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Brian Burnett named U of M senior vice president for finance and operations

Brian Burnett

A committed and respected public servant, Brian D. Burnett has been appointed senior vice president of finance and operations at the University of Minnesota, pending Board of Regents approval at its meeting later this week.

Burnett currently serves as the vice president for finance and chief financial officer of the University of Missouri System. In this role, Burnett leads treasury, cash, investment and debt management, facilities planning, real estate, risk management, internal audit, procurement and supply chain, supplier diversity and inclusion, budgeting, financial reporting and financial systems management.

“Along with the right set of experiences and skills, Brian’s commitment to public service and an understanding of the support role that operating units provide to the academic, research and outreach missions of the University are apparent, said U of M President Eric Kaler. “He has demonstrated this commitment throughout his career. The respect his colleagues have for him, which they shared with me, is grounded in his integrity, professionalism, calm and measured demeanor, and personable nature. I am confident that his leadership and service to the University will advance our mission.”

As senior vice president for finance and operations at the University of Minnesota, Burnett will serve as chief financial officer, chief operating officer and treasurer. The newly created position will more strategically align finance and other operational functions of the University system-wide, fostering collaboration and creating greater efficiency and effectiveness in line with President Kaler’s Operational Excellence initiative. Burnett will work in partnership with the Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson and other senior leaders to ensure that the University’s finance, human resource, information technology, and University Services departments align with and support the institution’s mission.

“My wife, Marilyn, and I look forward to making Minnesota our new home,” said Burnett. “I am excited about joining an outstanding institution and working to support the critical missions in research, outreach, and educating the youth of our future.”

In addition to his work as vice president and chief financial officer, Burnett teaches in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. This focus on education led him to create the University of Missouri Finance Academy for Academic Leaders, which improves understanding of the operational and budgetary aspects of the university and state.

Prior to Missouri, he served in several roles in the University of Colorado system. On the Colorado Springs (UCCS) campus, Burnett was senior executive vice chancellor for administration and finance and before that, vice chancellor for administration and finance. He also worked in the system office as associate vice president for administration for Foundation relations.

Burnett received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Research & Policy from UCCS, his M.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado Denver, and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado Boulder.

A thorough and rigorous national search was led by College of Liberal Arts Dean John Coleman and Associate Vice President for Internal Audit Gail Klatt, with support from several committee members and input from stakeholders across the University. 

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