Vanderbilt veteran named new CFO

By Amalia Beckner

The University announced Wednesday the appointment of Nim Chinniah as vice president for administration and chief financial officer. Chinniah served 16 years as the deputy vice chancellor for administration and academic affairs at Vanderbilt University. His appointment will be effective August 1, 2007, in time for fall quarter at the University.

Chinniah will replace Donald J. Reaves, who came to the University in 2002 from Brown University and is leaving to accept a position as chancellor of Winston-Salem State University.

This is the most recent of several new appointments in the upper levels of the University’s administration, which have brought new faces to the offices of the dean of the University’s Humanities Division, the vice president for Communications, and the associate vice president for Research and for National Laboratories.

David Greene, vice president of Strategic Initiatives for the University, said he was enthusiastic about the changes and that the University has “been able to hire some extraordinary people who will bring great energy to their work.” Greene acknowledged that the new group may face some challenges under the pressure to quickly acclimate to the U of C while immediately becoming an active part of the discussion among the deans and faculty on a long-term plan for the University.

Chinniah said he looks forward to working with President Robert Zimmer and Provost Thomas Rosenbaum “to align administrative teams with academic priorities” in order to maximize the administration’s ability to be a “supportive element for the University.”

A major component of Chinniah’s work will be developing a long-term financial plan for the U of C, in addition to overseeing the University’s Administration and Finance Division. The U of C’s budget, which includes the operations of both the University and the Medical Center, annually totals nearly $3 billion, according to a University press release issuing the announcement.

Chinniah earned a master’s degree in business administration at Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude from Lambuth University. At Vanderbilt, Chinniah sat on the boards of the First Tennessee Bank Nashville Advisory Board and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, and served as Chairman of the Nashville Human Relations Commission, according to the University press release.