UHCL finance leader awarded coveted professional development fellowship
University of Houston Clear Lake’s Associate Vice President of Finance Usha Mathew has been selected for the 2020-2021 National Association of College and University Business Officers Fellowship Program. NACUBO is a national professional organization for college and university business officers, and the yearlong fellowship program provides mentorship and professional development opportunities for future chief business officers.
“I believe this program will help me improve in three key areas,” Mathew said. “I’d like to gain a more thorough understanding of the complexities within the chief business officer’s role, improve my skills in verbal executive communication, and enhance networking and building relationships with colleagues across the globe.”
She added that since her desired career trajectory was to become the CBO of a higher education institution, this fellowship was a perfect fit. “This will enhance my positive leadership skills in preparation for the next level,” she said.
Vice President of Administration and Finance Mark Denney nominated Mathew for the fellowship, which he described as a highly competitive process.
“I submitted an endorsement for Usha, detailing why I believe she is such a quality candidate for this fellowship program and why they should select her,” he said. “They take only about 10 people from across all universities in the country each year, so we only nominate those who have a good chance of getting selected.”
Denney explained that the fellowship, which will begin in June, consists of a combination of conferences she’ll attend and specific projects she’ll work on. “It’s like a class with assignments to work on, focusing on emerging problems in higher education business,” he said. “She’ll learn to address them through leadership, management and strategic thinking, which are all skills she’ll need when she becomes CBO at a university.”
The fellowship will also assign Mathew an experienced vice president of finance from another university to mentor her. “This is why I like this fellowship program,” he said. “This mentor will have substantial professional experience that will add more elements than what she and I have. I’m staying heavily engaged with them, but that mentorship relationship will be comprehensive.”
Denney said that Mathew had demonstrated a great depth of understanding of the details of the business operations of a university. “I can absolutely see she will become the CBO at a university if she chooses, and since that’s her stated goal, I know she will do well.”
Mathew said that she’d believed she was in the ideal profession. “I have always wanted a career that involved numbers, ever since childhood,” she said. “I have always believed in serving with a heart. I have followed many people in my life, and now it’s my turn to lead and leave a legacy of service.”