College hires VP for business and finance

College hires VP for business and finance

Karen Sisson. Courtesy Kalamazoo College

A college in the region has named a new executive.

Kalamazoo College hired Karen Sisson as VP for business and finance, beginning on March 1, 2020.

Sisson is the VP and treasurer of Pomona College in Claremont, California, responsible for financial management and capital planning, including financial reporting, budget administration, investments, real estate and non-academic business supervision for human resources.

She’s also responsible for overseeing the college’s housekeeping, grounds, maintenance, food service and efforts toward a more sustainable campus.

Prior to working in higher education, Sisson spent 17 years in California local government finance and administration, including nine years as CFO and deputy executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the department responsible for LAX, Van Nuys and Palmdale airports.

She then took a role as deputy mayor for finance and performance management in Los Angeles and then was appointed city administrative officer, the first woman to hold the position. 

Sisson also has experience in commercial banking, mortgage banking and financial consulting.

Shed holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Pomona College, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a master’s in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

“Karen’s extensive experience in higher education, finance and operations are a great fit for K,” said Jorge Gonzalez, president, Kalamazoo College. “Her open style of communication, calm demeanor and commitment to the liberal arts impressed the campus community.”

Sisson was selected after a nationwide search conducted by an on-campus committee with the assistance of Media, Pennsylvania-based Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in the education and nonprofit industries.

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