By: Devyn Gianetti – Staff Writer
New University of Dayton chief financial officer Andrew Horner began his position Jan. 12 after formerly working as Vice President for Research and Finance Operations at Boston University.
Horner said Boston and Dayton parallel and contrast in many ways.
“Boston and Dayton are very different markets and there are different relationships and complexities and I’m still learning a lot about what the pressures and concerns are here at the University of Dayton. BU was an urban setting with a main street in Boston running right through the campus; there really was no traditional campus like there is here,” Horner said.
“The cliche word is ‘community,’ but I got that during my interviewing process and was one of the things that ultimately sold me,” Horner said. “I thought, ‘I’ve got to take this job,’ because it was so welcoming.”
While Horner comes from Boston, Dayton is a familiar place to him. He married his wife Sarah at St. Francis in Centerville, Ohio, after she grew up in the Dayton area.
Horner’s main job responsibilities entail all nonacademic areas of the university, which include facilities management, dining services, human resources and financial matters.
“How can we make sure that we are using our resources as efficiently as possible?” Horner said about his main focus within all of these responsibilities. “We need to stretch every single dollar that we can to contribute to the mission of the university and to make sure that we have the strongest possible academics and follow through on our Catholic identity and Marianist values.”
Dealing with financial matters is one of Horner’s main responsibilities, and he said how UD spends its money will be important.
“How we use funds here at the university is the same way I would think ‘How would I open my own wallet and spend money on my kids?’” Horner said. “I treat the university’s dollars in the same way that I would treat my own dollars, and I think that’s something we should all do, no matter what job we’re in.”
Horner is not exactly sure he knows about all the changes that need to be changed. He believes there are always opportunities to do more.
“We need to know where we can do better service and be efficient with our research,” Horner said. Any changes will be for the benefit of the UD community.”
Horner believes student input is also important and he values student opinions.
“[Student input] could be considered the most important constituency,” Horner said. “My door is always open, so I’m always happy to meet with anyone who wants to talk to me. I’m open to ideas on how best to engage with the students.”
Horner had positive words to say about President Daniel Curran.
“As I went through the search I didn’t really know that President Curran was stepping down. You always want to know who your boss is going to be. UD is not one person, and President Curran has obviously done a tremendous amount for this institution in his 12 years here.”
As a graduate of Notre Dame University, Horner has advice for students based on what UD has to offer.
“When you’re an undergrad it seems like the real world is so far away, and then it hits you more than you expect when you graduate,” Horner said. “Take as many credit hours as you can. There are so many great professors here and so many interesting classes. Really challenge yourself and get the value for your education that you and your family are paying a lot for.”
While being CFO of UD takes up a lot of his day, he always makes sure he has time for family.
“I have two little girls. Adeline is almost four and Elise is 20 months, and so they keep me really, really busy on the weekends. I like spending as much time with them as possible and my wife, Sarah,” Horner said. “I love skiing and now I’m in southwestern Ohio and I’m going to have to figure out how I’m going to get my ‘ski-itch’ out. I’m a sports fan, and being the only guy in the household can be a challenge and I’m hoping my girls are going to become sports fans and can turn my wife into a sports fan.”
Horner has been a part of the UDcommunity for less than a month, but this isn’t stopping him from jumping right into work.
“I need to make sure I’m as supportive as possible, providing the best administrative services I possibly can to the students, faculty and staff of the institution,” Horner said. “These are my early days here and I just couldn’t be more excited to be in this role.”