John Ward brings experience, understanding to role of Fresno Pacific University vice president

A seasoned professional with a range of experience and an understanding of the academic mission is the new vice president for business affairs at Fresno Pacific University.

John Ward began January 1, 2003. He will work with the president and others to set financial goals and have day-to-day responsibility for the university's budget of over $20 million. He will also oversee several departments, including the business office, human resources, information services, auxiliary services and facilities management.

Ward joined FPU in 2002 as director of accounts for the school of professional studies. In his new post he replaces Larry Perryman, who chose to return to a faculty position after three years as vice president.

"John is the perfect mix of ‘inside' and ‘outside' candidate," said FPU President D. Merrill Ewert. "His previous varied leadership roles give him a broad understanding of the application of financial principles, and his time in the school of professional studies gives him insight into how we work. This combination provides a valuable perspective that will serve the university well."

Ward sees his role as a member of a team committed to helping FPU realize its potential in ways consistent with its core values and mission. "I believe my financial background, executive-level management experience, collaborative work style, record of community involvement and commitment to the Fresno area have prepared me to successfully meet this challenge," he said.

The first priority is to carry on Perryman's record of sound fiscal management. "A lot of good things have been happening lately and I want to continue that in the years ahead," Ward said.

Financial strength serves students and faculty. "The more secure we are financially, the more we can invest in the academic product. In the long run that's what will advance the university," Ward said. "FPU is only as good as its faculty and academics. Our ability to grow will be dependent on our ability to attract students and faculty and maintain a good faculty-student ratio."

Prior to coming to FPU, Ward was chief financial officer for Elenbaas Company, Inc., Sumas, Washington. He has also been general manager for the McClatchy Company, where he worked for the Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee newspapers. He also served with Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Inc., in Fort Wayne, Indiana; San Jose, California; and Lexington, Kentucky.

Over the last 20 years, Ward has worked in areas ranging from bank relations and capital projects to human resources and information services. Ward said two positions in particular prepared him for FPU: At the Modesto Bee he was involved with major improvements such as constructing a new plant and buying new presses. His time with Elenbaas, a family owned feed company with a budget similar in size to FPU's, brought him experience in making financial forecasts and five-year plans.

Among Ward's community service assignments were membership on the boards of directors of the Fresno and Modesto chambers of commerce and the Modesto United Way and YMCA. He earned his bachelor's degree from Drexel University, Philadelphia, and is a CPA.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations