Aug 032004
 
Authors: Collegian Staff

Gerard Bomotti, vice president of Administrative Services,

announced his resignation last week. He is taking the vice

president of finance position at the University of Nevada-Las

Vegas.

In his current position, Bomotti oversees human resources,

payroll, parking, purchasing, physical planning, accounting,

financial and budget functions, and institutional analysis.

Bomotti came to CSU on June 23, 1993, after serving five years

as vice president for administrative services at the University of

Arkansas.

Bomotti grew up in a rural area near Portland, Ore., and

attended school in a two-room schoolhouse until the sixth

grade.

“The town I grew up in was so small — this is no joke, it

sounds like a joke, but it’s true — that we didn’t have a post

office, and we had to have the mailing address of the next closest

city,” Bomotti told the Collegian last April. “The name of that

city was Boring, Ore.”

When Bomotti went to earn his doctorate at the University of

Michigan in 1985 during paid sabbatical, he met his wife,

Sally.

The couple moved back to Anchorage, but Sally did not want to

stay.

“Alaska is a place that people either love or hate. I really

loved it, she really hated it,” Bomotti said in April. “So 16

months, eight days, four hours and 12 minutes or something – she

knows the time – later, after she arrived, we moved out and went to

the University of Arkansas.”

It is from there that Bomotti came to CSU, and from here he now

leaves to serve the UNLV community.

This is what he has to say about his time at CSU and his future

plans:

Bomotti interview

 

1. What will your job be like at UNLV?

It’s similar in some ways, different in others, but it includes

most of the areas I have now with the main exception of facilities,

which is organized differently there. But it also includes some new

activities like the Thomas and Mack Center, which is a multi-use

facility that they use for rodeos to basketball to, I think, arena

football. That’s one of the programs that I’ll be responsible for

as well. Some differences, but in many ways a similar type of

position.

2. Is this something you sought out or did they approach you

with this position?

Well, it’s sort of like any opportunity to come up. Something of

opportunity arises and then you talk with people and you have some

mutual interest and I’ve been here a long time – 11 years – and

certainly we love Colorado and the Fort Collins area and CSU, but

there just seemed to be, and I speak both for myself and my wife in

looking at our opportunities together because really that was one

of the requirements to see how we could meet both of our needs,

which is not an easy task … When I first heard of the opportunity

at UNLV, I just really didn’t do much with it, and then my wife

talked to me about it, certainly expressed interest in the location

(laughs) and warm weather and warm winters and the like. So just

kind of a series of discussions, then I submitted my application

and they had interest in me and then ended up having interested

both in me and my wife.

3. If you could tell some of the people you know here, why the

move?

It’s not just one issue. I think everybody at a point in time

just kind of thinks what are they going to do for the next portion

of their life … Certainly as I mentioned, the opportunities for

both myself and my wife, Sally … I’ve been somewhat immune to

weather conditions in my life. I grew up in Oregon in the rain,

went to Alaska n the cold, went to Arkansas in the heat and

humidity. I never really thought that much about the weather but my

wife and daughter had less interest in the winters and more

interest in the heat. A number of items like that. … There’s a

lot of growth at UNLV. It’s a rapidly growing institution. There’s

not that many opportunities to be involved at that point in the

life of an institution as it moves forward… I think I have a lot

of experiences over 28, 29 years in higher education administration

that I can use to help UNLV in the future. A host of a lot of

little things just kind of falling into place that made us

conclude, hey let’s do it, let’s try it.

4. How did Colorado’s financial climate right now impact your

decision?

It wasn’t the main reason or anything, but certainly I’m the

finance guy here. I give presentations on the challenges

financially of the state to support higher education, so I’m not

unaware of those challenges and, in my opinion, the fact that the

state must change the constitution in order to allow itself to

invest in public activities, including higher education in the

future. My belief is that things might get worse in higher

education in Colorado financially but they’ll get better then, too.

It’s not a long-term issue there. It’s certainly something I had in

my mind and I’m sure entered at some level into my thinking about

other opportunities.

5. What kind of climate does Nevada have as far as higher

education?

It’s a state with no state income tax. It certainly gets its

revenue from sales taxes and tourist industry in large part. They

told me 86 percent of the state land is owned by the federal

government. So there’s a large federal presence, which to me is

perhaps opportunities for partnerships in the future, and I’ve

worked here with a number of federal partners. They seem to have

recovered pretty well from the post 9/11/01 era. The economy over

there seems to have done well. No institution, no state is without

financial problems, but they have seen in institutions of higher

education increasing allocations for operating and capital budgets

in recent years, and they’re expecting that into the future.

They’re doing something that doesn’t happen in many states: They’re

starting a brand-new four-year institution, Nevada State College…

You don’t find that very often, so the growth in that southern part

of Nevada is so phenomenal that the state has decided to further

invest in even doing something that you don’t see very often –

that’s creating a new four-year institution and the commitments

that go along with that.

6. As someone who was on the inside and is soon to be on the

outside, what kind of problems do you see CSU needing to

address?

I really think that CSU’s a great institution and my own

personal opinion is that state finances will complicate the lives

of CSU administrators for the next couple years even more than they

have in the past. I think the implementation of the College

Opportunity Fund and all those issues will take some overhead on

administrators, students and parents, too, as the state is blazing

the way for whether or not vouchers work in higher education. I

think that will come with some overhead and some headaches, but I’m

convinced it will come back. It’ll dip down, but it will come back

up strong. Colorado State University’s been here 134 years. It, in

my opinion, has a bright future for another 134 years, not to say

there won’t be little dips here and then. In some ways you can go

back and look at the flood of ’97, which we just had the seventh

year anniversary of here last week. I always think of that. I can’t

get to July 28 without thinking of that flood because it so

impacted my activities for such a long period of time. When that

occurred, so many people were thinking, “Oh, gee, what will the

impact (be)? Will CSU be able to recover? When will it?” But as

past presidents have indicated of CSU, the people here have always

been resilient, they’ve always been able to take adversity and turn

it into advantage. And I think the same will happen with these

financial challenges in the state … There’s just too many good

people here, especially faculty, for it to be any other way.

7. How else do you see your job changing?

I think it could change a number of (ways). I think in many ways

it will be the same. It’s communication and working with people on

campus to support the academic enterprise. That won’t change …

But I think when it gets down to it it’s resources and I’ll

continue to work on stewarding the state resources for a public

institution of higher education, so I think it will be more similar

than dissimilar. Again, there’ll be some unique things there. UNLV

in the last few years has again done something that you don’t see

happen very often. They’ve started a brand-new law school. You

don’t see that happen very often anymore in the United States.

(They’ve) started a brand-new dental school. They’re in the process

of starting a brand-new orthodontics school. A few years ago they

started a new school of architecture. So those new professional

programs will have issues associated with getting them up and

running fully, having a full cohort of students in those programs,

making sure they’re set well for the future success. I’m sure my

job will interact with some of those individuals in helping support

some of those new programs like that. In many ways it will be

similar. If people don’t get the right paycheck, they’ll call me

there as they call me here. If some vendor doesn’t get paid,

they’ll call me there as they call me here. If somebody doesn’t

like the way a bid was awarded, they’ll call me there as they call

me here.

8. How do you see your life changing personally? Fort Collins is

a pretty laid-back town and you’re going to what’s called “Sin

City.”

(Laughs) Well, I don’t know what to make of that there. From the

people I’ve met down there and talked with where we looked at homes

in the area, most of the people that live there don’t seem to ever

go down to the Strip. It’s like it’s the nuclear power plant but

they don’t go visit it or something. So people are aware it’s

there, but you know life seemed more similar, (in) families I met

there, to what happens in Fort Collins and everywhere I’ve ever

been than different. So I don’t expect it’ll be a lot of changes.

We may have to trade in our snowshoes, which we have here, for

something else there… I think that family life will be more

similar than dissimilar.

10. Anything you’d like to add?

We’ll really miss the friends and colleagues I was able to work

with here at CSU, and that includes students. I’ve been fortunate

every year to work with the (Associated Students of CSU)

leadership. Students have had wonderful leadership over the years

I’ve been here… The students, faculty, staff – it’s a first-rate

place.

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