The chief financial officer for the Phantom Works Air and Space unit of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, Richard Baniak, is retiring from the company to become the new vice chancellor for administration – CFO at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Baniak holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UMSL – both in economics. His appointment is effective May 1.

Richard Baniak

Beginning May 1, UMSL economics alumnus Richard Baniak will serve as the university’s chief financial officer.

“Recruiting someone with Rick’s professional experience to run campus operations and oversee our budget is a real coup for us,” said Chancellor Tom George. “UMSL is in a transition phase to create a sustainable budget and remain focused on educating and graduating outstanding students. Rick can relate as he’s one of the those outstanding alumni who benefited from our first-rate educational programs.”

“UMSL has always been important to me,” said Baniak. “I grew up in St. Louis and received my degrees from UMSL. The quality of the education that I received enabled me to succeed in my career – from my first job at McDonnell Douglas to this current opportunity to come back to UMSL.

“During my freshman year, I took Dr. Howard Baltz’s Business 131 Statistics course,” said Baniak. “After getting to know him as my professor, he hired me to be his lab instructor, which I did for the remainder of my undergrad program. His influence in my education and development during those years were an important part of my UMSL experience. He was my boss, my mentor, and he and his wife, Sylvia, remain as dear friends today. I would imagine that many of the alums have similar stories. The culture that I experienced at UMSL was one of involvement and caring by the faculty. It’s what makes this a special place.”

Baniak started his career with McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1984 as an estimator on the F/15 production team in St. Louis. McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merged in 1997. Through the years, Baniak accepted elevated assignments that took him and his family to multiple locations – including a stop in Chicago, where he also served as an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University.

As UMSL’s vice chancellor for administration – CFO, Baniak will oversee accounting, budgeting, business and cashier services, facilities management, human resources, information technology services, institutional research and institutional safety. He replaces longtime campus vice chancellor and business instructor James Krueger, who announced his retirement last year.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) is one of The Boeing Company’s five divisions. Its portfolio includes manned and unmanned aircraft programs, space and satellite systems, intelligence and security systems, and extensive integration expertise. BDS is a $30 billion business with about 50,000 employees worldwide.

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Bob Samples

Bob Samples

Bob Samples is associate vice chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
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