|Davidson Promotes Longtime Controller Ed Kania to Vice President of Finance and Administration
January 05, 2010
Contact: Bill Giduz
|Edward A. Kania
Davidson College President Tom Ross has appointed longtime college financial officer Edward A. Kania as Davidson's new Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Kania, age 47, has held the position of college controller since 1990. His appointment as Vice President must be ratified by the Board of Trustees at its next meeting on January 30, 2010, and he will accept his new responsibilities immediately thereafter.
President Ross noted that Kania's selection has been greeted with excitement both on and off campus, and observed, "It's obvious that Ed is appreciated and admired by many at Davidson and beyond, and there's no reason to doubt that won't continue as he takes on larger responsibilities. Ed has consistently been a positive force during his 19 years as controller, and I am thrilled that he will be able to continue to offer the college his professional expertise, dedication and personal good will."
Kania will oversee about 300 employees in the areas of physical plant, business services, human resources, investments, information technology, and auxiliary services, which include the college's bookstores, dining services, the Guest House and laundry. He will also manage the college's $100-million annual budget, and its $420-million endowment.
He will succeed current vice president Karen L. Goldstein, who is retiring from the college at the end of this month. Goldstein has served at Davidson College since 2004.
Kania offered appreciation to Goldstein for preparing him for his new position. "Karen has been tremendously generous and helpful in mentoring me," he said. "She's one of the best chief financial officers in higher education."
Kania said he's thrilled to be able to continue his career at Davidson. "Davidson operates with an amazing group of employees who function at the highest level in teaching and supporting those who teach. We have employees we can trust and rely upon as we make decisions. I'm passionate about Davidson and grateful now to have the opportunity to serve at a higher administrative level."
Challenges for the new vice president include implementation of the recently completed Strategic Plan. Representatives of all college constituencies worked on the project for more than a year to evaluate the state of the college and recommend initiatives. Areas of study included curriculum, enrollment size, teaching and learning, diversity and inclusivity, facilities, globalization, and community engagement. Kania said, "We involved every college constituency in the planning process, and we need to honor the work they put into it by pursuing the goals we set. One of my biggest challenges will be helping to develop a financial plan that can support it."
"Another of our greatest challenges is our greatest opportunity - The Davidson Trust," Kania said. That program is Davidson's groundbreaking financial aid initiative that replaces student loans with grants, so that no student need graduate with loan debt.
The program was launched in 2007, and the subsequent financial crash has challenged the college more than expected to find resources to support it. But Kania stressed its vital importance to the college's future. "We know that a liberal arts education is more important than ever for preparing students to deal with the world's complex problems," he said. "The Davidson Trust makes a Davidson College education accessible to all qualified students regardless of their socioeconomic background."
Kania added that he will emphasize initiatives to keep employees engaged in the college's mission. "I want every employee to understand his or her role in providing a Davidson education so they'll be able to say, ‘This is what I do, and this is how it relates to a student receiving his or her diploma.'"
Kania has been deeply involved in a wide range of civic and humanitarian organizations during his tenure at Davidson. He served as president of the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club, and serves on the board of The Pines at Davidson retirement community. He has worked with the Mecklenburg County "Education Futures" commission, and served on the Bond Oversight Committee for Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools. He has chaired the board for the Metrolina AIDS Project, served on the North Mecklenburg Chamber of Commerce, acted in area theatrical productions, and assisted with the youth ministry program at Davidson United Methodist Church.
He has also enjoyed working with Davidson students in areas outside his job description. He co-directed the college's 2008-09 "Leadership Davidson" program that pairs students with professional mentors, and has served as one of those mentors himself. He has made presentations about financial life skills to various student organizations, and served as a host to international students and minority students. He also co-led a three-week community service trip for students to Peru, and can often be found chatting with students in the Alvarez College Union over coffee.
"The student contact is what keeps me excited about my work here," Kania stated. "I could do financial work anywhere, but staying in touch with the students is what gets me energized."
A native of Philadelphia, Kania graduated from St. Joseph's University in that city with a B.S. in accounting in 1983. He came to Davidson from work as controller of the Charlotte architectural firm of Clark Tribble Harris & Li. Prior to that, he worked as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand in Charlotte and Philadelphia for six years.
He and his wife, Donna, have one grown daughter.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.