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Eric Kopstain named Vanderbilt vice chancellor for administration

May. 5, 2014, 9:30 AM

Kopstain (Vanderbilt University)

Eric C. Kopstain, associate vice chancellor for finance, has been named Vanderbilt University’s vice chancellor for administration, following a national search, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos announced today.

“We are fortunate that we have within our ranks someone with the kind of experience and administrative skills that are exactly what Vanderbilt needs in its vice chancellor for administration as we make our way through the financial and regulatory challenges facing today’s premier research universities,” Zeppos said. “Eric has already proved to be a valuable member of our team, and I know that with the expansion of his responsibilities, Vanderbilt will be all the stronger.”

Kopstain will assume his new role July 1, pending approval by the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. He succeeds Jerry Fife, who is retiring from Vanderbilt after 15 years of service, the last five as vice chancellor for administration.

A 23-year veteran of higher education administration, finance and planning, Kopstain came to Vanderbilt in May 2012 from Harvard University, where he was associate dean of finance for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

At Vanderbilt he provides strategic leadership to, and direction of, the university’s accounting, financial systems, budget and capital planning, tax, student accounts, disbursements and procurement functions.

As vice chancellor for administration, he will assume responsibility for the university’s administrative infrastructure. This broad-ranging portfolio includes human resources, business services, facilities and construction, contract and grant accounting, police, environmental health and safety, traffic and parking, printing services, health and wellness for faculty and staff, and equal opportunity, affirmative action and disability services.

“I am honored by the privilege to serve Vanderbilt in this role. The opportunity to work in several new capacities with Vanderbilt’s faculty, staff and students to advance our institution’s mission and priorities is truly exciting,” Kopstain said. “While higher education and health care face significant challenges, the incredibly collaborative nature and commitment of the Vanderbilt community will continue to differentiate and distinguish this institution as we move boldly into the future.”

Recipient of a bachelor of arts from Northwestern University in 1991, Kopstain received a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 2001.

Kopstain began his career at his alma mater in 1991, serving in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. In 2003, he became director of Dartmouth College’s Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning. He moved to Harvard in 2006 as assistant dean and budget director of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences before being promoted to associate dean for finance. He has been credited with helping the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the largest division of Harvard University, navigate through and recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

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