Van Voorst steps down from controller's
post for SUNY job
R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff
two years of commuting more than an hour and a half from his Clifton
Park, New York home, controller James Van Voorst has decided to
drive even farther to work. He leaves the University today to become
the assistant vice president for administration at SUNY-Binghamton,
a job that will take him 2 hours to reach from Clifton Park.
"I've been listening
to a lot of books on tape, I'll tell you," said Van Voorst,
who has refrained from moving his family in order to let his high
school-aged child study and graduate with friends.
"He's a great guy,"
said Joyce Hatch, associate vice chancellor for Finance and Budget.
"I'm rather disappointed that he won't be staying longer, and
I know that many of the staff feel that, too. We're going to miss
In his new position, Van Voorst
will be responsible for the budget, controller functions, purchasing,
equipment, and other tasks, he said.
"The position is the primary
contact with the central administration, the New York State controller's
office and the division of budget," he said. "I'll be
working in some new areas and some old areas. I'm looking forward
"They are in the process
of going live with an Oracle-based business system. There'll be
a lot of work around that. So it's a good time to be there.
"I've never made the
budget. I've worked with the budgets, analyzed them, but I've never
had to create the budget. And that's what I'm looking forward to
the most. That and the new business system."
SUNY-Binghamton, ranked 33rd
among national public universities by U.S. News and World Report,
has more than 12,000 students and an annual budget of more than
As excited as he is about
his new position, Van Voorst said it will be hard to leave the Amherst
"This has been just wonderful,"
he said. "It's tough for me because the people and place were
so great to work with. I've been impressed with the people in A&F
and around the campus. People seemed to be committed, wanting to
do the best thing for the students, for the campus. It's hard to
Van Voorst said the management
style in Administration and Finance is unusually open and effective.
"Working as a team is
a big item in A&F," he said. "Paul [Page, vice chancellor
for Administration and Finance] makes a noted effort that we do
things right and as a team. The administrative offices and departments
work together to get good solutions." And Van Voorst said he
enjoyed working with Hatch because of "her willingness to let
me try different things."
"One of the things that
Jim has done very well is to make a point of getting out and about
around campus and meeting managers of various operations with the
goal of understanding how they operate," said Hatch. "As
a controller to be able to understand the concerns of the various
operations so that his office could provide better customer service
has been very important."
"I've gotten good feedback
around that," Van Voorst said. "It's gonna be tough walking
out the last day. It's gonna be tough."