College begins search for vice president for administration and finance position after Milroy’s retirement

Geneseo’s Vice President for Administration & Finance James Milroy ‘81 will retire at the end of November. Milroy will be temporarily replaced by former President of University of Mary Washington Richard Hurley, pending a nationwide search committee. 

Milroy expressed that the people surrounding him in the Department of Administration & Finance put in the most important work during his tenure at Geneseo. Some of this work included programs that opened advancement for facilities workers, increased sustainability efforts, made an improved financial position for the college, digitized much of the college’s paying processes through a third-party group, bettered the infrastructure overhaul projects and the recent rollout of the Excelsior Scholarship.

“At the end of the day, I don’t really do anything,” Milroy said. “I always say to people that my job is to take the stuff that comes in and farm it out to the people who do the work; they do the work and then I go talk about it. Anything that I’ve done around here has been the result of hard work and dedication by all the people in the division, so I’d rather see them get all the credit,” 

President Denise Battles believes that Hurley will be a capable temporary replacement for Milroy.  

“He knows of Geneseo and thinks well of us, and I think it’s just a wonderful opportunity,” Battles said. “He’s had more than 20 years of highly relevant service in these kinds of roles and he also has the benefit of having been at a [liberal arts] institution … If we have to lose Dr. Milroy, it’s wonderful to gain Rick Hurley as a colleague.” 

Student Association President senior Kaitlin Pfundstein praised Milroy’s work at Geneseo. Milroy’s strengths as an administrator resulted from his institutional knowledge developed after more than two decades in the state system, according to Pfundstein. She similarly described Milroy as an important advocate for students’ interests. 

A committee comprised of faculty, staff and students will search for candidates for the vice president for administration and finance. SA will recommend eight students to Battles and then two will be chosen to serve on the committee, according to Pfundstein. 

The most important qualities for students seeking the Student Association’s recommendation will be involvement on the Geneseo campus and familiarity with the college’s administration, according to Pfundstein. She also stressed the importance of having students’ perspectives represented during the search process. 

“I think it appears as though the vice president for administration & finance is very detached from students,” Pfundstein said. “But actually the Vice President supervises [Campus Auxiliary Service] which is huge for students on campus.” 

Ruminating on his time in this position, Milroy also shared advice for his successor. 

“The challenges that Geneseo faces are challenges that are facing all institutions and we’re in a pretty strong position relative to our competitors,” Milroy said. “Ultimately the solution to our problems is more revenue streams. Cutting too deeply in this environment is a disservice to the students, and really at the end of the day that’s the kind of service that we provide.”