Dr. Lloyd Blanchard, the University of Connecticut’s new interim associate vice president (AVP) for budget and planning, who took office last week, said he hopes to use his diverse career experience to support future success for students.
“There’s a big vision to accomplish much more,” Blanchard said. “I think from a resource standpoint I can help plan for that vision.”
The previous AVP, Katrina Spencer, will be transferring to the University of Chicago to fill a similar position there, said university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.
“Katrina Spencer was a crucial part of UConn’s budget team and we will miss her knowledge, steady demeanor and dedication to the university,” Reitz said. “We all wish her well in this impressive next step in her career.”
Blanchard’s budgeting position aids in managing how funds are allocated at the university for different programs and groups, according to the Office of Budget and Planning’s website.
“I lead the effort for budgeting at the university,” Blanchard said. “We do a lot of management work to understand how various units on campus operate to see whether their requests for more resources are justified or not.”
Blanchard said he will simultaneously hold both his position as the AVP for Institutional Research and Effectiveness and the interim AVP for Budget and Planning, which he has held for a year and a half beforehand, for the time being.
“It’s not uncommon at other universities for the two offices to be integrated,” Blanchard said. “The whole idea is aligning resources appropriately with effective programs for student’s success.”
Blanchard has held financial positions at places such as NASA and the White House, of which he says hold many transferable skills.
“I’ve worked with budgeting at the highest level,” Blanchard said. “I’ve had budget oversight for places like the Department of Treasury, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce.”
Blanchard said that working at a university has presented a unique challenge when compared to positions of his past.
“Universities have a different mission,” Blanchard said. “We’re charged with the care and development of young people, making sure they receive not just an education in their chosen major, but making sure that they understand what’s to be expected of them in society.”
Blanchard said that the distinct nature of the state economy is also a factor in his work. UConn has taken cuts over the past few years, which has reduced its budget.
“(Other universities) have different challenges,” Blanchard said. “Their challenge is ‘what else can we do with the resources we have?’ rather than ‘What can we not do?’ because we have fewer resources.”
Looking towards the future, Blanchard said he was optimistic about the opportunity to continue work with UConn.
“One of the things I (ask myself) is, ‘What does the future of UConn look like? What do we look like 25 years from now and what is our relationship with the state 25 years from now?’“ Blanchard said. “I’m very happy to be here… I think I’ll be a Husky for the rest of my life.”
Collin Sitz is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.