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ASU System Operations VP Jennus Burton accepts job at Northern Arizona

March 24, 2010 -- Jennus Burton, the vice president of Arkansas State University’s System Operations since 2007, has accepted the position of vice president for Finance and Administration at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Burton also served as the vice president for Finance and Administration at ASU’s Jonesboro campus for 10 years prior to his time at the system office. He will begin his new position at NAU in June, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.

 “Jennus Burton has been an invaluable member of the executive team at the Jonesboro campus, and most recently, the ASU System,” said Dr. Les Wyatt, ASU system president. “He has been responsible for the fiscal integrity of the institution in the varied responsibilities of finance, administration and operation.

“Jennus has made many contributions to the campuses of Arkansas State University, the city of Jonesboro and to higher education on a statewide basis. We wish him and his family well as they return to their native home in Arizona. We will miss him greatly and realize he will be difficult to replace because of his abilities, experience and knowledge. Jennus is one of the very good ones.”

While working with the ASU System Office, Burton was responsible for planning and budgeting for the ASU system, which includes the Jonesboro campus along with a branch campus in Paragould and three two-year campuses in Beebe, Mountain Home and Newport with branch campuses in Heber Springs, Searcy, the Little Rock Air Force Base, and Marked Tree.

In addition, Burton’s responsibilities included debt management, rating agency relations, capital construction for the Jonesboro campus, facilities planning, internal audit, property management, land sales and acquisition, information technology services and employee benefits management.

“I have enjoyed tremendously all the opportunities and challenges afforded me here at Arkansas State University, and I am proud of the accomplishments we have been able to achieve these last thirteen years,” said Burton.  “I owe a debt of gratitude to a great number of people at ASU and in our community.   I thank Dr. Wyatt and the Board of Trustees for their support and leadership as I have learned a lot and will take these experiences as I transition to my new role at Northern Arizona University.

“Rosanne and I would never have considered leaving ASU and Jonesboro if this opportunity was not available back in our home state of Arizona.  The strong gravitational pull of our grandson and family are the main reasons for the change at this point in our lives.  We will miss our good friends here in Arkansas, but with technology as it is, we still have a terrific opportunity to keep in close touch, and we will.  We have also been advised of how many folks will visit us so they can see the Grand Canyon.”

Burton came to Arkansas State in 1997 after holding the position of associate vice president for Administrative Services and campus administrative services officer at Arizona State University’s main campus in Tempe. While at Arizona State, he held several previous positions including assistant vice president for Business Affairs, director of Cash and Property Management, and manager of Management Support Services for Physical Plant over his 22-year career there.

When the ASU Board of Trustees voted to separate the System Office from ASU-Jonesboro, Burton was promoted and continued work with Dr. Wyatt on all matters concerning system operations.

During his time on the Jonesboro campus, he oversaw a budget of approximately $142 million with 1,200 full-time employees and 10,400 students. Under his tutelage, campus growth included new construction of 33 major projects totaling some $270 million.

Burton also served as the chairman for the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2004-05 and served on numerous chamber committees.  He currently continues his support of the chamber by serving on the transportation and the environmental committees. He is a past member of the chamber’s Municipal Planning Committee, the ASU Committee and the Streets and Highways Committee. A former member of the Craighead County Public Finance Committee, he also served on the City of Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Committee and on the mayor’s Convention Center Finance Committee.

In 1999, he received the fourth annual Student Affairs Partnership Award presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to work collaboratively with the Office of Student Affairs.

A graduate of Arizona State, Burton received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting in 1974 and a Master of Business Administration in Management in 1979. His wife, Rosanne, is an employee with the admissions staff at Arkansas State.

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