Senior Vice President, Operations


Gary W. Nicksa, BS, MST, CPA,  joined Boston University in June, 2005 as Vice President for Operations and was promoted to Senior Vice President in July 2011.  His responsibilities at BU include campus planning, real estate development, construction, commercial and residential leasing, and facility management.  Mr. Nicksa also oversees the University’s administrative and business affairs including human resources, operating and capital budgeting, public safety, housing and dining, parking and transportation, campus convenience and bookstores, events and conference services, Agganis Area, Fitness and Recreation Center, WBUR, and other business affairs.

Mr. Nicksa holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Bentley College.  He is a Certified Public Accountant who began his career with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers).  He has more than thirty-five years of experience in industry and education.  His business experience includes real estate development, construction, and property management (Vice President for Finance at Keith Properties) and health insurance (Senior Vice President of The Chickering Group, an Aetna Company).  He has also served as the chief financial and administrative officer at Newbury College and Buckingham Browne and Nichols School.


Operations Leadership Team: 

Peter Fiedler, Vice President for Administrative Services,  oversees the day-to-day operations of and the annual budgetary planning for the Boston University Police, University Mail Services and WBUR-FM/Boston.


Peter Smokowski, Vice President for Auxiliary Services, leads the University’s many and complex auxiliary operations serving our community, including but not limited to the student housing and dining operations, transportation, vending, conferences, and other supporting enterprises such as the Campus Convenience Stores, Agganis Arena, the Fitness and Recreation Center, and Barnes & Noble @ BU.

Derek Howe, Vice President for Budget & Capital Planning, jointly reports to Mr. Nicksa and the University Provost, guiding and supporting the University’s strategic and budget planning processes, including oversight of all institutional research activities.


Diane Tucker, Vice President for Human Resources, supervises the University’s talent management, organizational development and learning, talent acquisition, HR information systems, compensation, labor relations, benefits (including Faculty and Staff Assistance, Occupational Health, and the Children’s Center), and the HR Service Center.

Michael Donovan, Vice President for Real Estate and Facility Services, manages the University’s real estate portfolio and will oversee campus planning, real estate purchases and sales, residential and commercial leasing, building design and construction, and facilities management.


Walt Meissner, Associate Vice President for Operations, oversees and coordinates a number of major projects on behalf of the Senior Vice President including serving as Project Executive for construction of the new Student Services Center at 100 Bay State Road and working with senior leadership on coordinating and directing other capital and strategic planning projects of interest.