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University announces next executive vice president, new administrative roles

| Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Vice president for finance Shannon Cullinan will succeed John Affleck-Graves as executive vice president starting July 1, the University announced in a press release Wednesday. Additionally, Notre Dame announced that administrators Micki Kidder and Mike Seamon will take on newly created roles and chief of staff of the president’s office Ann Firth was promoted to vice president.

“[Cullinan] combines expertise in financial management with wide administrative experience and broad engagement with the academy,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “Above all, he brings a deep commitment to the mission of Notre Dame. I am excited to have him in this new role.”

John J. Brennan, chair of the Board of Trustees, praised Cullinan for his previous work at the University.

“There is no one better qualified than Shannon Cullinan to succeed John Affleck-Graves,” Brennan said in the release. “He is already one of the reasons that Notre Dame enjoys a well-deserved reputation nationally for being a superbly managed University.”

Cullinan said he was excited to take on the new role and expressed his appreciation for John Affleck-Graves’ service to the University.

“I am deeply humbled by this opportunity and grateful to my predecessors who wisely shaped the Executive Vice President’s Division, dating back to the original visionary, Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.,” Cullinan said in the release. “I also want to thank John Affleck-Graves for his extraordinary legacy of stewardship and selfless dedication to our employees, especially our staff.”

The University announced Affleck-Graves’ retirement in a press release Aug. 22, after 15 years in his role as executive vice president. According to the announcement, since 2004, when Affleck-Graves began his tenure, the University’s endowment has grown from $3.5 billion to $11.8 billion and its operating budget has increased from $650 million to $1.5 billion. Additionally, Notre Dame has added 3.3 million square feet in new structures, through the 36 buildings constructed under Affleck-Graves’s tenure, including the Campus Crossroads project.

In succeeding Affleck-Graves, Cullinan will be the chief financial officer of the University, supervising its investment and finance offices, which include Notre Dame’s “$13 billion endowment and $1.6 billion operating budget,” the release said. As executive vice president, he will also supervise the offices of facilities, design and operations; information technology; and human resources, according to the release.

A 1993 alumnus, Cullinan holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and a master of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the release said. He has worked at Notre Dame since 2000, serving as assistant vice president for public affairs and communications and later as assistant vice president for development and associate vice president for campus services.

Cullinan took on the role of associate vice president for university relations in 2011 and worked alongside the Board of Trustees, administration and the University relations team. He became vice president for finance in 2016, according to the release, and was responsible for the offices of budget, procurement services, treasury services, financial planning, Northeast neighborhood development and the controller’s group.

Cullinan has served as associate executive director of the Center for the Homeless and is the recipient of a Notre Dame Presidential Leadership Award.

Also in Wednesday’s press release, the University announced additional changes to its administration.

Associate vice president and executive director of development Micki Kidder will take on the new role of vice president for University enterprises and events, according to the release. Kidder’s position includes overseeing campus food services operations, heading University events — like commencement and concerts — and overseeing “university enterprises” such as the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, licensing, McKenna Hall, the Morris Inn and St. Michael’s Laundry.

Mike Seamon, who currently serves as vice president for campus safety and event management, will be appointed to the new role of vice president for campus safety and University operations. He will continue to head the Emergency Management Program, Notre Dame Security Police, the Notre Dame Fire Department and risk management and safety. Additionally, the release said, he will now oversee Land O’Lakes, the office of sustainability, building services, warehouse delivery and transportation and “other operations vital to the life of Notre Dame.”

Both Kidder and Seamon will take on their new positions starting March 1, the release said.

Jenkins has also promoted chief of staff Ann Firth to vice president, according to the release. In addition to advising the president and overseeing the president’s staff, Firth will help implement “key initiatives of the President’s Office” and serve as a liaison between the office and the Board of Trustees. Her new position is effective immediately, the release said.

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