College of Arts and Sciences makes new appointments in areas of fiscal planning and budget
Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences has appointed Karl Solibakke to the newly created position of assistant dean for finance and long-range planning and Brian Sparks to the newly created position of director of budget and financial analysis. The new appointments within the college’s budget office are the result of a larger administrative restructuring effort designed to optimize resources and better position the college on a national scale.
The assistant dean for finance and long-range planning will develop financial projections and proposals to help the college implement its long-term goals under the RCM budget system, and will act as the primary liaison to the University’s Office of Budget and Planning. The director of budget and financial analysis will integrate new accounting and financial software reporting tools into the budget process to facilitate analysis of past income and expenditure patterns and optimize long-range forecasting of revenue sources and expenditures.
“The new positions are the result of an intensive review and redefining of the roles and responsibilities of the college’s administrative staff,” says Dean George Langford. “The exceptional financial planning and budgetary skills that Karl and Brian bring to these positions will enhance our ability to continue to offer the highest-quality education in the liberal arts, both now and in the future.”
Solibakke currently serves as the Love Distinguished Research Fellow, German Literature and Culture in the college’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. Prior to returning to academia, Solibakke had a distinguished career in business, serving as the chief financial and executive officer for Berlitz Deutschland GmbH, overseeing four units in the company’s adult language and vocational training sector. During his tenure, each unit received a Top-Ten Business Prize for outstanding achievements in financial, marketing, personnel and corporate expansion.
From 2002-06, Solibakke served as assistant to the dean of arts and humanities at Heinrich- Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, where he was responsible for financial and logistical planning for the academic division and mid-and long-range fiscal and human resources planning. Solibakke holds a master’s degree (2002) and Ph.D. in German literature, linguistics and philosophy (2004) from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland, where he graduated magna cum laude (1981).
Sparks formerly served as vice president/senior financial planning and analysis manager for Marsh and McLennan Cos., where he was responsible for branch offices throughout the United States. Prior to that, he served as assistant vice president/underwriter for Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc. He is the recipient of several business awards, including the Marsh Excellence Award and the Merrill Lynch Presidential Achievement Award for distinguished service. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nazareth College and is completing a master’s degree in business administration at SU’s Whitman School of Management.