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New CFO for Antioch University

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The greatest challenge for Antioch University’s new chief financial officer is helping to create a unified university focus while maintaining the regional integrity of the university’s five campuses.

Since each campus has its own leader and unique marketing needs, “it’s a challenge to have one university with everyone pointed in the same direction,” said Pari Sabety, the new CFO, in a recent interview.

Sabety will begin her new position on May 31. She will replace former CFO Tom Faecke, who is retiring after five years at the university, and plans to move back to his home in Minnesota, according to Antioch University Chancellor Toni Murdock in an interview last Friday.

Sabety feels well qualified to work with multiple Antioch University campuses, as it parallels her most recent work as CFO and cabinet member for former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, a post she held from 2007 to 2011.

“The state government is made up of lots of independent agencies” that have to work together, Sabety said in an interview.

In her most recent work for Strickland, Sabety won the President’s Award for Innovation from the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers in 2010 for her work establishing shared services in Ohio. She has also served as economic policy advisor to former Ohio Governor Richard Celeste, as director of the Technology Policy Group at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and as a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

All of these experiences will be an asset as Sabety begins her work with the university, according to Murdock.

“In Pari Sabety we’ve gained an exceedingly bright and capable financial leader to ensure that Antioch University continues to be managed in an efficient manner,” Murdock said in a press release. “Sabety brings to Antioch University her known expertise in the development of shared services, ERP deployment, budgeting and fiscal controls, financial reporting, cash management and innovative capital strategies. She is a strategic thinker and will link a financial model to our planning which will enhance our growth and sustainability.”

Sabety chose Antioch University because she’s attracted to its values of leadership, innovation and sustainability, she said.

“Honestly, those are a big part of what makes me tick,” she said.

After she steps into her new job, Sabety’s first priority will be listening and “learning the intricacies” of the university, she said. After that, she’ll focus on making sure the university has in place sustainable financial systems for future growth.

The current economic downturn, with its high unemployment, is positive news for institutions of higher education, especially those serving adults, Sabety said.

“There are lots of folks looking for new skills to get new jobs,” she said. “It’s a huge growth opportunity.”

The university aims to take advantage of that growth possibility by enhancing students’ opportunities to benefit from not just the Antioch University campus they attend, but resources from other campuses, according to Murdock. For instance, she said, a student at Antioch University Seattle might take a class from an Antioch New England faculty member.

The university also intends to keep developing curriculum relevant to today’s students, with an emphasis on sustainability, health sciences and global citizenship, Murdock said.

While Sabety currently lives in Columbus and plans to continue doing so in the short term, “I’ll let time tell me if that continues to be the right answer,” she said.

Antioch University’s five campuses, which serve 4,000 students, are Antioch University Midwest in Yellow Springs; Antioch University Seattle; Antioch University Los Angeles; Antioch University New England and Antioch University Santa Barbara.



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