Concurrent Sessions II | April 24 | 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM

Session 2A: Round Table - Small Institutions


Please join a comprehensive discussion with your colleagues about what keeps you up at night, what excites you about the future, and other pertinent issues in higher ed. Share your thoughts and experiences in a post-pandemic work and study world and hear that of others. From telework to technology, safety and risk assessment, interest rate hikes and resource allocation, and much more come prepared to ask your questions and share your experiences.

Learning Objectives

1. Learn from colleagues what innovations are being implemented and issues addressed at other institutions

2. Implement at least one mitigating strategy at home institution learned from colleagues to apply to an existing issue

3. Learn from colleagues how they are addressing current issues in higher ed such as remote work, supply chain shortage, inflation, etc.


Dawn Alston, Spelman College

A native of Washington, D.C., Dawn Alston currently serves as CFO & SVP Business and Financial Affairs and Treasurer at Spelman College in Atlanta,GA. Mrs Alston has over 20 years of experience in higher education in roles ranging from scientist and adjunct faculty member, but later, evolved into a research administrator and ultimately, a collegiate business officer. This unique vantage point affords Mrs. Alston the opportunity to understand the intricate relationship between academics and finance. Dawn holds a BS in Biology from Hampton University, earned a MS in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University and an MBA from Louisiana State University.

Mrs Alston is also a Certified Research Administrator. 1999 as a research technician in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry. In her current role, she has oversight of Facilities Management and Services, Human Resources, the Office of the Controller, Auxiliaries, Public Safety, Administrative Support , Endowment Operations and Budgets and Contracts . She serves on several boards and has also consulted with several non-profits nation-wide guiding grant-writing efforts, non-profit business structure and organization and grants management.

Session 2B: Roundtable - Community Colleges


Join other finance professionals from community colleges across the SACUBO region for an interactive round table discussion on current issues, trends, and challenges impacting community colleges today and in the future. Are you concerned about enrollment, shrinking state funding, tuition and fees, dual/concurrent enrollment, or HEERF concerns?Please bring your questions AND answers for this lively discussion!

Learning Objectives

1. Identify issues, trends, and challenges facing community colleges today.

2. Learn how similar sized institutions are facing challenges and applying solutions to similar problems.

3. Identify strategies and practices that could be applied at your institution.


Stan Sullivant, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Stan Sullivant has served as the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration for Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas since 2012. Prior to PCCUA, he worked as Director of Accounting for Northwest Mississippi Community College for six years and as a legislative auditor in the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor for 19 years. He received his Bachelor of Professional Accountancy from Mississippi State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor. He and his wife Melissa, a registered nurse, have one daughter, Sydney Claire, who is an Occupational Therapist (OTD).

Session 2C: Roundtable - Comprehensive and Doctoral Institutions


Please join the comprehensive/doctoral roundtable to discuss pertinent issues with your colleagues. This interactive session will allow fluid discussion on issues facing today's business officers. Hear how your colleagues are managing the issues at-hand, and what keeps them up at night. Come prepared to ask your questions and share your experiences at your institution

Learning Objectives

1. Learn from your colleagues on the most pressing issues facing their institution today

2. Learn how your colleagues are addressing the pressing issues such as remote work, staff needs/wants, managing inflation/contracts - operating budget impact, tuition pressure, and cyber risk

3. Bring back two ideas that you may implement to address the issues discussed.


Valarie Van Vlack, Texas State University

Ms. Van Vlack received her Master of Business Administration degree from Syracuse University in 2006, and her Bachelor of Science degree in management, with an option in finance from SUNY Geneseo in 1988. She is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and has been a member of the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) since 1991. She is a NACUBO (National Association of College and University Business Officers) Fellow (2019-2020), board member for SACUBO (Southern Association of Colleges and University Business Officers), and board member for the Treasury Institute for Higher Education. She is also on the board of TexPool Investment Advisory Board as well as some other advisory councils.

Prior to her position as Assistant Vice President and Treasurer at Texas State in 2007, Ms. Van Vlack spent 13 years as the Director, Cash Management at Syracuse University. She began her career at Agway, Inc., a farmer’s cooperative which was headquartered in Syracuse, NY, where she held various titles in the finance area.Assistant Vice President and Treasurer Responsibilities: The AVP and Treasurer directs and administers treasury operations (banking, merchant services (PCI)) and investments including endowment funds, banking, cash management for the University. It oversees the Student Business Services office, which directs the operations of the cashiering and collection function for the University in accordance with federal and state regulations and University policies. Student Business Services responsibilities include deposit of all University income, assessment and collection of student tuition and fees, collection of emergency tuition loans, short-term loans, NSF checks, and various receivables. She also oversees the University Business Ambassador program which serves as a service center for all financial matters to various academic groups on campus.

Antrameka Knight, Kennesaw State University, Assistant Vice President, Budget and Planning

Ms. Antrameka Knight currently services as the Assistant Vice President of Budget and Fiscal Planning of Kennesaw State University. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics at Dartmouth College and her Master of Business Administration from Cornell University. Prior to working at Kennesaw State University, she worked with local governments leading capital projects, annual budget planning, utility financial operations and strategic planning. In addition to being a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM), Ms. Knight is a 2023 graduate of the University System of Georgia’s Executive Leadership program. In the upcoming year, she will serve as a board member for SACUBO (Southern Association of Colleges and University Business Officers) and serve as the chair for the Comprehensive & Doctoral Institutions Constituent Committee.

Session 2D: Round Table - Research Universities


Join us in this interactive session focused on discussing challenges faced by large research institutions. Share your institutions best practices or ask others how they are managing through today's challenges. From everything to financial pressures related to tuition and fees to campus safety and security. Come ready to engage and participate with fellow colleagues.

Learning Objectives

1. Identify various challenges research universities are facing in todays changing environment.

2. Understand the various methods in which research universities are tackling similar challenges.

3. Apply best practices learned from other research universities.


Brandi Renton, University of Florida 

Brandi Renton is currently the Associate Vice President for Business Affairs at the University of Florida. As AVP, she is responsible for Business & Finance, Communications & Marketing, Events & Permitting, Small Business Supplier Diversity, and Technical Services. Renton joined the University of Florida from the University of North Texas (UNT), where her previous role was Senior Associate Vice President of Administrative Services. She served as a key leader for UNT in operational and administrative roles for more than 12 years and led UNT through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While at UNT, Renton led a strategic partnership with Toyota Inc. to provide process improvement collaborative initiatives and training programs. Renton has more than eight years of private-sector experience in the services industry providing resources to union/non-union organizations.She is a SACUBO Constituent Chair and board member and a frequent presenter at conferences. Renton earned a bachelor’s in Industrial Health and Safety from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.

Bryan Elmore, Auburn University

Bryan Elmore is currently the Assistant Vice President for Budgets and Business Operations at Auburn University. He began working at Auburn in 2005 as an Accountant in Budget Services before moving into the role of Assistant Director and eventually Director. As the AVP, Bryan has oversight of the university's financial planning process, the strategic budget model, annual budget development, and all management reporting functions. In addition, he oversees the office of Information Systems Support, the University Bookstore, the Tiger Card program, and the Strategic Business Operations department.

He is a frequent presenter at various NACUBO and SACUBO events on the topics of Responsibility Center Management and long-term financial planning.  Prior to working at Auburn, he was an Associate with Jackson Thornton, & Co. P.C. serving as an external auditor for not-for-profits and financial institutions.  Mr. Elmore holds a B.S. in Accounting and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, both from Auburn University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Alabama.