Georgia Southern University President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. has named Robert Whitaker, vice president for business and finance. Whitaker will begin his new role on May 1 and will replace Ron Core, Ph.D., who is retiring from the University.
Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Whitaker had served as vice president for finance and administration at Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Ga. since 2008. He was responsible for the leadership, planning and management of the accounting, budget, campus safety, physical plant, procurement and auxiliary functions of the multi-campus, two-year state college of more than 5,500 students.
From 2001-2008, he served as director of business services at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga. where he also served as interim controller and negotiated auxiliary contracts for housing, food service, vending and the bookstore.
Whitaker began his career in higher education as assistant budget director for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, and has served as a budget analyst for the Legislative Budget Office and as a health and financial analyst at the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance in Atlanta, Ga. As a complement to his public sector work, he served as controller at PMG.net, Inc. in Atlanta, where he was responsible for the accounting function including payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable. He also served as director of operations/financial analyst for Cotelligent, Inc. in Branchburg, N.J.
“During the last 13 years, Rob’s roles in higher education and participation in system-wide projects and initiatives have allowed him to develop strong working relationships with key University System of Georgia leaders and staff,” said Keel. “Not only is he a great leader, but he demonstrated a creative and entrepreneurial spirit during his interviews, both of which will be key to our success moving forward.”
“As an alumnus of Georgia Southern, I am excited to return to my alma mater and contribute as a member of President Keel’s senior leadership team,” said Whitaker. “It is an exciting time to join Georgia Southern and I am looking forward to helping the University to continue to grow as a national research university.”