Lakeland names finance veteran new CFO
Jeffrey Williams, a successful finance veteran with over a decade of higher education experience, has been named chief financial officer and vice president for finance & strategy at Lakeland University.
Williams brings to Lakeland more than 35 total years of experience in finance roles, including several recent jobs serving colleges and universities.
“Jeff’s career, especially his experience serving higher education institutions similar to Lakeland, make him an ideal candidate for this strategic role,” said Lakeland President Beth Borgen. “Higher education can’t continue to operate in the old business model. Lakeland is poised to create a new model, and Jeff will play a key role in developing a future for Lakeland that will benefit students for generations to come.”
In his role at Lakeland, Williams will directly oversee the finance team, business office, financial aid & educational funding, information technology and facilities/operations.
Williams comes to Lakeland after most recently serving three interim placements during the COVID pandemic, including vice president and controller at Blackburn College, Carlinville, Ill., and chief financial officer at Muskegon Community College, Muskegon, Mich., and CFO at Finlandia University, Hancock, Mich.
He previously served as chief operating officer at the Concordia International School in Hanoi, Vietnam. He helped lead successful development of a new K-12 international school, increased enrollment and created a summer internship program that brought Concordia University undergrad students to Hanoi, Vietnam for the summer to gain finance and marketing experience.
“His proven experience in developing programs in Asia positions Lakeland well as we grow and expand our operations and offerings in Tokyo and beyond,” Borgen said.
Williams served as CFO and senior vice president for finance and administration at Lourdes University, Sylvania, Ohio. He led a restructuring which significantly reduced the school’s debt service, successfully led efforts to secure COVID stimulus funding and he re-designed the annual budget process which led to greater precision along with broader inputs and increased transparency to constituents.
Williams worked four years as COO and senior vice president for finance and administration at Capitol Technology University in Maryland. In that position, he secured $20 million in capital funding for a residence hall construction project, created a 501(c)(3) Foundation and improved operating profitability through strategic investment in and partnership with the admissions and academic departments.
He served Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Mich., as CFO and senior vice president. He has also served as an evaluation team member and chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and a scholarship committee member of the Metropolitan Washington DC chapter of American Mensa.
Williams received a master of public administration degree in finance from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s in political science and English literature at the University of Michigan. He received his executive education from the Cornell University Administration Management Institute and earned a full fellowship for the Harvard Business School Effective Management of Non-Profit Organizations program. He also completed The Oxford Finance Programme for Senior Executives at the University of Oxford, Saϊd Business School.