IU Southeast Magazine - Summer 2014 - page 28

As the chief financial and business
officer for Indiana University
Southeast, Vice Chancellor Dana Wavle
sometimes has to improvise and make
That usually works out fine, but
sometimes, said Wavle, “I feel like
Radar O’Reilly,” the hard-pressed
inventive problem solver on the TV
show, MASH.
“I’ve got to find ways to get things done
with limited resources,” Wavle said.
When he’s not wearing the O’Reilly hat,
he continued, Wavle often plays the
part of news writer or commentator.
“I view my job as being a financial
reporter. You have to report the good
news and, at times, the bad news.
I always try to communicate our
financial condition to the entire campus
community in an easy to understand
manner,” he said. “I try to help
people understand the story behind
the numbers, because that helps
people make good strategic decisions
about how to use our resources most
Clarity is key, he says, and he enjoys
the challenge of ensuring that the
campus makes the best use of available
resources. “I love accounting and
working with numbers,” he said. “I
refer to myself as a ‘bean counter with
a heart.’ “
But beyond the beans, Wavle (a finalist
for Louisville Business First’s CFO
of the Year Award in 2012 and 2013)
leads a range of campus operations.
His job can be summarized as taking
care of the financial, physical and
human resources of the campus. As
leader of Administrative Affairs,
he oversees staff recruitment and
personnel matters, develops strategies
for maintaining and improving the
campus’ buildings and grounds, works
to find energy efficiencies, guides
the conference and dining operations
and works with University Police to
ensure the safety and security of the
campus community. Wavle points
out that Administrative Affairs is a
large organization of dedicated, hard-
working employees, many of whom
work behind the scenes before or after
traditional work hours. “I couldn’t do
my job without an amazing team. I
acknowledge and applaud their efforts.”
Wavle is an active partner in developing
strategies that help students manage
the difficult balancing acts involved in
working while going to school.
“I want our students to enjoy the
same opportunities that I had as an
undergraduate at the State University
of New York College at Geneseo,”
he said. “I want them to have a great
academic experience at an affordable
price. Getting a degree is one of the
best investments our students can
An accessible public education is close
to his heart, said Wavle. “I wouldn’t be
where I am today without my degree
from a state university. My 18 years
of higher ed experience have been at
public institutions.”
He also knows what it’s like to be
a working student: Wavle earned
a master’s degree in business
administration from Le Moyne College,
Syracuse, New York, while working
full-time and taking classes during the
evenings. “It was challenging at the
time, but I’m glad I persevered through
five years of part-time study. It was a
rewarding experience.”
While serving as Controller and
Executive Director of auxiliary services
at SUNY Cortland, Wavle saw a
position posting at IU Southeast. The
ad mentioned the campus core values:
integrity; connectedness; holistic
learning; and a nurturing environment.
The culture and the position seemed
like a perfect match, he said. So he
applied, got the job and “packed up
my car and made the journey to New
Albany.” He started his position in
January 2009, with his family following
a few months later.
He and his wife, Sharon, a data
manager for IU’s Office of Online
Education, have been married 28
years and have three sons, Nate, a med
student at IU in Bloomington, Dan, an
IU senior studying astrophysics, and
Josh, a student at Highland Hills Middle
School and the Arts Institute at IU
All three play percussion instruments -
just like their dad.
“I put myself through college by
working as a stock clerk at Carl’s Drugs
and playing drums for the Cortland
Repertory Theater at night,” recalls
Wavle, whose percussive touch can be
heard on a CD called “Oh, Play That
Thing,” that’s still sold in Upstate New
Wavle has attended the Indianapolis
500 numerous times since 1985, and
is an even bigger fan of greyhounds,
which the family has adopted from race
tracks through rescue programs.
“We love the breed,” Wavle said, noting
that their third greyhound, Kinda Kool,
won only one of 11 races in 2007. “He’s
a better couch potato than a racer.” And
given the Wavle family’s penchant for
music, perhaps it’s not surprising that
one of their dogs, T-River, is a celebrity
that can be heard howling to music on a
Youtube video with more than 175,000
Dana Wavle, Vice Chancellor for
Administration and Finance
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