Van Gruensven named School of Education’s interim CFO

Sheryl Van Gruensven was recently named the UW–Madison School of Education’s interim chief financial officer (CFO), a position she started on May 1.

In this role, Van Gruensven holds significant budgetary responsibility for units across the School and directs business operations. This work includes leading strategic planning and ensuring the appropriate use of financial, administrative, and staffing resources. Van Gruensven also leads the Business Office and provides oversight to operational functions in finance, human resources, and research administration. The School has a budget of approximately $200 million.

“We are very fortunate that Sheryl has joined the School of Education as our interim chief financial officer,” says School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “She has a wealth of experience and excellent skills that will enable her to do an excellent job in the role.”

Sheryl Van Gruensven
Van Gruensven

Van Gruensven comes to the School of Education from UW–Green Bay, where she had mainly served as vice chancellor for business and finance since 2014.  However, Van Gruensven also served as UW–Green Bay’s interim chancellor from Oct. 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020. During that period, she led the university’s effort to move to an incentive-based budget model.

After serving as the first female chancellor of UW–Green Bay, she returned to the role of vice chancellor of business and finance. Working as the institution’s chief business officer, Van Gruensven provided accounting, budgeting, and fiscal control of UW–Green Bay’s budget. She also provided senior leadership oversight for 10 functional departments, including Finance, Human Resources, Safety and Risk, University Police, IT, and Facilities.

Van Gruensven is a first-generation college student who grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin. She started her career working as a paralegal at Ruder, Ware & Michler in Wausau, Wisconsin. 

Van Gruensven first started working at UW–Green Bay in 2004 as human resource manager and just two years later took over as director of human resources and affirmative action. 

“I am very excited to begin my role as interim CFO for the highly regarded School of Education at UW–Madison,” says Van Gruensven. “I want to thank Dean Diana Hess for giving me this opportunity to join a highly collaborative team that clearly works together to advance the School. I look forward to continuing to serve at the high level of excellence established by Dean Hess, Kristen Hendrickson, and everyone else at the School of Education and UW–Madison.”

Van Gruensven is replacing Kristen Hendrickson, who has served as the School’s first CFO since August 2019.

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