Southeastern Alumni Association

Murray State, Southeastern to share business officer through unique collaboration

Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage and Murray State College president Joy McDaniel today announced a collaborative agreement that will allow the institutions they lead to share the services of Murray State’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration Dennis Westman.

The concept,developed by the two presidents in the spirit of cost-saving collaboration,allows Southeastern to fill the duties of its Vice President of Business Affairs position, which became vacant late last fall with the retirement of Ross Walkup.

Under the agreement, which takes effect March 1, Westman will remain an employee of Murray State, while also providing leadership and supervisory oversight for business affairs at Southeastern.

“This agreement is an excellent example of campus presidents considering innovative solutions to meet operational needs in an exceptionally challenging budget environment,’’ said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “As a state system of higher education, we continue to work together at every level to maximize cost savings and provide the services required to help our students realize their educational aspirations.’’

“In the current climate, budgets and fiscal efficiency are paramount in the administrative decision-making process,’’ President McDaniel said. “As colleagues, President Burrage and I share a commitment to global solutions that are creative and mutually beneficial. This truly is collaboration at its best, and we hope to pave the way for similar agreements at other colleges and universities.’’

President Burrage agreed, saying, “we are very appreciative of the support and cooperation of President McDaniel in this venture. I really believe it will turn out to be a win-win situation for everyone involved.’’

Westman, who earned an Associates of AppliedScience in Business Management from Murray State, has been part of the administrative team there since 2011. His bachelor’s degree in management and his MBA were awarded by Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

“This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to serving two of southeastern Oklahoma’s finest higher education institutions,” Westman said. “I have lived in Durant for many years and feel very comfortable joining President McDaniel and President Burrage in this role.’’