North Texas Daily

University hires new vice president for budget and analytics

University hires new vice president for budget and analytics

University hires new vice president for budget and analytics
August 28
18:45 2014

Olivia Sylvain / Staff Writer

UNT is working to rebuild its finance department and move forward after issues with the budget were discovered earlier this year. Beverly Cotton joined the UNT finance department as Associate Vice President for Budget and Analytics on Aug. 11.

Cotton joined the department just months after budget discrepancies fueled both and internal and external investigation of university spending. Three top financial officials resigned on the same day UNT announced it was conducting an internal audit. UNT has undergone a reorganization of the financial offices.

“One of her major responsibilities is looking at the university budget as a whole,” said Bob Brown, UNT Vice President for Finance and Administration. “The other is to work with other areas each year in the development of the budget.”

Cotton will monitor spending and keep track of financial goals for the university as well as oversee staff training. Cotton said she plans to change university finances over time rather than overturning a system that has parts that work, despite setbacks.

“Understanding the culture of UNT is important,” Cotton said. “We look at what’s working, then we look at what’s not working and we gradually work on that. We’re not going in and changing everything, because so much is working.”

One of Cotton’s main goals is to increase transparency within areas of finance and create a system of accountability. UNT is subject to many state, federal, and university accounting regulations that can complicate the school’s finances. Cotton hopes to help everyone at the university understand the complexity of this system of regulations and how it affects the money going in and out of the university.

“A lot of it has to do with communication, training, and providing resources and utilizing things that are already here,” Cotton said. “There are great things that [are] already in progress and we will continue to expand on that,.”

Cotton has a long history in Texas higher education and finances, starting at Texas Tech University and working in finance administration for 12 years. Cotton was most recently the vice president of business and finance for Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. She decided to come to UNT because of her love of the university.

“UNT is a great place. My family has a history with UNT,” Cotton said. “There is a lot of family history that makes it really comfortable.”

The talk of university budget and finances is one that does not often involve student input, but there are ways students can monitor where funds are going. UNT Vice President for Student Affairs Elizabeth With works with the Student Service Fee committee, a group of nine students who makes recommendations on what programs UNT should have.

“There is student involvement in just about everything we do in the division of student affairs,” With said. “The majority of programs are directly decided by students.”

The yearly budget is available to students on the UNT website. Cotton believes students have a responsibility to be aware and realize all the things that take place on campus. Trash, landscaping, and even campus faculty are important aspects of the budget that students can take for granted, Cotton said.

“All these services have people behind them and each one is important,” Cotton said. “All these pieces make up a bigger picture, and if we make one decision, it will have an impact on everyone.”

Featured Image: Beverly Cotton settles into her new office in the Hurley Administration Building. She joined UNT as associate vice president for budget and analytics in August. Photo by Bryron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

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