By Jennifer Hill
With the current state of the economy, many colleges and universities are forced to make changes and rearrange finances but, what is Marist doing to prepare for the effects of the crisis? On Feb. 9, Jeanne Plecenik began her role as Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer at Marist and has plans to help Marist manage the economic struggle.
According to Tim Massie, Chief Public Affairs Officer at Marist, “Jeanne’s role will be to find ways to manage the finances of the college that will limit the impact of the market as much as possible, assist with the development of a financial model for online course offerings and to work to effect greater efficiencies that will allow Marist to continue to be a best buy in education.”
Plecenik recognizes the challenges that Marist and other colleges and universities face. She aims to keep the tuition and costs reasonable for students.
“Marist benefits from many years of responsible, prudent financial management,” Plecenik said. “That will help us weather the storm, but like many colleges, we are concerned about our students and their families and how we can help to keep college affordable while still delivering the highest quality education.”
Plecenik hopes that her background and experience will help her to handle the effects of economic crisis. Prior to coming to Marist, Plecenik was the vice president and treasurer of The New School University in Manhattan. She has also served as controller at Mount Saint Mart College in Newburgh, been a senior staff accountant at Ernst & Young and managed her own accounting practice. She received a B.B.A. in public accounting from Pace University and an M.B.A. from Mount Saint Mary. Currently, Plecenik is a doctoral candidate in finance and accounting at Pace.
“Hopefully my experience with investments, debt portfolios, major capital projects and budgeting will be put to good use at Marist,” Plecenik said. “I also look forward to building a strong, cohesive team in the Business Office.”
Students are glad to see that Marist has hired someone with extensive experience to handle the school’s finances during the economic crisis.
“Having someone with so much knowledge about how to handle finances makes me feel confident and safe,” said Lisa Odoardi, a sophomore at Marist. “I feel that the school is taking a good initiative to be prepared for the effects of the economic situation.”
Overall, Marist is excited to have Plecenik as a part of the college and to see what her skills and experience can bring to Marist.
“Jeanne was the unanimous choice of the college-wide search committee, and she favorably impressed the members of the Board of Trustees who interviewed her,” said Dennis J. Murray, the President of Marist, on the school’s website. “Jeanne has the knowledge, skills, and personality that will be great assets in her role as a member of the Marist community.”
Plecenik plans on making some changes and adjustments at Marist; however the staff and students seem to be willing to support Plecenik in her new endeavors.
“I do feel that the people who work with me – both my staff in the Business Office and my colleagues throughout the campus – are open to change,” Plecenik said.
Some modifications that Plecenik mentioned were a new computer system, Banner, which she has previously worked with and supporting Marist’s green movement by using less paper.
Plecenik is very excited about her future at Marist and what she can bring to the community.
“When I was offered the position, I thought that it would be a good fit – that I would be happy here and could add value,” she said.