Dear UMBC Community,
I am delighted to take this opportunity to celebrate the career of Lynne Schaefer, Vice President for Administration and Finance, as she announces her plans to retire at the end of the calendar year. Beginning January 1, 2022, Kathy Dettloff will assume the position of Vice President for Administration and Finance. Kathy joined UMBC in 2019 as Associate Vice President in Financial Services, bringing with her over 20 years of experience in higher education.
During her 16 years at UMBC, Lynne has been a remarkably effective and collaborative leader who brought the highest level of financial acumen to her role. In addition to her work at UMBC, she has been a thought leader at the national level, including serving as board chair for the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). She also played an important leadership role within the University System of Maryland in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lynne came to UMBC in 2005 after serving as the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; and as Budget Director and Vice President for Administrative Services at Wayne State University in Detroit. In addition to her extensive experience in financial management, Lynne also brought comprehensive knowledge of higher education policy gained while working in Michigan state government, including as the governor’s education policy advisor.
Lynne’s leadership has been instrumental in creating a financially stable community that engenders innovation and growth through shared values. She oversees UMBC’s $480+ million budget and a variety of administrative functions, including Financial Services, Human Resources, Campus Police, and Facilities. She has played a key role in guiding the University through multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the great recession, all while creating a collaborative priority-based budget process that emphasizes protecting the academic program, supporting the UMBC community, and improving the experience of our students. Lynne’s work has been defined by a commitment to excellence, service, and transparency. She is currently writing a book with Provost Philip Rous, Peter Henderson, and me reflecting on the challenges of the past two years and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lynne’s work has also shaped the way the UMBC campus looks today. She has overseen all aspects of multiple new innovative campus buildings, including the Performing Arts and Humanities Building, the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, and the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena. She secured funding for these buildings and led the teams that managed their design and construction. As many of you know, she is particularly proud of our campus beautification efforts, and the teams that maintain and protect some of our most loved spaces, including the new campus entrance, the Retriever Activities Center plaza, the library pond, and more.
In addition to budget management and capital projects, Lynne’s leadership tenure has been defined by her strategic work to maintain our strong enrollment numbers and make sure UMBC is an attractive option for prospective students at all levels. She also developed and defined the University’s crisis management work, including serving as co-chair of the Retriever Courage Implementation team and chair of the Crisis Management Executive Team. She also leads our work in sustainability and our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
As a committed mentor and student of leadership development, Lynne is most proud of the strong team that she has assembled. Lynne’s management style is defined by partnership, mutual support, and respect. According to Valerie Thomas, Chief Human Resources Officer, “Lynne encourages collaboration and communication while also empowering the professionals on her team to do their work.” Lynne has created a team that is driven by vision and prioritizes customer service. Her team's commitment to embracing technology as a way to improve service processes has allowed the University to modernize and simplify many of its business processes. Terry Cook, Senior Associate Vice President for Administrative Services, says “Under Lynne’s leadership, the Administration and Finance Division was transformed into an innovative, customer service focused organization. Lynne empowered staff to attempt new approaches and systems, offered advice, and supported their efforts. We were very fortunate to have Lynne here at UMBC for the past 16 years, and her contributions will be appreciated well into the future.”
Lynne’s leadership and mentorship extends well beyond her division. Damian Doyle, Senior Associate Vice President, Division of Information Technology, has also benefited from Lynne’s mentorship. “Lynne has been a tremendous advocate and partner to me, including in her support of the leadership of the Professional Staff Senate. Her candor and thoughtful and level-headed approach to situations often helped us see past the immediate issues to focus on the larger picture, to see ways to affect change on a larger scale than we could have on our own. She is a stalwart champion for staff and makes sure that—no matter their title or level—all voices are heard and valued.”
Beyond UMBC, Lynne has shared her talents with a variety of professional communities and volunteer efforts. She served as NACUBO’s board chair from 2018-2019, and was named one of the Daily Record’s Top 100 Women in 2008. She has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations and is currently on the board of the Meadville Lombard Theological School, which educates progressive religious leaders grounded in the Unitarian Universalist values of justice, equity, and compassion. She is the mother to two children, both of whom are part of the UMBC family. Her son Matthew, a Meyerhoff scholar, graduated from UMBC in 2017 and is now completing a Ph.D. in computer science at Georgia Tech. Her daughter Samantha, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon, was a frequent visitor to campus and a one-time UMBC employee. Lynne is also an avid bridge player, and has competed at the highest national levels for more than 30 years.
It is a testament to Lynne’s leadership efforts that a member of her team will step into her role. Kathy Dettloff joined the UMBC community in 2019 as Associate Vice President for Financial Services. Prior to joining UMBC, Kathy served as the Vice President of Finance and Budget and Associate Treasurer at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. In this role, she was responsible for providing university-wide leadership and broad strategic oversight to the areas of university finance, budget, risk management and insurance, and administrative shared services. She was also the Chief Budget Officer at the University of Delaware and spent 16 years at Johns Hopkins University in a number of positions with increasing responsibility.
At UMBC, Kathy has worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that the University’s budget remains balanced despite cuts, that students have the resources they need to navigate challenging financial times, and that recovery funds were applied to the areas of greatest need. Our entire senior leadership team looks forward to working closely with Kathy.
Please join me in congratulating Lynne and thanking her for her commitment to UMBC. I know we all look forward to celebrating with her in December.
President Freeman Hrabowski