SMITHFIELD, RI – Bryant University has named David R. Proulx, an experienced higher education leader and strategic financial officer, as Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer following a national search. Mr. Proulx joins the leadership team of Bryant University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., and will serve in a key role central to advancing initiatives of Bryant’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan: Education Through a New Lens.
"As a seasoned university leader and strategic financial officer drawing on almost 30 years of experience, Dave Proulx will play a key role on Bryant’s executive leadership team and help guide resource investments and allocation at this important time in our University's history.”
Bryant has attracted a record-breaking entering class of more than 1000 talented students for enrollment this September, up 48% over 2021. With Vision 2030, Bryant reaffirms its enduring institution-wide commitment to educating students for personal and professional success, with graduates achieving life-long earnings and economic mobility recognized among the top 1% nationally, and is positioned to further increase enrollment and diversify the student body through focus on delivering a superior student educational and campus life experience, including competitive athletics.
“Bryant has a very strong foundation and is well poised to reach a new level of excellence."
Mr. Proulx will begin his term on August 1, 2022, joining Bryant from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a top global art and design school, where he served most recently as Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer and as Interim President from July 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. At RISD, Proulx oversaw a staff of approximately 300 people and was responsible for an operating budget of approximately $170 million. His portfolio included budget and financial planning, the controller’s office, human resources, campus facilities and auxiliary services, public safety, information technology services, risk management and general counsel. During his tenure at RISD, Proulx oversaw several major projects including the implementation of the Workday Finance and HR enterprise systems, the $63 million construction and renovation of housing and dining facilities, debt financing and refinancing of over $150 million, co-managing all aspects of RISD’s response to COVID-19 and being a key contributor to RISD’s strategic plan among several other accomplishments. He worked to engage the campus community (faculty, staff and students) in various aspects of financial management decision making including establishing cross-functional budget and capital planning committees as well as leading efforts to diversify RISD’s revenue base.
Before RISD, he served as Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M), a top 50 private liberal arts college in Lancaster, PA (2011-2018), where he helped the institution raise its national profile and developed systems and structures to support strategic management and decision making. Prior to F&M, he served in positions of increasing responsibility at the University of New Hampshire, an R1 comprehensive public university, and the University System of New Hampshire, including Associate Vice President for Finance at the University of New Hampshire (1998-2011) and as Senior Auditor for the University System of New Hampshire (1993-1998).
At Bryant University, Proulx will be engaged with all aspects of the University’s operating and capital plans and budgets as well as funding for the Vision 2030 strategic plan and its commitment to real-world ready education and superior student outcomes.
"The Board of Trustees looks forward to welcoming a highly experienced and strategic Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO to the leadership team. [He] will help us maintain our accelerating momentum for the University."
Chair of the Board David M. Beirne ’85, General Partner at X10 Capital, in introducing David Proulx to the University commented that, “The Board of Trustees looks forward to welcoming a highly experienced and strategic Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO to the leadership team. Dave will help us maintain our accelerating momentum for the University.”
Trustee Christine Katziff ’86, Chief Audit Executive at Bank of America, chaired the Search Committee and noted, “Dave is a strong addition to the team and a strategic leader who will be pivotal in achieving our Vision 2030 plans.” Also serving on the Search Committee were Trustee D. Ellen Wilson, Office of the Chief Executive and Executive Vice President at UnitedHealth Group (Retired); Dr. Inge-Lise Ameer, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; and incoming Provost and Chief Academic Officer Rupendra Paliwal, Ph.D.
“I thank the members of Search Committee for their work. As a seasoned university leader and strategic financial officer drawing on almost 30 years of experience, Dave will play a key role on Bryant’s executive leadership team and help guide resource investments and allocation at this important time in our University's history,” said President Gittell. “His demonstrated ability to work effectively with other division leaders and strategic finance focus will benefit the entire University.”
“Bryant has a very strong foundation and is well poised to reach a new level of excellence," said Proulx. “I am honored to join Bryant University and the team of President Ross Gittell at this exciting time. I look forward to building relationships with the Bryant community and my role in helping to drive the institution forward.”
Mr. Proulx is recognized as a national expert in his field. He is a Commissioner for the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE), a Board member of The Boston Consortium and the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO), and also serves on the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (GPCC). He is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU), RI. He holds Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of New Hampshire and also completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Farokh Bhada, Associate Vice President for Business Affairs, for his strong leadership of Business Affairs during this transition,” said President Gittell. “We thank Farokh for his continued role and significant contributions at Bryant.”
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a top 1% national leader in student education outcomes and ROI and regularly receives high rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual and Barron’s. Visit www.bryant.edu.