By Abby Weingarten
In mid-March, Chris Kinsley took over the role of vice president of finance and administration at New College. The former assistant vice chancellor for finance and facilities for the State University System of Florida replaced John Martin, who had served for nearly two decades.
“I’ve always had a warm spot in my heart for New College,” Kinsley said. “The College has such a unique mission, it’s a beautiful place, and everybody’s always been warm and friendly.”
Kinsley’s work with the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) since 2006 led him to collaborate with much of the College’s faculty and staff. He assisted the College with its legislative budget requests for various projects, including the addition to the Heiser Natural Sciences Complex and some of the Hamilton Center renovations.
“I enjoy seeing things happen. My job at the BOG was really trying to find the money to construct or renovate facilities, so it was satisfying when you could see things happen,” Kinsley said. “Not everything we push for gets funding but much has been accomplished.”
And Kinsley accomplished much during his years in Tallahassee, including serving as chief comptroller for the Florida Department of Education. He holds bachelor’s degrees in finance and accounting, and a master’s degree in accounting from Florida State University. He is also a licensed certified professional accountant and a family man.
“I have a wife and three kids (two are college-aged and one is a rising senior in high school). We have two dogs: a standard poodle and a shih tzu. I like to garden, walk, play golf and read (mostly science fiction and history),” Kinsley said. “I’ve been a Tallahassee resident for 30-plus years but I love Sarasota and I’m thrilled to be here now.”
He is already quite familiar with the campus and its people.
“With my role at the BOG, I’ve had the opportunity to work with John Martin, Mike Michalson, President O’Shea, and multiple people in facilities, emergency management, finance and accounting, so I know at least a good dozen people here at the College,” Kinsley said. “I’ve even known some of the trustees and everyone’s been super pleasant.”
As he assumes his new role, Kinsley will be focused on picking up where Martin left off, on projects such as growing the College’s enrollment and raising funds to renovate the Pei dorms (as well as constructing new dorms). He will also be working to convince the Florida legislature to appropriate capital funds to construct the proposed multi-purpose facility to replace most of the Palmer Complex buildings. He looks forward to facing these challenges, and to helping the College transition and grow.
“A lot of unforeseen things happened since I accepted the position,” said Kinsley, who began his job right as students were evacuating the campus due to the coronavirus outbreak. “I’m optimistic though. The faculty, students and staff have been very understanding and patient even under the circumstances, and that says a lot about New College. If we can be like that in the worst of times, that’s a great place to be. I look forward to the best of times.”
Abby Weingarten is the editor/writer in the Office of Communications & Marketing.