Longtime higher education administrator Dr. Douglas Vinzant has been named the new Vice President for Finance and Administration at The University of Southern Mississippi. Pending IHL Board approval, Vinzant will begin his duties on June 17.
Vinzant comes to Southern Miss after serving as Vice President for Finance and Administration at St. Cloud University in Minnesota. He takes over for Dr. Tom Estes, who has served in an interim capacity for the past year.
“Dr. Vinzant has nearly three decades of experience in a variety of roles in higher education institutions across the country,” said Southern Miss President Dr. Rodney Bennett. “His expertise in finance at this level will be a valuable asset as we strive to keep Southern Miss moving forward.”
Vinzant, a Raymond, Miss., native received his undergraduate degree in political science at Mississippi College. He earned his Master of Public Administration and Doctor of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California. Vinzant points out that the opportunity to live and work again in his home state fits perfectly at this stage of his career.
“This position allows me the chance to work at USM, a vibrant public research university less than two hours drive from the home where I grew up and where my father still lives,” he said. “I am honored that President Bennett would invite me to become a part of his team and the university community. I can’t wait to get started.”
As a senior officer at St. Cloud University, Vinzant was responsible for university-wide finance and administrative operations, including operating and capital budgeting, facilities planning and management, human resources, financial aid, auxiliary enterprises, physical plant, university police, environmental health and safety, accounting, finance and treasure operations, risk management and procurement.
He served as chief budget officer at St. Cloud with an annual all-funds budget of approximately $275 million. While in that position he led an overhaul of the university’s budget development process to enhance transparency and reliability of data supporting resource allocation decision-making.
Before joining the administrative staff at St. Cloud University, Vinzant worked as Vice President for Administration at the University of Wyoming; Senior Associate Vice President for Planning and Administration at the University of Illinois; Director of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis at Arizona State University and Associate Vice President and Assistant Professor at Eastern Washington University.
“From my perspective there are few professional careers that offer such great opportunity to positively impact the lives of so many people as does working in public universities,” said Vinzant. “I believe in public higher education, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”