PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Barbara D. Chernow, a 1979 Brown graduate in economics with more than 30 years of experience in the administration of educational institutions, has been named executive vice president for finance and administration at Brown University. She will begin March 1, 2015, succeeding Elizabeth Huidekoper, who is retiring in February.
“At the operational and strategic levels, Barbara Chernow has a thorough understanding of what universities need to achieve successful growth and development,” said Brown President Christina Paxson. “She is well-prepared to continue the dependable administrative leadership Brown has enjoyed, and I am delighted to welcome her as a senior colleague at an important time in the University’s history.”
At Brown, Chernow will be responsible for nearly all of the University’s non-academic operations except fundraising, information technology, and external relations. Her portfolio includes budget and financial planning, human resources, labor relations, internal audit, facilities, investments, and all business operations. She will work with the provost, other senior officers, and the University Resources Committee to develop annual budget recommendations and priorities, and will be a principal point of contact for several committees of the Brown Corporation, the University’s governing body.
As executive vice president for finance and administration, Chernow will be a key member of the senior leadership team, reporting directly to President Paxson, and will serve as a member of the Cabinet and the Executive Committee.
Chernow’s career in the administration of education began at the New York City Board of Education in 1982. As director of the Office of Public Transportation, she supervised a system of 3,100 school buses operated by 120 contractors serving more than half a million passengers a day, managing rider eligibility, vehicle inspections, and accounting. In 1989, she moved to the New York City School Construction Authority as director of management services, becoming vice president in 1992. She supervised budget and accounting, human resources policy, collective bargaining agreements, and real estate, and directed the bidding, contract awarding, and performance monitoring for a multiyear, multibillion-dollar construction plan.
In 1998, Chernow began working in higher education as assistant vice president for entrepreneurial programs at Stony Brook University, where she created a system of summer camps for children in the community, provided oversight of high-profile construction projects, and managed fundraising events for the Stony Brook Foundation. As assistant vice president for facilities and services (2003), she developed and supervised a capital plan, managed campus transportation and parking, and presented university plans and projects at meetings with state and local legislators and community groups.
Chernow was promoted to vice president for facilities, services, and special initiatives in 2006. To her responsibilities for facilities and transportation, she added environmental stewardship and energy conservation, police and fire-safety services, emergency management, long-term planning (including a $1.7-billion campus facilities master plan), and campus development, with creation of a 246-acre research and development park.
As senior vice president since 2012, Chernow has provided leadership and vision across the entire university for facilities, services, safety, human resources, labor relations, finance and budget, and compliance.
“My life was forever changed by my undergraduate experience at Brown,” Chernow said. “I am honored and excited to return to Providence and to be able to contribute to the very vibrant and diverse Brown University campus. I look forward to the opportunity to serve President Paxson and the University and to help Brown grow and thrive in its mission as a unified community.”