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Heller to depart, Cramer named interim vice chancellor

April 22, 2021 By John Lucas

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller will depart UW–Madison later this summer to take a similar role at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Portrait of Laurent Heller

Laurent Heller

Portrait of Rob Cramer

Rob Cramer

Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning & Management Rob Cramer has been named interim vice chancellor, effective May 21.

“We’re very happy that Laurent is taking a next step in his career, but deeply sorry to see him go,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “His contributions over the past five years can’t be overstated in helping stabilize our finances and move numerous important initiatives forward. We’re very lucky to have Rob, with his past experience and skills, ready to step right in.”

Prior to joining UW–Madison in November 2020, Cramer served as vice president for administration for the University of Wisconsin System. An alumnus of UW–Madison, he also previously served as vice chancellor for administrative services at UW–Platteville, secretary of the State of Wisconsin Building Commission, and administrator of the Division of State Facilities.

UW–Madison’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration is responsible for the overall supervision of the university’s financial and administrative functions, including budget, facilities planning, business services, human resources, public safety and University Housing.

Heller joined the university in 2016, coming to UW after serving as assistant vice chancellor for financial planning and analysis at the University of California, Berkeley.

“I’m extremely grateful for my time at UW–Madison, where I had the chance to build and work with one of the best teams in higher education,” he says. “Together we have achieved so much in my time here. I will hope to continue the many friendships I’ve made here in the years ahead.”

During his time leading the division, Heller has worked to identify opportunities for performance improvements and to secure resources for reinvestment in the university’s academic mission.

He served as executive sponsor for major campus projects, including a major rework of UW–Madison’s title and compensation structure along with modernizing its human resources, budgeting, procurement and business processes.

He also led the development of a new Finance and Administration Strategic Plan and has displayed a strong commitment to an engaged, inclusive and diverse campus community, as well as navigating revenue losses of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the input of shared governance stakeholders.

Additional details about a national search for a new FPM leader will be shared in the near future.