CPP disperses administrative tasks following senior leadership departure

Over the summer, Cal Poly Pomona announced that Danielle Manning left her position as vice president for administration, finance and strategic development and chief financial officer (CFO) which resulted in the distribution of her role among several administrators. In this position, Manning oversaw several units within the Division of Administrative Affairs and contributed to the university’s upcoming plans

“As the vice president for administration, finance, strategic development and CFO, Danielle Manning was a key member of the university’s leadership team and managed the Division of Administrative Affairs,” explained Senior Media Relations Specialist Cynthia Peters.

(Courtesy of Christina Manuel)

After serving CPP for four years and greatly contributing to the University’s Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan’s development, Manning begins a new position as the Executive Vice President, CFO and treasurer at Clark University on July 1. CPP has decided not to immediately appoint an interim vice president to replace Manning, but instead disperse her tasks among current administrators.

In an email sent to the CPP community on July 23, President Soraya Coley addressed this decision. Coley described how leaders from different units within administrative affairs would temporarily partner with the Office of the President or a divisional vice president to complete Manning’s previous responsibilities. Starting this September, a search committee will be appointed to fill the position.

Peters noted that the Division of Administrative Affairs consists of seven separate departments: University Police, Facilities Planning & Management, Human Resources Operations, Emergency Management & Business Continuity, Finance & Administrative Services, Strategic Enterprise Risk Management, and Employee and Organizational Development and Advancement (EODA).

The administrators that are temporarily tasked with these responsibilities are as follows:

  • Vice President for Student Affairs Christina Gonzales will oversee and manage the University Police Department (UPD).
  • UPD Chief Dario Robinson will overlook the unit of Emergency Management and Business Continuity.
  • Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) John McGuthry will oversee the unit of strategic enterprise and risk management.
  • Chief of Staff for the Office of the President Nicole Hawkes will contribute administrative assistance to the unit of facilities planning and management.
  • Chief of Staff to the Vice President and Divisional Operations Manager Jason Rodriguez will continue to oversee the operations of administrative affairs.
  •  Since HR operations have been moved under EODA, Coley will manage and oversee the unit of EODA.

Hawkes explained the reasoning behind her placement to oversee and manage the facilities planning and management unit.

“Since I am already involved in many discussions regarding the Campus Master Plan, capital planning and addressing deferred maintenance on the campus, this (temporary position) is an extension of that work,” said Hawkes.

According to Hawkes, the current Campus Master Plan that covers the plans for CPP and its building and capital projects is currently in draft form and is scheduled for completion and presentation to the CSU Board by next spring.

Through work alongside Senior Associate Vice President (SAVP) for Facilities Planning and Management Hope Spadora, Hawkes explained that they’re responsible for ensuring that the units’ operations run smoothly, continuing the execution of building projects, upgrades and campus planning, and preparing the campus safety regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Both me and SAVP Spadora are actively collaborating to address issues and to develop priorities,” said Hawkes. “This temporary administrative oversight role provides me with more insight into the essential work done by facilities planning and management to support the university’s mission and our faculty, staff and students.”

Joseph Simoneschi who serves as associate vice president of finance and administration services and now interim CFO, explained that he felt prepared to handle the changes made to his daily responsibilities.

Some additional duties that he listed include receiving and evaluating campus-wide requests to determine their financial impact to the university, reviewing the budget and expense changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensuring the continual fiscal health of the university.

“I believe that the distributed management approach provides a strong foundation to support the development of the division in the future,” said Simoneschi. “

After members of Manning’s team started their new roles this July, the search continues for a new vice president for administration, finance, strategic development and CFO during the fall semester.


This post was updated as of 12 pm, August 24.

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