Timothy O’Donnell, vice president and former treasurer of Southwestern Energy Co., has been hired as associate vice chancellor for budget and financial planning at the University of Arkansas, effective Oct. 7.
O’Donnell was hired for the newly created position following a national search that started in July. He will be a member of the financial leadership team within the Division of Finance and Administration, reporting to vice chancellor Don Pederson.
“Mr. O’Donnell brings the right skills to the job of enhancing the university’s budgeting processes and implementing needed improvements to budget controls," Pederson said in a statement. “We had many excellent candidates for this position, but Tim’s experience and qualifications clearly stood out.”
O’Donnell is a native of Davenport, Iowa, and graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Iowa. He worked for public accounting and real estate development firms in Dallas before joining Arkansas Western Gas in Fayetteville as manager of utility accounting in 1991. He advanced into top management positions with the parent company, Southwestern Energy Co., during his 22-year career there.
“My wife, Rhonda, is originally from Northwest Arkansas,” O’Donnell said. “While we were living in Dallas we visited her family fairly often and I really grew to love the area. When a job opportunity opened up in Fayetteville, I strongly pursued it. My time at Southwestern Energy has been very rewarding, but they are now moving to Houston, and my family and I would rather stay in Fayetteville.
“The position at the University of Arkansas is an opportunity to do that – but it is also an exciting new professional challenge – a chance for me to bring my skills and experience to an institution I’ve long admired.”
The search committee, chaired by university Treasurer Jean Schook, recommended O’Donnell over three other finalists.