Alysha M. O’Neil, director of project implementation and engagement for the Division of Finance and chief business officer for the chancellor’s office at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has been named vice chancellor for finance and operations at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She starts on July 1.
O’Neil succeeds Cuba Plain, who retired on June 3 after a 39-year career with the University of Missouri System. Plain had served as interim vice chancellor for finance and operations at S&T since August 2017.
“Ms. O’Neil brings a breadth of experience in finance and business administration to S&T, as well as nearly 18 years of progressive higher education leadership experience within our University of Missouri System,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “I look forward to welcoming her to S&T and to our leadership team.”
As vice chancellor for finance and operations, O’Neil will oversee the university’s budgeting, planning, business operations and environmental management functions, as well as the campus’s grounds, facilities services, human resources and university police.
“I’m so excited to join Missouri S&T — an accomplished university with a focused mission, high-quality programs and clear goals,” O’Neil says. “I am looking forward to working with Chancellor Dehghani and the entire S&T community, and to applying the experiences and relationships I’ve developed through the years to help the university grow and achieve its full potential.”
O’Neil has served as director of project implementation and engagement in MU’s Division of Finance since July 2019. In that position, she led various campuswide initiatives that required close collaboration with numerous leaders, as well as in-depth understanding of university operations. She managed over $86 million in COVID relief funds, increased transparency and accountability for academic units through her work on a committee focused on administrative costs, and aligned investment opportunities with the university’s strategic plan.
Before taking her current position, O’Neil had served as chief business officer for MU’s Division of Student Affairs since 2010. Among other duties, she oversaw a budget of $150 million that financed campus dining services, student unions, residential life, the student recreation center, student health and well-being, fraternity and sorority life, and university stores on four campuses.
O’Neil also served as assistant director of the MU budget office, a senior accountant in accounting services, a teaching assistant in the College of Business’ School of Accountancy and an auditor at Deloitte. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accountancy from the Trulaske College of Business at MU and an MBA from the university’s Gordon E. Crosby Jr. MBA program.
A committee co-chaired by Dr. Kelly Homan, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T and Faculty Senate president-elect, and Jeff Sheets, a Missouri S&T graduate and chair of the Board of Trustees Finance Committee, assisted with the search.
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