Since she graduated from Geneseo in 1998, Julie Buehler has rejoined the campus community as the new vice president for Finance and Administration. She began work on July 25.
Her role is to effectively allocate the college’s resources and reports directly to President Denise Battles as the chief financial officer and member of the president’s cabinet.
According to Buehler, the role of her department is to serve the Geneseo community.
“We’re a service organization,” Buehler said. “We’re very proud to be a service organization because we like to serve the Geneseo community. [My department] provides finance and budget services, so we pay bills for the campus.”
The vice president for Finance and Administration position became available when James Milroy, previous vice president for Finance and Administration, announced his retirement in 2017. A search committee was commissioned by Battles to fill the vacancy, and the position was offered to former Executive Director of Campus Auxiliary Services, Mark Scott. Scott accepted but left the college entirely a month later for a position at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas.
“We do many things,” Buehler said. “We also do our student accounts office, we do dining through CAS, human resources … so employee hiring … we do facilities operations, we have procurements. So, we’re quite broad in the services.”
Prior to working at Geneseo, Buehler worked at the University of Rochester for 24 years and at University of Massachusetts Amherst for six years. During that time, Buehler said she missed New York and was happy to see that the vice president position opened this summer.
“I really missed New York and I love Geneseo,” Buehler said. “I was really pleased when this job opened to come back here and serve here.”
However, Buehler said that this was not the only motivation for her to come back to Geneseo.
“I like public education,” Buehler said. “It’s very important for me to work in an area when we’re looking about how do we make education affordable and how do we allow access, those are very big questions. I am also very concerned with how do we care about people. This position had all of those elements and the Geneseo community. This is a very caring community and you can do a lot with that.”
Buehler said she believes that the education she received at Geneseo set her up for greater success in her life post-graduation.
“I see Geneseo as a place that changed my life for the positive,” Buehler said. “I think that my familiarity with the campus and my status as an alumna only enhances my role here. It was really exciting to me and it did bring me back and I loved living in this area.”
The lessons she learned as a student and as a professional on campus have had a strong impact on her, Buehler said.
“I can remember sitting in my humanities classroom and I had a really strong opinion about what we were discussing … it was about free will,” Buehler said. “In that moment, I didn’t speak up … but I remember afterwards thinking that I will never be silent again. I discovered my voice here and formed a lot of my opinions.”
Buehler has been working in higher education for 30 years.
“Back to school, seeing the nervous people dropping off students … you learn to enjoy the excitement of that,” Buehler said. “But you also learn how to get through the challenging days. And there’s, you know, tight budgets, and there’s incidents that happen on the campus that produce challenges especially in some of the areas that I supervise. So, you learn how to handle them, how to rely on others and to delegate and to help lead other people through challenges.”
According to Buehler, the part of her job she looks most forward to is being able to work with students.
“I’m probably most excited to work with the students closer on some of the creative things. My preference is always to be shoulder to shoulder with the students, kind of learning from them and sharing what we can and can’t do so that we can move together. I look forward to collaborations,” Buehler said.