KU CFO to retire at end of calendar year, university announces

photo by: Richard Gwin/Journal-World File Photo

Diane Goddard, vice provost for finance and CFO of the University of Kansas, is pictured in a Journal-World file photo from 2009.

Diane Goddard, the chief financial officer at the University of Kansas and a university employee of nearly four decades, will retire at the end of the 2020 calendar year, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Wednesday.

During her tenure as KU’s top finance official, Goddard was responsible for spearheading efforts to redevelop the university’s Central District and for the creation of the university’s Changing for Excellence initiative on administrative efficiency, which generated $51 million in cost savings, new revenue and cost avoidance, Girod said.

“We have benefited immeasurably not only from her expertise, but also from her compassion, her unflappable calm in the face of crisis, and her love for this place,” he said in a written message to campus. “She has been the consummate professional, a true colleague, and a Jayhawk to the core.”

The announcement of Goddard’s retirement comes less than a week after KU revealed it will face a budget shortfall of at least $120 million in the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Goddard, though, has agreed to stay available to lend advice as KU works to manage the financial crisis, Girod said.

“I suspect she may regret that when she learns how willing I am to keep calling her for advice,” he wrote.

The search for Goddard’s replacement will begin shortly, with the goal of finding a successor by the start of the fall semester. Girod said KU would use an outside consulting firm, rpk Group, to lead the search process, which Goddard will be part of. The firm will also evaluate Goddard’s position as it’s currently constructed to see whether the job description needs to be altered as the university moves forward in the COVID-19 era.

“While Diane’s departure will be a loss for KU, I am delighted for her to begin the next chapter of her life,” Girod said. “Nobody is more deserving of a happy and healthy retirement than she, and it makes me smile to know she will soon have plenty of time to spend with her husband, three daughters and two grandchildren.”


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