W&J College Appoints New Vice President for Business and Finance

Created: May 7, 2019
Last Updated: December 17, 2019

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WASHINGTON, PA (May 6, 2019) – Following a nationwide search, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) has hired Jim Irwin, CPA as the institution’s new Vice President for Business and Finance.

Irwin brings more than 25 years of experience to his role, having served in both corporate and higher education settings. He will join W&J this summer at a date to be determined.

He was most recently the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), where he oversaw general accounting, post-award grant accounting, budget, treasury management, debt management, housing and dining services, facilities management, purchasing and procurement, and student accounts.

“Jim comes to this important leadership position with a reputation for ensuring that students and employees are exceptionally well served,” said W&J College President John C. Knapp, Ph.D. “W&J will benefit greatly from his commitment to quality.”

“I am delighted to have been selected to serve in this role at Washington & Jefferson College. I am looking forward to collaborating with President Knapp, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader W&J community to support strategic initiatives that will continue the hallmark of W&J’s storied history and provide for its bright future,” Irwin said. “W&J is a special college with distinctive programs that provide exceptional opportunities for its students; I am appreciative of this incredible opportunity to join such an institution.”

Among his duties at Claremont, Irwin represented CGU on the Claremont Colleges’ Core Financial Team, which is responsible for the rollout and ongoing oversight of the Workday enterprise resource planning information system. He was responsible for the reporting and oversight of CGU’s $180 million endowment and $65 million operating budget, and he managed the annual financial statement audits of three separate entities: the Drucker Institute, CGU Student Housing, LLC, and Claremont Graduate University.

Collaboration is key to his role, and at CGU Irwin worked with the President’s Cabinet and stakeholders from throughout the University to re-envision the operating budget and budget development process, leading to a strategic re-alignment of the budgetary funding based on measurable outcomes. He implemented a number of changes, including funding prioritization, re-structuring of revenue sharing, pooling of budgetary funds, and the creation of academic incentive programs. He also developed a multi-year forecasting model that allows for various outcomes based on factors such as enrollment trends, fundraising efforts, grant production, and other variables.

Earlier in his career, Irwin held positions in the administrative business office  at the University of La Verne first as Financial Operations Manager and later as Assistant Vice President for Treasury and Budget. He also served as an adjunct professor for the College of Business and Public Management. He previously worked with LA Fitness International, LLC and KPMG.

Irwin holds a master of science in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne, a bachelor of science in Business Administration from The University of California, Riverside, and is a licensed CPA.

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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