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 Arena, Fitness & Recreation Center, and University Sustainability.

Mr. Nicksa holds a Bachelor of Science 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 & Nichols School.

Operations Leadership Team: 
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 & Recreation Center, and Barnes & Noble @ BU.
Derek Howe, Vice President for Budget, Planning & Business Affairs 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.
Ken Freeman, Vice President for Human Resources, ad interim. Ken’s understanding of BU and his extensive business experience will be invaluable as he leads our Human Resources group during this period of transition.

Ken joined the University in 2010, as Allen Questrom Professor and Dean of the Questrom School of Business, where he presided over a period of growth and transformation. Prior to BU, he worked in industry for almost forty years. He began his career at Corning, served as chair and CEO of Quest Diagnostics, and as a managing director and partner of the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Ken currently serves on the board of directors of WBUR and the Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, and he is a fellow of the Boston University Human Resources Policy Institute.

Michael Donovan, Vice President for Campus Planning & Operations, manages the University’s real estate portfolio and oversees campus planning, real estate purchases and sales, residential and commercial leasing, building design and construction, facilities management, and public safety.
Dennis Carlberg, Associate Vice President for University Sustainability, facilitates University-wide discussion and efforts to integrate sustainable thinking and action into BU’s academic, research, student life, and business affairs.
Walt Meissner, Associate Vice President for Operations, oversees and coordinates high-visibility campus improvements on behalf of the Senior Vice President, including serving as Project Executive for such major construction projects as the Yawkey Center for Student Services, the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, the Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and College of Fine Arts Production Center, the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (renovation and expansion), and the Center for Computing & Data Sciences.