Dean Calvo emphasizes listening skills in his bid for VP of finance

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Jessica Pineda / Daily Titan Candidate for VP of Finances Dean Calvo answers student questions about leadership and and his plans at CSUF.
Jessica Pineda / Daily Titan
Candidate for VP of Finances Dean Calvo answers student questions about leadership and and his plans at CSUF.

Dean Calvo, the second finalist in the search for the new vice president for administration and finance/chief financial officer, took a run around Cal State Fullerton Monday evening in preparation for a long Tuesday of meetings with campus administration and students.

He explored Titan Stadium, the Gastronome and residence halls, surprised by the amount of students scurrying around campus.

Calvo is the second of three finalists to be presented at an open forum this week at Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.

“The level and significance of socialization I saw was really inspiring,” Calvo said.

Calvo said he is impressed by the ambitions and aspirations of the university’s strategic plan, adding that it is consistent with what he knows of Fullerton’s past and present, setting an ambitious agenda.

The vice president for administration and finance/chief financial officer oversees a budget of approximately $425 million. The position also requires working closely with the Academic Senate, Cabinet members and students, among other responsibilities.

Calvo outlined a three-step plan for his first three months in the position, if he is chosen. He said all of these steps will impact students and university personnel.

– Listen, so that by listening, it can lead to relationships.

– Personal homework, to find out how the university works.

– Cultivating strong relation- ships with the Cabinet.

It is also the vice president for administration and finance/ chief financial officer’s responsibility to deal with communication in the event of a university crisis.

“The guiding principle for crisis management is get the word out and get it out as quickly as possible. That’s really important,” Calvo said.

His remedy prioritizes get- ting the word out as quickly as possible in a sensitive fashion to various constituencies, citing his experience working at Cal State Northridge during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

“It’s about making the crisis as comfortable for our students, faculty and staff,” he said.

During an open forum, Calvo compared the issue of deferred maintenance at CSUF to the damage done to the CSUN campus after the 1994 earth- quake.

“I just learned that deferred maintenance is deferred $250 million at this university, that’s an interesting number,” he said. “The inf lation adjust- ment value of the recovery of the Northridge earthquake at the Northridge campus was about $580 million—think about that. Replacement of more than half of the class- room buildings, restoration of the two wings of the library, the administration building– complete rebuild, on and on. Well, 250, think about that. It’s almost half.”

When it came to management, he said he is a little old fashioned. He would like to have reports done with 60-day goals and controls.

Calvo believes as a supervisor, it is very important to determine what an employee needs in terms of supervision.

If awarded the position, he also wants to be accessible for communication between him and students.

At CSUF, you need to “be prepared to have great conversations with student leadership, with students, with colleague that’s just key,” Calvo said.

If chosen, he hopes his direct effect on students is supporting the allocation of funds.

While Calvo does not have a specific division to allocate resources to, he said it is important to be respectful to all.

“Allocation of resources to the things that matter to student interests–that really comes down to supporting all of the diversions of the university. Student affairs, academic affairs and finding a balance that’s effective,” he said.

Calvo currently serves as the associate vice president for finance and administration/associate treasurer of Claremont Graduate University. There, he has led a task force executing a new hybrid budget model to support the transformation of academic schools.

He also currently sits on the Western Association of College & University Business Officers Board of Directors.

Calvo is familiar with the CSU. Prior to joining Claremont Graduate University, he served at both Cal State Los Angeles and CSUN.

Calvo holds a Master of Busi- ness Administration degree from Loyola Marymount University and a B.A. in Music from Sacramento State University.

The third and last finalist will be speaking at an open fo- rum on Wednesday at Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.

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