John Pepper Jr. ’60 will be named the University’s next vice president for finance and administration today, Yale President Richard Levin said Monday night.
A former chairman and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble and senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, Pepper will assume the position of vice president on Jan. 1.
As vice president for finance and administration, Pepper will be responsible to the president for financial and non-academic administrative matters and will act as the ex-officio treasurer. Among other duties, the vice president is responsible for financial planning, auditing, building construction and maintenance, and the operation of utilities and dining halls.
Pepper has been the senior fellow of the Corporation — the University’s highest decision-making body — since 2002.
“We’re all very eager to work with him [in this new capacity],” Levin said. “There are so many ways in which he’s going to add depth to the team.”
The position had been vacant since Robert Culver, who had served as vice president for two years, left the post last summer. Yale Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Bruce Alexander ’65 had filled the position since then on an interim basis.
“It’s an example of the kind of person he is and the kind of loyalty Yale invites that [Pepper] is coming back to serve his alma mater,” Alexander said.
Pepper could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
When he assumes his new position, Pepper will resign from the Corporation, ending his eight-year tenure. Levin said Roland Betts ’68 — the chairman and chief executive officer of Chelsea Piers, L.P — will be the new senior fellow, a position with responsibilities including chairing Corporation meetings in the University president’s absence and keeping in frequent contact with Levin.
Levin said the University selected Pepper for the post this summer, but he was not able to assume the office until January because of prior commitments, including his work on the new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The center will celebrate both the history of the Underground Railroad and modern examples of the struggle for freedom, the center’s Web site said.
Pepper thinks of the job as a commitment that probably will not last for more than two years, Levin said. But Levin said the appointment of Pepper “creates a precedent that allows [Yale] to attract great people in the future.”
“He’s the person with great wisdom,” Levin said. “His reputation [is] as a person who creates a fantastic climate within the organization he’s leading.”
Yale Provost Susan Hockfield said Pepper is joining Yale’s administration at “a key moment.” She said part of the University’s budget reduction strategy is looking at ways to make Yale more efficient and economical and Procter and Gamble is a national leader in best practices.
“We have a huge amount to learn from him,” Hockfield said. “I think it’s a brilliant appointment.”
Alexander said Pepper, in addition to working on increasing the budget’s efficiency, will also work on the major building and renovation plans already underway at the University.
Pepper is currently a director of Boston Scientific Corp., Motorola Inc. and the Xerox Corp. He is also involved in Chinese affairs, including serving as a member of the Beijing Mayor’s Advisory Council.
Alexander, who will continue to serve as vice president of New Haven and State Affairs, said he enjoyed working with and meeting a larger part of the University but was “looking forward to refocusing on [his] original assignment.”
“The workload was like having final exams all the time,” Alexander said.
Two major administrative posts — the associate vice president for human resources and the associate vice president for facilities — remain unfilled. Alexander said a search is underway for both positions and a group of candidates has been identified.
Pepper is the second former Corporation member to become a University officer under Levin, following University Secretary Linda Lorimer LAW ’77. With Pepper’s appointment, four of Yale’s top seven administrative officers — Levin, Lorimer, Alexander and Pepper — are graduates of the University.
Levin said Pepper will move to New Haven from his current home in Cincinnati, Ohio but will probably keep his residence there as well.