Leadership Transitions at Boston University

To: Boston University Faculty and Staff
From: Robert A. Brown, President
Date: August 23, 2021
Subject: Leadership Transitions at Boston University

As we prepare for the start of the fall semester, I am writing to announce leadership changes in Financial Affairs and Operations for the University. First, Martin Howard has announced his plans to retire on October 1, 2021, after 39 years with Boston University, the last 14 years as Treasurer and the last nine as Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer. Marty has been a critical architect of the University’s outstanding financial performance over the last 15 years. That performance has made possible our growth—and growing recognition—as a leading research university. During his tenure, our S&P bond rating has risen from BBB+ to AA- during a time of considerable uncertainty in higher education.

Marty Howard’s retirement precipitates senior leadership transitions. I am excited to announce four promotions.

Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer
Effective October 1, Gary Nicksa will assume the role of Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer. Gary has served as Senior Vice President for Operations since 2012 and has overseen all operations, including the preparation and oversight of the University’s annual budget. Gary has excellent credentials as a financial officer and will move seamlessly into this new role. He joined Boston University in 2005 as Vice President for Operations assigned to oversee operations on the Medical Campus; he was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2011. Human Resources will continue to report to Gary.

Derek Howe, Senior Vice President for Operations
Derek Howe will become Senior Vice President for Operations on October 1. He is currently Vice President for Budget, Planning, and Business Affairs. Derek is a 1992 Boston University graduate and has worked at Boston University since 1996, starting as Manager of Finance and Classroom Operations for the Media Group. He has assumed ever greater responsibilities and is highly regarded among colleagues for his budget expertise, his analytical abilities, and his insightful guidance. Since 2009, he has led and coordinated our annual budget process. In his new role Derek will have broader responsibilities, including supervisory oversight of public safety, facilities, and auxiliaries.

Ines Garrant, Vice President for Budget, Planning, and Business Affairs
Ines Garrant, also a Boston University graduate, will become Vice President for Budget, Planning, and Business Affairs. She is currently Associate Vice President of Budget and Planning reporting to Derek Howe. Ines has been with Boston University for 33 years, starting as an accounting manager and moving up to increasingly demanding roles in financial planning and budgeting on both the Charles River Campus and Medical Campus.

Patricia O’Brien, Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Budgets and Planning
Patricia O’Brien will become Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Budgets and Planning. Pat is currently Associate Provost for Budget and Planning in the Office of the Provost. Pat started at Boston University in 2007 as Associate Dean for Administration and Finance in the School of Public Health. She served previously as Deputy Dean of Harvard College and Dean of the School of Management at Simmons College.

As we implement these transitions, we will transfer the oversight of academic budgets of the three schools on the Medical Campus from the Senior Vice President for Operations to the Office of the University Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

I hope you will join me in welcoming these leaders into their new roles in financial services and operations. Each one is highly accomplished and capable and will position us to continue the high level of professional management in support of our mission of education, research, and service.