Lisa Wilkes, who earned her doctorate in higher education administration at the Virginia Tech School of Education, has been named the university’s vice president for business affairs.

In this assignment, which is a new leadership role for the university, Wilkes will report to Dwayne Pinkney, senior vice president for operations and administration, and serve as the principal deputy and senior advisor to Pinkney. Wilkes will also lead university initiatives to advance the operations and administration enterprise and support the university’s mission and vision. She will work closely with university leaders to drive change, enhance business strategies, move beyond traditional operational boundaries, and advance operational and administrative goals.

Wilkes has served as the university’s interim vice president for human resources (HR) since August 2017.

“Lisa has 23 years of experience with Virginia Tech and most recently worked to lay out a path for the university to transform our HR policies, practices, staff, and technologies,” said Pinkney. “We appreciate all of her contributions to human resources and, with the hire of Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources, I am pleased to now welcome her into this new role.

“Operations and administration manages the financial and operational resources needed to achieve our Beyond Boundaries vision. Using her extensive knowledge of Virginia Tech as well as the many relationships she has with university leaders, faculty, students, partners, and other constituent groups, Lisa will work collaboratively within operations and administration and across our campus community to help us drive operational excellence.”

Among her accomplishments as interim vice president for HR, Wilkes led the effort to move HR from a transactional-based unit to a strategic, customer-focused enterprise. Under her leadership, an HR governance and feedback mechanism was created, including an advisory council with representation from each of the university’s senior management areas, to develop the framework for a new HR service model, and an HR executive committee to provide strategic oversight of the new model.

In June 2017, the new service model was finalized. The model focuses on improving customer service to employees and developing strategic HR resources and capabilities to help the university attract the best and brightest talent. Wilkes also led the creation of a new consultative HR role, the divisional director, to provide strategic advice and partnership to business units on people-related needs, such as talent, professional and workforce development, succession planning, and employee engagement.

Wilkes began her career at Virginia Tech as a graduate student intern in 1995. During her tenure with the university, she has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as assistant vice president for finance from 2009 to 2012, assistant vice president for business services from 2012 to 2015, and associate vice president for administration from 2015 to 2017.

Wilkes holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Radford University in addition to her doctorate in higher education administration from Virginia Tech.

Written by Laurie Stacy