GRCC Names New CFO - Experienced GRPS Financial Officer to Start July 1

Grand Rapids Community College has tapped Lisa Freiburger, current Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operation for Grand Rapids Public Schools, as their new Vice President of Finance and Administration. She will begin her new position on July 1, 2011.

As GRCC’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Freiburger will lead and manage the office of Finance and Administration, including departments that report to and/or are part of Facilities, Campus Police, Ford Fieldhouse, Operational Planning, Accounting and Budgets, Human Resources, Purchasing, Payroll/Benefits and Student Financial Services. She will serve on the President’s Cabinet and the Strategic Leadership Team and is responsible for all insurance and risk management concerns as well as safety and emergency planning.

“We are very fortunate to have someone as experienced, capable and well-regarded as Lisa,” said GRCC President Steven C. Ender. “The job has very broad responsibilities and Lisa is able to step right in.” In selecting Freiburger, Ender also acknowledged her knowledge of the city and the region; the education financing challenges; the important pending legislation; and her grasp of the history of issues at the local, state and national levels.  “Perhaps most importantly, she is accustomed to making decisions based on what is right for students.” added Ender.

Freiburger is filling the post vacated by former GRCC Vice President of Financial Services, Bob Partridge, also a former GRPS administrator, who retired after 39 years of service.

“We want to commend Ms. Freiburger for her years of service and dedication to GRPS. Thanks to her leadership and sound fiscal management, GRPS has been touted as a ‘model’ for how to right-size a large public school system, while at the same time improving operational and educational outcomes. She will be greatly missed,” said Dr. Bernard Taylor, Jr., Superintendent of Schools.

Records show that during her time with GRPS, Freiburger was able to "right size" the district’s facilities and operations, bringing them in line with enrollment and revenue, and spearheaded the successful passage and implementation of the district’s $165 million school bond.   

According to Taylor, her sound fiscal management allowed the district to add two projects into that implementation: the reconstruction of an elementary school and the renovation of Houseman Field.

“Words will never truly capture how much we appreciate and will miss Ms. Freiburger. She has been a tremendous asset to our organization and the GRCC students, staff and taxpayers are fortunate to have her in this new capacity,” said Senita Lenear, President, Grand Rapids Board of Education.

Ender touted another quality of Freiburger’s that made her a perfect fit for the GRCC - her commitment to sustainability.  Freiburger’s successful efforts with the school bond have allowed GRPS to become the most green built, LEED-certified schools of any school district in Michigan and ranks among the top in the nation.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.