UNCSA announces new Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Michael J. Smith of Camp Lejeune will become the new Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on July 1, Chancellor Lindsay Bierman has announced.

Since 2009, Smith has served the Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) as Chief Financial Officer in Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he supervises a staff of approximately 200 and provides executive-level financial management and leadership to an organization with more than 2,500 employees and resources in excess of $300 million.

Michael J Smith

Michael J. Smith

At 240 square miles and 156,000 acres, Camp Lejeune is the largest Marine base east of the Mississippi River, and the second largest in the nation after Camp Pendleton in California.

“Though a civilian, Michael Smith has exhibited military-style precision in running the MCCS’s financial operations – including accounting, budgeting, forecasting, planning, analysis, contracting, facilities and construction management, risk management, systems maintenance, auditing, and internal controls – in an extremely complex environment with tremendous organizational challenges,” Chancellor Bierman said. “The depth and breadth of his experience are remarkable, and we are incredibly fortunate to have a leader of Michael’s skill and business acumen join our senior management.”

Smith has more than 25 years of diverse financial management and executive leadership experience in large, multifaceted, mission-driven service organizations. He has spent the last 15 years working for MCCS, an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense that provides a comprehensive set of programs and services to support and enhance the operational readiness and life quality of Marines, Sailors, and their families. MCCS programming includes employment, education and transition assistance; deployment support and family team-building; child care, youth activities and counseling services; fitness and recreation; dining and entertainment; retail services; and much more.

From 2004-2009, Smith was MCCS’s Chief Accounting Officer in Okinawa, Japan, where he led a staff of 55 finance personnel in overseeing a $100 million organization with more than 1,500 employees operating retail, food and beverage, lodging, athletic programs, libraries, colleges, fitness centers, entertainment, fine arts, and behavioral and family assistance services for the military community on Okinawa and mainland Japan. Smith started with the DOD in Okinawa as Assistant Controller in 2002, and was made Controller in 2003.

Prior to working for the Department of Defense, he spent many years working for regional Certified Public Accountant firms in Wisconsin and Arizona performing accounting, auditing, tax, and management advisory services.

Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis. He has earned and maintains six professional certifications, including Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Financial Manager, and Chartered Global Management Accountant.  

Michael and his family fell in love with UNCSA last year while exploring summer intensive dance programs for his 13-year-old daughter, Tatum. We are lucky that their experience inspired them to follow their hearts to UNCSA.

Chancellor Lindsay Bierman

During his career, Smith has been active in many professional organizations. He is passionate about the arts, and is a strong supporter of community dance, piano, symphony, and school programs and events.

Chancellor Bierman noted: “Michael and his family fell in love with UNCSA last year while exploring summer intensive dance programs for his 13-year-old daughter, Tatum. We are lucky that their experience inspired them to follow their hearts to UNCSA.

“Michael and his wife, Cassandra, and Tatum are currently in the process of relocating to Winston-Salem,” Bierman added.

The Vice Chancellor Search Committee, led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David English, considered a diverse pool of more than 400 national and international candidates with backgrounds in higher education, the private sector, and nonprofit and government organizations.

Smith will replace Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Charles Leffler, whose last day at UNCSA will be June 30. 

by Marla Carpenter

May 23, 2018