Barnes to serve as interim executive vice president for business and administration

Emory Report | Aug. 23, 2016

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After more than a decade as vice president for human resources, Peter Barnes has been chosen by President-elect Sterk to serve as Emory's chief business officer.

After 11 years as Emory University's vice president for human resources, Peter Barnes has been tapped to serve as interim executive vice president for business and administration.

"Peter brings unique experience and knowledge to this interim role," President-elect Claire E. Sterk said in a message to the Emory community announcing Barnes' appointment, noting that he has "helped shape and implement important policies and practices that have made Emory distinctively excellent in our business operations and work culture."

Barnes succeeds Mike Mandl, who leaves Emory at the end of August to form his own company, Mandl & Co., which will also include Jack Tillman, who is stepping down as Emory's associate vice president of corporate development. Emory will contract with Mandl & Co. "in order to have access to Mike’s unique ability to identify value-creating opportunities that advance the institution’s mission," Sterk said.

Barnes joined Emory in November 2005 after serving as senior vice president and director of human resources for the University of North Carolina Health Care System.

"I was attracted by Emory's mission, its purpose and its leadership," Barnes says. "Emory has a renowned position in higher education, and it is gratifying to be able to have a role in that."

As vice president of human resources, Barnes has led Emory to be consistently recognized as a top university employer; in 2016, the University was awarded the Work-Life Seal of Distinction for the fifth consecutive year.

He has championed strong leadership development programs, improved benefits communications, led Emory's Tobacco Free campaign, co-chaired the Work Life Task Force, served as an adviser to the class and labor initiative, co-led the University Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Project, and supported several top-level leadership searches, among many other accomplishments.

Barnes is also currently leading the strategic development of Healthy Emory, the enterprise-wide health management and wellness initiative, and is a founding member of the Enterprise Risk Management Steering Committee, which assesses risk scenarios that could impact the University.

"I am grateful that during this interim period, we will benefit from Peter’s management gifts, seasoned unflappability and profound understanding of Emory," Sterk said. "His leadership in this key area will help us to maintain the strength, momentum and superlative standards for which we all strive."

Barnes says he is honored by the appointment and excited to help advance the work of the Business and Administration Division, which includes nearly 1,400 staff members working in finance, human resources, information technology, campus services (capital project and campus master planning, parking, police, transportation and facilities management), real estate, internal audit and investment management.

"I did not anticipate being asked to serve, but I believe in President-elect Sterk’s leadership. I am humbled to be asked by someone I respect and admire to serve in her administration," Barnes says.

"A first priority will be to support the president, continue to facilitate and enable the highly professional business and administration team, and to work effectively with other Emory leaders toward Emory’s collective success."