It’s been a couple of weeks of firsts for many students returning to campus.
It’s also been a period of transition for Rob Philpott, Memorial’s newest senior leader, who began in the role of vice-president (administration and finance) on Sept. 6.
“Having joined the university on the same day as students returned to classes, makes me feel almost like a student again,” said Mr. Philpott. “Everyone has been very helpful in orienting me to my new role and to the university as a whole and there’s lots to learn.”
The vice-president (administration and finance) is integral to ensuring and overseeing responsive, efficient and accessible administrative support and financial services. The position is responsible for developing and implementing sound business and fiscal policies, regulations and practices, and for working collaboratively with the provost to prepare the annual operating budget.
As he settles in, there is a sense of coming home. Mr. Philpott is originally from Newfoundland and Labrador and is a proud Memorial alumnus.
“I am very grateful for my Memorial education. This is where it all started for me over 35 years ago,” he said. “Memorial provided the foundation for the person and leader that I am today. I hope to contribute and position the university for continued success as it shapes our future leaders and broadens the reach of this great institution.”
Mr. Philpott holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Memorial, a master of business administration (human resources) from Dalhousie University and is a chartered professional accountant.
He brings to his role a breadth of experience spanning diverse public sector positions as well as consulting. Immediately before beginning at Memorial, he was chief administrative officer for the City of Summerside, PEI.
“Keeping the university on a path to continued sustainability is one of my key priorities.”
More information about Mr. Philpott’s previous experience is available here.
Mr. Philpott shared that he is confident Memorial is on the cusp of great things and he hopes to support this success.
“Keeping the university on a path to continued sustainability is one of my key priorities. This is a significant challenge in light of reductions to the university’s resources over the last few years. That being said, it is incumbent upon us to be creative and entrepreneurial, in order to make the best use of the resources we have to help achieve our mandate, which is to serve students.”
Sharing words of advice
As he reflects on his time when he was a student here, Mr. Philpott has some words of advice for new students in terms of making the most out of the student experience.
“As much as you can, be sure to take it all in. Educate yourself on all the resources at your disposal, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance or support when you need it, because we are here to help. You will look back on this period in your life, as I often do, with fond memories.”
On a personal note
When he’s not working, Mr. Philpott enjoys spending time with his family and going for a run.
If you bump in to him around campus, feel free to quiz him on your best nugget of trivia. He says he’s not quite ready for Jeopardy yet, but has a personal interest in the minutiae of many subjects and is always looking for an opportunity to brush up on his knowledge.
Please reach out to Mr. Philpott with questions, ideas or even just some welcoming words.
“I am thrilled to be here, and I am looking forward to working with the Memorial community in the weeks and months ahead.”