Union appoints new vice president of Administration and Finance

Publication Date

President David R. Harris has appointed Michele Gibson as the new vice president for Administration and Finance.

In her role as a member of the president’s senior staff, Gibson will oversee Finance, Human Resources, Facilities, Bookstore and Mail Room, and share supervisory responsibilities for Dining Services.

She was selected from among dozens of candidates following a national search. She succeeds Diane Blake, who retired in July after more than 30 years at Union, the last 21 as vice president. MaryBeth Kabalian served in an interim role since Blake’s retirement.

In announcing the appointment, Harris cited Gibson’s more than 30 years of professional experience, including more than 15 years in leadership roles in higher education.


Since 2007, Gibson has been the senior associate dean of Administration and Finance at the University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, overseeing a staff of 145.

She led the administrative team of a $50 million project to renovate and build new performing arts space and was project manager on several major capital projects. She is actively engaged in the City of Rochester’s cultural district and treasurer and executive committee board member for the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC).

Before joining the University of Rochester, Gibson spent four years at Cornell University as a director and senior finance officer in the University’s Finance and Administration organization. She has also held positions with several financial services firms.

Harris cited Gibson’s extensive strategic planning experience, including the design of a 10-year financial planning model at the Eastman School and a five-year financial strategic plan for Cornell.

“Michele is an excellent fit with Union College,” Harris said. “Not only does she have outstanding professional experience in finance and administration but she has shown a passion for engaging with her community on and off campus. Michele’s experience will serve us well as we proceed with strategic planning. I’m excited to have Michele join our team.”

Gibson begins at Union Jan. 14.

“I am excited to join Union College’s senior leadership team and am honored to work with President Harris,” she said. “I believe Union’s potential is tremendous, given the talented and passionate faculty and staff that I have already met. I look forward to becoming part of the Union community and partnering with the president, faculty, staff and trustees to advance the College’s mission and strategic plan.”