Joe Trubacz

Joe Trubacz was named interim VP for Finance and Administration. Photo provided.

Ohio University on Thursday announced the appontment of Joe Trubacz as interim vice president for finance and administration, with a nine-month contract to begin at the end of August.

Trubacz takes over for Deb Shaffer, who announced in June that she would step down from her post as senior vice president for finance and administration on Aug. 30. Shaffer will continue to work for the university as an advisor to Sherman through the 2021-22 academic year. A national search for a permanent vice president for finance and administration will begin during the fall semester.

Trubacz has served in finance and administration leadership positions at higher education institutions for more than 30 years, according to the university's release announcing his appointment.

“He has extensive experience serving as a vice president for finance and administration at different institutions and has also held the position of interim chief financial officer at a major university,” OU President Hugh Sherman said in the release. “The search committee was very impressed with his transparency and his collaborative leadership style, and I am proud to have him serving on our leadership team.”

Most recently, he was interim vice president and chief financial officer for the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He previously has served as vice president for finance and administration at St. Cloud State University, regional vice chancellor for administration and finance for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and senior vice president for finance and administration for the Colorado School of Mines.

Trubacz earned an M.B.A. in accounting from New Hampshire College and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Shaffer began working for Ohio University in 2013 as senior associate vice president for finance and administration. In 2016, she was named vice president for finance and administration as well as chief financial officer and treasurer of the Ohio University Foundation. The foundation is conducting a separate search to identify its next CFO; an announcement is expected before Shaffer completes her term later this month.

Shaffer made headlines in May 2020 when she and Nellis both received votes of no confidence from the Faculty Senate. Controversy surrounding her was renewed five months later later when The NEWS uncovered that she accepted a $100,000 retention bonus in July 2020, weeks after the university laid off nearly 150 workers. By retiring before June 2023, Shaffer has forfeited a second $100,000 bonus.

She came to the forefront again this year after an Athens NEWS investigation revealed that she no longer owned property in Ohio at the time, and both she and the university refused to say where Shaffer — one of the university's highest-paid and highest-profile employees — was living while drawing a tax-supported salary. Following the story's publication, then-President Duane Nellis and Robin Oliver, the university's vice president for communications and marketing, complained to the NEWS' publisher and submitted an opinion piece accusing the NEWS of "looking for every opportunity to fuel the kind of misinformation and innuendo that fights against progress." The NEWS stands by its reporting.

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