Monday May 5, 2014

Financial Steward

Tom Burkhardt, who helped grow the endowment more than six-fold and usher the largest campus expansion in his alma mater's history, will retire as vice president for finance and administrative services this fall after 22 years.

Tom Burkhardt, who helped grow the endowment more than six-fold and usher the largest campus expansion in his alma mater’s history, will retire as vice president for finance and administrative services at the end of October after 22 years.

The University of Dayton will embark on a national search for his replacement.

“Tom has been an excellent financial steward for the University of Dayton,” said Daniel J. Curran, president. “He has handled budgets, investments and capital initiatives with expertise and care.  Most importantly, he demonstrates in his daily work the Catholic, Marianist charism that defines this university.”

Burkhardt joined the University of Dayton in 1992 with a 1970 accounting degree, 22 years at Ernst & Young, where he worked his way up from accountant to partner, and four generations of family history. In 1998, he earned his second degree from UD, a master’s in educational leadership.

In 2009, the Dayton Business Journal named him CFO of the Year in the public/education category. In 2010, he was honored with the Lackner Award, which is bestowed annually on faculty and staff who, over a significant period of time, have made a noteworthy contribution to the Catholic and Marianist character of the University of Dayton.

What stands out for Burkhardt over his career?

It’s not growing the endowment from $69.2 million to today’s record $450.6 million — a feat the University managed during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

It’s not securing financial resources for purchasing two major land acquisitions from NCR Corp., remediating a brownfield or attracting GE Aviation to build a major research center on campus.

It’s not shepherding the financing for modern student housing, such as Marianist Hall and the Caldwell Street Apartments, or new academic buildings, including the Jesse Philips Humanities Center or Keller Hall. In all, the University embarked on more than $400 million in new and renovated academic, residential and athletic facilities ­during his tenure.

“I’m amazed at the talents we have at UD. That’s what stands out for me,” he says. “People will roll up their sleeves and work hard. They care. I respect all the people I work with.”

What’s next for Burkhardt?  He hopes to spend more time with his 11 grandchildren and do some consulting work, including training medical residents in the art of managing finances.

“I’m going to miss the place. I used to run up the four flights of steps at St. Mary’s Hall. Not anymore. That was a sign to me,” he says with a laugh.

Contact Teri Rizvi, executive director of communication strategies, at rizvi@udayton.edu.