Tom Fleming, senior vice president and chief financial officer, recently informed me that he has decided to retire on May 31, 2020. For more than two decades, SVP Fleming has reinvented and improved LMU’s financial operations, building a sophisticated Finance Division with talented professionals whose expertise provide the university with essential functions in financial, accounting, and contractual matters. Tom’s successor will benefit from a thriving team and a financially healthy institution, as evidenced by our consistently balanced operating budgets and surpluses. LMU has maintained an A-2 rating from Moody’s for 20 years, a testament to Tom’s steady leadership.
During his 23-year LMU career, which began in 1996 when he joined us as controller, SVP Fleming has had a transformative impact, including:
- He participated in 14 public debt offerings while leading 10 of them, beginning in 2003. These debt offerings borrowed approximately $600M for the university, enabling a variety of initiatives, including the acquisition of University Hall, various campus construction projects (e.g. residence halls, a parking structure, the LMU Children’s Center) and the refurbishment of existing facilities, such as the Charles Von der Ahe Building. Additionally, bonds were used to refinance existing debt, lowering the interest rates paid by LMU and thus providing additional funds for other university priorities.
- SVP Fleming was instrumental in the acquisition and financing of the LMU Playa Vista Campus.
- He played a key role in the purchase of numerous residences adjoining the Westchester campus which are part of the LMU Faculty Housing Program.
- SVP Fleming has overseen LMU’s endowment operations—the Endowment has risen from a low of approximately $226M to approximately $500M today.
Prior to his tenure with the university, SVP Fleming held the position of vice president and general manager of the McKay Division of Blue Coral, Inc., a leader in automotive waxes and related products. He held other positions in the Cleveland-based company from 1988 to 1996. A certified public accountant (inactive status), SVP Fleming has also worked at Matrix Science Corporation in Torrance; The Flying Tiger Line Inc., in Los Angeles; Arthur Andersen & Co., also in Los Angeles; and as an officer in the U.S. Army.
On June 1, 2020, SVP Fleming will remain as university treasurer, providing the new SVP with continuity in overseeing the university’s investments, endowments, and related operations until a new treasurer is appointed. He will also work on special projects for the university while continuing in his posts as chair of the Audit Committee of the WASC Commission and as a member of the Investment Committee of the Western American Province of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, one of LMU’s founding orders.
I will chair a committee that will conduct a national search to recruit our next senior vice president for finance. Details about the search will be shared in forthcoming communications. I anticipate the new SVP will start on June 1, 2020.
We plan to celebrate SVP Fleming’s many accomplishments and fiscal stewardship in the spring. Details will be shared in the months ahead. When you pass Tom this semester and next, please join me in thanking him for his extraordinary contributions to our community and for remaining with us past June 1 to provide for a smooth transition.
Lynne B. Scarboro,
Executive Vice President
and Chief Administrative Officer