July 15, 2022 – The Texas Tech University System (TTU System) has selected executive recruitment firm Anthem Executive to lead its search for a new vice chancellor and chief financial officer. Leading the assignment are Michael Ballew, Scott Watson, Mike “JR” Wheless, and Florene Stawowy. The TTU System is searching for an accomplished individual to cultivate its success and momentum across its five component institutions and the TTU System administration. With a $2.5 billion annual operating budget and a $1.7 billion endowment — both at peak levels in the system’s 25-year history — and a dynamic leadership team, the system is positioned for continued and unprecedented growth and prosperity, said the search firm.
According to Anthem Executive, the vice chancellor and CFO will lead and manage an evolving and growing team of TTU System offices and services that is responsible for the overall financial strength and stability of the system. This team supports the strategic priorities of the TTU System and the individual missions of each component institution by identifying financial strategies that best utilize resources and manage risk.
The ideal candidate will possess experience and servant leadership skills that will allow them to nurture a strong, diverse set of relationships; inspire others toward ambitious goals; and create exciting synergies among constituent groups in pursuit of collaborative, strategic outcomes. The TTU System seeks an experienced, respected, and strategic financial leader with a bachelor’s degree in appropriate field based on assigned area of responsibility and 10 years of professional and management experience in related area.
Candidates should have demonstrated expertise in financial management and forecasting to evaluate industry-specific fiscal conditions (current and future) and guide policy and business decisions. They should have the proven ability to lead and achieve change and improve processes and systems in a large, multiarea organization. In addition, candidates should have the understanding of the changing landscape in higher education and workings of a large university system, along with knowledge of and/or experience with the business operations of large and comprehensive organizations.
Established in 1996 and headquartered in Lubbock, TX, the TTU System has emerged as one of the top public university systems in the nation, operating at 24 academic sites across the state and globe through its five universities. With the recent additions of a veterinary medicine school in Amarillo and a dental medicine school in El Paso, the TTU System is one of nine higher-education systems in the U.S. to offer programs for undergraduate, medical, law, veterinary, nursing, pharmacy, and dental education, among other academic areas.
Anthem Executive, headquartered in Houston, TX, serves clients across a range of business sectors, including higher education, health sciences, corporate and non-profit institutions, global software and technology, private equity, insurance, service and manufacturing, oil and gas, and others. Its consultants bring a combined 80 years’ experience in the search industry. The firm’s higher education practice spans the entire leadership spectrum. In other sectors, Anthem Executive covers all roles from CEO and other C-suite leaders, board directors, vice president, and director, among others.
Anthem Executive has placed David Massaron, budget director for the State of Michigan, as chief business officer and CFO/senior vice president for finance and business operations and treasurer for Wayne State University in Detroit. Mr. Massaron will assume his new role upon the completion of the fiscal year 2022 budget for the state. Leading the assignment were Michael Ballew, Scott Watson, and Mike “JR” Wheless, co-founders, principals and consultants, along with Leyla Kayi, research and search operations, higher education. Mr. Massaron succeeds Rebecca Cooke, who came out of retirement to serve in the position on an interim basis. Ms. Cooke previously served as associate vice president for finance and administration, health affairs, as well as vice dean, finance, for the School of Medicine. She replaced William Decatur, who retired at the end of 2019.
Mr. Ballew, a registered Native American and member of the Echota Cherokee Tribe, serves as the firm’s chief diversity, inclusion, equity, and compliance officer, as well as search committee facilitator. He joined the executive search industry 14 years ago following a 20-plus year career in senior-level management with expertise in recruiting, counseling, training, operations, strategic planning, facilitation, project management, and workplace diversity.
Mr. Watson has been in the executive search industry for over 30 years. In addition to higher education institutions, he has served hospital/health systems, global software and technology companies, private equity enterprises, MCOs, insurance companies, service and manufacturing organizations with global footprints, and others.
Mr. Wheless, a veteran of more than two decades in the search industry, has served a broad portfolio of clients across many industry lines on behalf of organizations ranging from small operations to Fortune $100 billion plus enterprises – including working with and recruiting some of the nation’s most influential leadership. Mr. Wheless has served institutions and organizations across a broad range of geographies and sectors in higher education, technology, healthcare, energy, financial services, law, insurance, hospitality and food services, retail, CPG, EPC, manufacturing, aerospace, mining, construction, and real estate.
Ms. Stawowy, who has been in executive search for over 20 years, is a core member of the higher education and academic health practice. Over the last two decades, she has developed deep expertise in senior‐level search, having been charged with numerous executive leadership transitions with a particular emphasis on higher education and academic health search.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media