Stetson University Trustees Elect New Chair
The Stetson University Board of Trustees announced the selection of board member Maureen Breakiron-Evans as the incoming board chair beginning July 1, 2020. Breakiron-Evans, an alumna and current board treasurer, joined the board in 2010 as chair of the School of Business Administration’s Board of Advisors. Current Board of Trustees chair and alumnus Joe Cooper will continue to serve through the end of his term on June 30, 2020.
“It is an honor to be asked to serve as chair-elect to help continue the important work of this board in advancing the interests of this university and its incredible students,” said Breakiron-Evans. “I wish to thank Joe Cooper for his excellent leadership of our board, and I am excited to work with our next president and the board as Stetson evolves its curricula and supporting programs to better propel its students to future success.”
Breakiron-Evans is a retired CPA with an accounting degree from Stetson University and master’s degrees from Harvard Business School and Stanford University. She served as an audit partner with Arthur Andersen & Co. and in various financial and technology executive positions with Transamerica, Visa, CIGNA and Towers Perrin. She currently serves on the boards of Cognizant Technology Solutions, Ally Financial and Cubic Corporation.
“Maureen is an outstanding trustee having served in a number of leadership roles, including treasurer, a member of the board’s executive committee, and as chair of the audit committee,” said Cooper. “She has a passion for Stetson, and we look forward to benefiting from her leadership. As chair-elect, Maureen will form and chair a new president-elect transition committee, upon the election and announcement of Stetson’s 10th president, which is expected before the end of November.”
Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, PhD, announced her retirement in February 2019 to allow the board adequate time to search for Stetson’s 10th president. The university’s search committee has been actively working with candidates and the Stetson community since the beginning of the academic year. Information about progress in the search is posted on the Presidential Search website.
Based on a recommendation from the Finance Committee, the full board approved the issuance of up to $53 million in bonds to take advantage of current historic low interest rates to refinance some existing loans and debt, and finance current and future capital improvements.
“Stetson has worked hard to ensure the growth and success of this university, which is why value is a key factor in Stetson’s financial decision making,” said Libby, adding that Stetson continues to be recognized as a “Best Value” by U.S. News & World Report.
The refinancing of debt at lower interest rates and the funds raised from the bonds will help improve existing classrooms and facilities and upgrade HVAC systems, as well as support Stetson’s science and health initiative and the renovation of Sage Hall.
“Given that long-term interest rates have touched historic lows and the rates for the more flexible taxable debt now align with tax-exempt rates, it is a very encouraging time to borrow” said Bob Huth, EVP and CFO. “I appreciate the willingness and foresight of the university’s trustees to take advantage of these historic lows.”
The Board of Trustees also approved the limited use of Income Share Agreements, (ISAs), through Vemo, an ISA provider, for a five-year pilot program to assist current students in the completion of their education. The purpose of the ISA is to provide financial support to assist students who face exceptional financial difficulties in the completion of their degree.
– Janie Graziani
AVP, Media Relations