Sparks named vice president for finance and administration, chief business officer – UMaine News

Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for finance and strategic planning at Oregon Cascades State University, has been named vice president for finance and administration and chief business officer at the University of Maine, with a dual report to the University of Maine system, effective October . 10.

She fills the position of Joanne Yestramski, who had a two-year term at UMaine beginning in 2020.

“Kelly’s depth of experience will be invaluable in advancing our R1 university and its regional campus,” says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. “Higher education is facing fiscal challenges related to the pandemic and demographics, but at UMaine we also have tremendous opportunities for growth and innovation with the transformative investment from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Kelly will play a critical role in these initiatives and in partnership with the University of Maine System.

Sparks’ nearly 30-year career in financial management and strategic business planning includes work in international retail with Nordstrom and Coach, and in higher education. She also helped launch a nonprofit organization to create an early childhood development center in Washington state.

She served as associate dean of finance and operations for the University of Oregon School of Law from 2011–13 before joining the Oregon State University community. As head of finance and operations at OSU-Cascades, Sparks has helped lead the expansion of the new campus and the first university branch in the OSU system.

Sparks holds an MBA and a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

“I am excited to join the University of Maine and the System,” says Sparks. “I look forward to continuing a legacy of strong financial management and bringing creative ideas to support growth in the years ahead.”

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