COLUMBIA, Mo. – Tom Richards, interim vice president of finance and treasurer for the University of Missouri System, was recently honored with a major award from a national higher education association. Richards received the Rising Star Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) during the organization’s annual meeting on July 14 in Indianapolis. The award is given to up-and-coming leaders in higher education in the areas of finance, administration, and business who are known for their innovative, meaningful contributions to the improvement of their profession and to the efficiency of their institution.
“This recognition reiterates the university’s strategic priority to attract and retain the best people,” UM System President Tim Wolfe said. “National acknowledgement of Tom’s hard work, innovation and dedication such as this speaks to the quality of individuals we have working at the system.”
As interim vice president of finance, Richards primary responsibility is systemwide financial planning and administrative services, including the university’s budget and appropriations requests; management of its endowment, retirement trust funds and debt; as well as the university’s treasury, accounting and financial systems, procurement, risk management, and facilities planning and development functions. As vice president, Richards also serves as a key university spokesperson to internal and external constituencies on financial and business matters.
Prior to his appointment as interim vice president in May of this year, Richards served as treasurer of the UM System following his January 2011 appointment by the board of curators. A veteran of more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector, Richards earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a certified public accountant. An active member of the community, he currently serves on the board finance committee of Columbia Public Schools and is a member of the Columbia Northwest Rotary as well as the treasurer of its community foundation.