Alumna Tanika Busch named vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief financial officer
Ask Tanika Busch her motivation for her work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, and the answer is simple:
Helping students achieve their goals.
For Busch – who has been serving students through a variety of roles for the last 22 years, most recently as interim vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief financial officer – that means supporting the university’s long-term financial sustainability.
She will now have the opportunity to do so on an even larger scale. On Thursday, Chancellor Kristin Sobolik announced that Busch would step into the position on a permanent basis.
She will have responsibility for not only UMSL’s finances but also areas such as facilities, human resources, information technology services and the police department which are vital to the university’s day-to-day operations. Her appointment is effective immediately.
“Tanika brings great strengths in collaborative leadership and problem solving,” Sobolik said. “Her long history with UMSL, both as staff member and as a student, gives her a unique perspective in understanding the university and our student body. Her stewardship will be invaluable in these unprecedented times in higher education.”
Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic and Community Development Christopher Spilling chaired the committee that vetted Busch and unanimously recommended her appointment. Other members included Theresa Coble, the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Experiential and Family Education; Michael Elliott, associate dean of the College of Business Administration; Marlo Goldstein Hode, senior manager of Strategic Diversity Initiatives; Jessica Long-Pease, senior director of Student Support Services; Theresa Murphy, business manager for the colleges of Optometry and Nursing; Roxanne Vandermause, interim dean of the College of Nursing; and Steve Walentik, manager of public relations and content in University Marketing and Communications.
In her new role, Busch will set the university’s financial strategy and long-term planning while overseeing major business operations, including an annual budget of more than $200 million. She will report directly to the chancellor and work collaboratively with the university’s leadership team as well as in alignment with University of Missouri System CFO Ryan Rapp.
“I’ve enjoyed the broad range of duties and the diversity of the interim position, and I look forward to continuing to provide support for UMSL in my new role,” Busch said. “Our goal in Finance and Administration is to be a partner working toward the same goals as the rest of the campus. It’s easy to be invested in the university because you’re helping students and working toward a strong mission of transforming lives.”
Busch comes to the position with a wealth of experience in creating healthy financial systems. Most recently, in her interim position, she led the team overseeing the university’s annual budget, working to identify opportunities and improve infrastructure to increase efficiency so that the resulting savings could be reinvested in the university.
During the time of significant financial challenge brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Busch collaborated with UMSL leadership and the Budget and Planning Committee to close a 2020 fiscal year deficit that included a withhold of $7.7 million in state appropriations to UMSL in the final quarter of the year. She also worked to identify $21.3 million in operational expenditure reductions for FY21. At the time of the initial withhold, the university had been on its way to the fourth consecutive year with a balanced or surplus budget.
Previously, Busch had been director of financial planning, a senior fiscal officer, a business support specialist-payroll and an administrative assistant. In each role, she’s focused on supporting her unit to keep it fiscally healthy.
But her experience stretches back before that. Busch earned a BS in management information systems and later an MBA from the College of Business Administration. It was during her undergraduate studies that she started doing clerical work in the Office of the Provost.
Two decades later, she’s still here.
“I’m thankful for UMSL,” she said. “My career here has been a wonderful experience. I enjoy the connections that I’ve made on campus and at the other UM campuses. It’s great to have a place that I can go that is inclusive and where we all support the same mission. I do believe that we are transforming lives here. We hear these stories every day from our students, and maybe I’m one of those students. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without UMSL.”
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