is the biggest priority.

“They have to be a good mission fit,” Haas said.

Maintaining a professional attitude is another requirement of candidates Haas is reviewing, along with seeking individuals with integrity.

Much of Haas’ time as the vice president of business and finance is spent meeting with the people and departments he directly reports to including human resources, accounting, and facilities. Haas prioritizes setting and clarifying vision. He also focuses on gaining commitment from the people around him. Allocation resources and removing barriers are key aspects of his job so he can ensure people are able to accomplish their own tasks.

Haas’ predecessor, Braithwaite, kept a work log and Haas found it aided him well in his transition into the role at North Central. He decided to continue adding to the log every other day with information he feels is important to pass on. This will ensure the incoming vice president of business and finance has a detailed record of what has previously happened in this area of leadership.

Haas has three goals to accomplish before he transitions out of this position. He believes that one of these, refinancing a small amount of long term debt, will be complete by late October or early November of 2017. Another goal is to fill the open position for director of human resources. A third goal is to start the process of replacing the university’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

This software interconnects many of North Central’s programs. They have identified the preferred vendor and are working on a contract to be finalized later this fall. Haas said that it will be a lengthy task that will affect everyone. A new academic center for science and technology is also being considered.

About the author: Northerner Staff