(AMHERST, Mass., February 1, 2023) — Amherst College today named Michael Thomas its new Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFAO). On the finance side, he will be responsible for all finance functions of the College, including budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, long-range financial planning, and asset, liability, and risk management. On the administrative side, Thomas will oversee facilities, health and safety, and business services (dining and auxiliary), among key operating functions.
He joins Amherst from Middlebury, where he was Vice President for Administration and Chief Risk Officer for the past two years and Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer for the previous four and a half years. Thomas will report to and serve as a strategic partner to President Michael A. Elliott. His appointment is effective March 27, 2023, and he succeeds former Amherst CFAO Kevin Weinman, who became the president of Marist College in fall 2021.
In his more than nine years at Middlebury, Thomas led all aspects of financial matters for Middlebury College, including accounting, financial systems and reporting, budgets, debt and cash management, and endowment reporting, as well as risk evaluation, campus safety, environmental health and safety, emergency management, and land and property management. He led several critical initiatives for the Middlebury enterprise, including the institution’s COVID-19-related operations; a student safety coalition initiative at the college; the acquisition, financing, and renovation of a residential housing facility of Middlebury’s Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California; the implementation of an enterprise resource planning system for a consortium of higher education institutions, for which he serves as secretary of the board; and a major long-term financial sustainability plan. Before that, Thomas was the controller and director of financial resources for Skidmore College (2006-2013); the controller, manager of financial systems and accounting, and a financial analyst for General Electric Silicones, Americas (1999-2006); and an associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (1995-1998). He graduated from Union College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and from the University at Albany with a master’s degree in accounting.
“I am excited to be joining Amherst College as the CFAO,” said Thomas. “I look forward to working with President Elliott and getting to know and work with the students, faculty, and staff to support the mission of the institution. Supporting Amherst College in the education of some of the brightest minds from around the world is an honor.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike Thomas to Amherst in this key role for the College,” said Michael Elliott, president of Amherst. “Mike brings to his leadership not only deep financial acumen and substantial administrative and operational expertise but also a keen understanding of the values of an academic community — academic excellence, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, to name a few. His track record of inclusive leadership at Middlebury demonstrated that he knows what it means to lead a talented team and to work in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students. He will be a critical strategic partner to me and to all of us at Amherst.
“Fortunately, he will have the opportunity to work with strong teams in both finance and administration, and I am deeply grateful for the interim leadership that we have had in those areas. Both Tom Dwyer, Interim CFO, and David Breen, Interim Chief of Campus Operations, have been exceptional in their work, and we have all been the beneficiaries of their dedication and skill.”
Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its founding, in 1821, in Western Massachusetts, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum, and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world.