University News

Edwards Named Vice President for Finance and Administration

February 16, 2023

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Paul Edwards, chief business officer for the Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary, has been named Western Illinois University's new vice president for finance and administration, effective July 1.

Edwards has served as the chief business officer for the Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary since 2018. In that role, he performed a variety of functions related to supervisory duties over the Business and Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology departments, including maintaining and overseeing best practices in financial management and analysis, as well as annual budget preparation to meet the goals of the college's strategic plan and financial objectives.

"Mr. Edwards' extensive experience in the finance world will provide exceptional leadership for this vital division. I look forward to his arrival on campus, and I'm confident that his knowledge and data-oriented approach will be of great benefit to Western and the division he will lead," said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "I also want to extend my appreciation to Shannon Sutton, who has served as our interim vice president for finance and administration since June 2021. Her leadership and level-headed financial guidance has been much appreciated."

Previously, Edwards has been an adjunct professor of accounting and business at Liberty University in Virginia since 2007; assistant dean of finance and administration for the University of Tennessee College of Health Professions from 2016-18; assistant vice president for business affairs at Kentucky State University from 2014-16; the manager of accounting for Liberty University from 2007-14 and the senior accountant for Longwood University in Virginia from 2005-07.

"I am extremely excited about joining Western Illinois University. One of my favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln, which says, ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it.' I look forward to collaborating and partnering with President Huang and the team to create the best possible future for WIU, its students, faculty and staff," said Edwards. "I am energized by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and I look forward to contributing to the future success of WIU, on both campuses, Macomb and the Quad Cities. I eagerly anticipate getting started this summer in this very important role."

Edwards received his MBA from Virginia Tech; master's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida; bachelor's degree in finance from Liberty University; bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida; and his associate degree in accounting from Polk Community College. He is also a doctoral candidate at the College of William & Mary in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership, with a focus in Higher Education Administration.

The Vice President for Finance and Administration oversees, coordinates and integrates institution-wide financial, physical and human infrastructure and ensures effective stewardship of the University's physical and financial resources. The VPFA is expected to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the key issues affecting units within this expansive portfolio and shape and implement appropriate strategies, structures and staffing. The VPFA works with the diverse needs and concerns of the many members that comprise the Western Illinois University community and keeps the University community informed of the various priorities and activities.

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