Chris Kiwus named interim senior vice president and chief business officer
Chris Kiwus, vice president for campus planning, infrastructure, and facilities at Virginia Tech, will become interim senior vice president and chief business officer effective Jan. 3, 2022.
Kiwus’ appointment follows the announcement that current senior vice president and chief business officer Dwayne Pinkney has accepted the position of executive vice president for finance and administration at Indiana University, a major public research university that spans seven campuses and two regional centers with more than 70,000 undergraduate students, 19,000 graduate students and 21,000 university employees.
In his new role, Kiwus will work closely with President Tim Sands, Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke, and the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to coordinate Virginia Tech’s business and administrative operations and manage the financial and operational resources necessary to support the university’s current and developing initiatives and vision.
“I deeply appreciate Dwayne’s leadership, vision, and collaborative spirit during his time at Virginia Tech,” said Sands. “His administrative transformation initiative has positioned us well to continue implementing the university’s strategic plan. His accomplishments include the development of an outstanding leadership team, including Chris Kiwus. I have great confidence in Chris’s ability to help us accomplish the important work that lies ahead.”
Kiwus, who came to Virginia Tech in 2014 as the university’s associate vice president for campus planning, infrastructure, and facilities, was promoted to vice president in 2020. Prior to his arrival at the university, Kiwus served as commanding officer of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was responsible for the management and leadership of 15 Navy bases, which included 20,000 facilities on 170,000 acres of land across the southeastern U.S. and the Caribbean, more than a $1 billion dollar budget, and approximately 1,800 employees.
“I am deeply honored to continue my service to Virginia Tech in this new role,” said Kiwus who currently leads the university's ambitious six-year capital outlay plan for 2020-26 which includes approximately 30 projects and totaling nearly $3 billion as well as the planning, construction, and operational efforts of the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. “I look forward to working with President Sands and Provost Clarke in support of the university’s mission and Beyond Boundaries strategic vision.”
“Dwayne has done tremendous work on behalf of Virginia Tech and the progress this university has made during his tenure here is remarkable,” said Ed Baine, vice rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, chair of its Finance and Resource Management Committee, and president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “I know I speak for all board members in expressing our gratitude for the work he has done.
“I look forward to working now with Chris, who has tremendous knowledge of critical university operations, and his work on the 2018 master plan for the Blacksburg campus, six-year capital outlay plan, the Innovation Campus, and his work in support of accessibility, inclusion, environmental stewardship, sustainability, energy management, and agricultural investment has been impressive,” said Baine.
As vice president, Kiwus oversees a team of more than 500 university employees. He provides strategic direction and supervision around capital planning and construction, university planning, sustainability, energy management, buildings and grounds, renovations, engineering operations, real estate and leasing, and campus utilities, including the Virginia Tech Electric Service.
A retired captain of the U.S. Navy, Kiwus has served more than three decades as a strategic leader, advocate, and engineer responsible for facilities planning, public works and infrastructure, sustainability, real estate, and construction, among a host of other core operational functions.
Kiwus received bachelor’s degrees from Union College and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, master's degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the U.S. Naval War College, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He completed the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida.
Pinkney came to Virginia Tech in 2018 as senior vice president for operations and administration after serving as senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
An international search will be launched in early 2022 to identify a permanent successor to this position.