Following an extensive national search, Heidelberg University has named John A. Wilkin the new vice president for administration and business affairs. John will begin in his new role on April 1.
Currently the associate vice president for budget management at Columbia College Chicago, Wilkin brings a mix of experience in corporate and higher education. Prior to joining Columbia College Chicago in 2005, he spent 19 years in a number of senior-level financial leadership positions at Motorola, Inc.
During the interview process, Wilkin expressed a strong desire to become a CFO at a private, rural, residential college. He and his family – wife Laurie, son Andrew, a student at Ohio State, and daughter Liz, a student at the University of Kansas – are in the process of planning their move to Tiffin.
“I want to express how excited I am about being given the opportunity to join Heidelberg University and help with the important work we do for students,” Wilkin said. “This is a big opportunity for me … to be invited to be a part of a community that has been so welcoming. I’m really looking forward to it.”
When he first visited Heidelberg for his interview, Wilkin said he found the campus “just like I had pictured. This is exactly what I was looking for.” The Wilkin family returned to campus two weeks ago for an extended visit and left even more impressed.
In addition, Wilkin said he’s looking forward to working within a small community – both the university and the town – where people know each other and work together toward common goals. “It will be nice to transition to a place like Heidelberg,” he said.
President Rob Huntington said Wilkin will be an excellent addition to the Heidelberg community.
“From our first conversations with John, it became abundantly clear that his experience, expertise and personality are an ideal fit for Heidelberg. He brings a highly desirable mix of experience in corporate and higher education settings,” President Huntington said.
As the vice president for Administration & Business Affairs, Wilkin will lead the financial management, accounting, budgeting, business services, human resources, information technology, facilities and bookstore functions of the University. He will play a significant role in our strategic planning process.
President Huntington said the search committee was impressed by Wilkin’s proven ability to link finance with other core operating departments, his communication and analytical skills, and his commitment to organizational and strategic goals. “He is a strong leader who believes in collaboration, and someone who is ready to make a mark as we work together toward our strategic goals to improve academic excellence and the student experience.
Wilkin received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and his MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a second master’s degree in higher education administration from Northwestern University. He is trained as a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.