The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVI, Issue 4
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
Sept. 22, 2000

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Van Voorst steps down from controller's post for SUNY job

by Sarah R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff

James Van Voorst
James Van Voorst

After 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 him."

      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 to both.

      "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 $93 million.

      As excited as he is about his new position, Van Voorst said it will be hard to leave the Amherst campus.

      "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 leave."

      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."

 
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