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OU Chief Financial Officer Ken Rowe to step down, return to full-time work at Health Sciences Center

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Ken Rowe

Ken Rowe is stepping down from his position as university chief financial officer. 

OU President Joseph Harroz announced Friday that Chief Financial Officer Ken Rowe will step down from his position on the Norman campus to return full time to the Health Sciences Center. 

According to Harroz’s email, Rowe accepted the Norman campus position — while also maintaining his responsibilities at the Health Sciences Center — to help lead a “transition in our financial affairs” for the Norman campus. In this combined role, Rowe has helped save the Norman campus almost $80 million since fall 2018, Harroz wrote. He also has worked to streamline and improve university financial and administrative technology systems. 

According to Dec. 11, 2018 OU Board of Regents minutes, Rowe’s title was changed from Norman campus interim chief finance officer, vice president for finance, and Health Sciences Center vice president for administration and finance to senior vice president and chief finance officer. His annual salary was changed from $371,200 to $400,000. 

Rowe advised Harroz it would be best for him to devote his efforts to the Health Sciences Center, according to the email. Harroz wrote he accepted the recommendation, as Rowe’s position will include “continued integration of our clinical operations with our hospital partner.” 

The university will immediately begin a national search for a university-wide chief financial officer, and Norman campus Associate Vice President and Chief Budget Officer Stewart Berkinshaw will lead all finance, accounting and budget efforts for the Norman campus throughout the search. According to the email, Berkinshaw previously served as director of budget and financial planning, and associate provost and director of academic financial operations. 

Berkinshaw transitioned from director of budget and financial planning to associate provost and director of budget and planning on March 1, according to March 10 OU Board of Regents minutes. His annual salary remained at $210,635. 

Berkinshaw has “extensive financial management experience,” according to the email, and he has played a “critical role” in stabilizing the university’s finances. Rowe will assist Berkinshaw to ensure a smooth transition.

Ari Fife is the OU Daily assistant news managing editor and a junior journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as the summer editor-in-chief, a senior news reporter and an SGA beat reporter.

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