Final VPBA candidate visits campus


Corryn Brock

The third candidate for Eastern's vice president of business affairs, Ed Ashley, visited Eastern's campus on Thursday. Ashley will be the final candidate to visit for the opening.

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Eastern hosted the final vice president of business affairs candidate Thursday afternoon.

Ed Ashley, associate vice president of California State University, San Marcos at Temecula, has worked at his current university since 2014 and in his current position for about 20 months.

Before his current position he worked as director of business community relations for the College of Business Administration.

In his vita Ashley described himself as a “leader with executive-level operational and financial experience in both academia and industry seeking an academic leadership position.”

Ashley has experience with being an executive in both private and in academic fields, as well as experience teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.

Ashley said in his vita he has “over 20 years of experience in business: Fortune 100 experience as an executive at Pfizer, as well as management consulting to Fortune 100 customers, such as Pepsi and Morgan Stanley” and as an “academic administrator for past 6+ years. Concurrent with my business experience, I taught at universities for over 20 years.”

During the open session Ashley acknowledged Eastern’s history with the budget impasse and what the university had to go through to during the impasse.

“It seems to me like you have turned the corner… I don’t have the illusion that you’re back up here, but I feel like things are heading in the right direction,” Ashley said.

Ashley said he “would not knowingly sign up” for the impasse but he was impressed with the university’s ability to persevere through the budget crisis.

Ashley said he has experience with layoffs if the need arises again. 

“If I have to, I can stiffen up and stand tall and make the tough decisions,” Ashley said. “I’ve stood in a room about this size (the Arcola/Tuscola room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union) and fired about 175 people. I stood there and looked them in the eye, and I don’t like doing that and I don’t take joy doing that, but I had to do that and I didn’t shy away.”

Ashley said if given the position he would like to first observe the university and its innerworkings.

“I always start with an organizational chart, I start at the bottom and go up, so I talk to management and executives last,” Ashley said. “That’s kind of my general approach to my learning as I come in the door.”

Ashley was the third and final candidate to come to campus following Philip Peña and Sean Reeder.

The new VPBA will be replacing the interim VPBA Paul McCann who will be returning to his position as the university’s treasurer. 

The individual selected for the position will need to be able to work with “business services (accounts payable/receivable and procurement), the Bursar’s Office, student accounts, human resources, payroll, facilities, grounds, risk management, budget, and institutional research,” according the website for the search.

The new VPBA will serve as the chief financial officer for the university and as a member of the President’s Council.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]