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Rinker named to succeed Beam as business chief

Jan. 30, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Lowell P. Rinker, a 35-year veteran staff member, has been named Western Michigan University's vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer, succeeding Robert M. Beam, who will retire in June.

Members of the WMU Board of Trustees approved the appointment Jan. 26. The board also approved the appointment of Jan J. Van der Kley as the University's associate vice president for business and finance and controller.

Noting that the University's top three administrative positions--president, provost and chief business officer--are in transition, WMU Interim President Diether Haenicke said the appointments will help keep the University's administration "stable and solid."

"The business and finance operation, in terms of expertise, tradition and history, is the strongest in the University," Haenicke said. "Bob Beam has built a very strong bench where we have another set of players who can step in and play quarterback at a moment's notice. I know of no two people who can better take care of the business and finance side of WMU."

Rinker, whose appointment is effective July 1, has been associate vice president for business since 2002 and assistant treasurer to the Board of Trustees since 1992. He served as assistant vice president for business from 1992 to 2002.

Rinker began working at WMU in 1972 as a grant accountant. He has served as a project fiscal analyst, manager of general accounting and the University's chief accountant. He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from WMU in 1972, and in 1976, he earned a master's degree in public administration with a focus on budget and finance, also from WMU.

"First and foremost, I am grateful to the president, Bob Beam and the board for showing such faith in me," said Rinker, who called Beam a superb role model and mentor. "A testimony to Bob's leadership is the devoted and extremely competent staff he's built. He's leaving the University with the cupboard full in terms of human resources. Like Bob, I have been a career-long Bronco, and started here right after graduation. I truly feel that the breadth of my experience here at WMU has prepared me well for the challenges ahead."

Van der Kley has been associate vice president for finance since 2002. Her appointment also is effective July 1. Van der Kley, a WMU staff member since 1983, previously served as assistant vice president for finance from 1993 to 2002. A certified public accountant, she has served as director of internal audit and director of operations in institutional advancement. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from WMU in 1980 and 1986, respectively. She also has served as an instructor in the University's Department of Accountancy.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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