Eugene S. Sunshine, Northwestern University’s senior vice president for business and finance, today announced he plans to retire this summer after 17 years at Northwestern.

Sunshine, 64, has been the chief administrative, business, financial and personnel officer of the University since 1997, as well as a key advisor to Northwestern’s president and Board of Trustees.

He will continue in those roles until a date to be determined this summer and will assist with the transition to his successor, who is yet to be named.

Sunshine says that after he retires he plan to do more service on public and private boards, work as a consultant and teach.

Among other responsibilities, Sunshine supervises the offices of central budgeting, comptroller and auditing; oversees all capital facilities, planning, construction and building maintenance; directs all real estate activities; and supervises investment management, banking relationships, University Police, risk management and other University services.

In a letter sent today to friends and colleagues, Sunshine said, “Northwestern has provided me with an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the leadership of my alma mater, which has been very gratifying.”

Sunshine and his wife, Holly, plan to continue to live in their home in Glenview.

“Gene Sunshine has contributed enormously to the success and growth of Northwestern over the past 17 years, and he has been an invaluable administrator and admired leader through good economic times and challenging ones,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.

“From new buildings that are reshaping the campus to the expansion of federal support for research facilities and 16 consecutive balanced budgets, Gene’s business acumen and steady fiscal stewardship have been instrumental in keeping Northwestern not just financially strong, but also thriving,” Schapiro added.

Sunshine is also a lecturer at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, School of Education and Social Policy and School of Continuing Studies. 

His lectures draw upon experiences in for-profit, nonprofit and government positions to offer insights about leadership. His career spans more than four decades and includes stints as senior vice president for administration at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and state treasurer of New York.

William Osborn, chairman of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, observed that “Gene has been a remarkably effective leader at Northwestern over the past 17 years, and his impact will benefit the entire University community for years to come. 

During his tenure, Sunshine oversaw the construction of more than 20 new buildings, additions, expansions or rehabilitations of facilities on Northwestern’s campuses, successfully navigated the University through the financial markets and liquidity crises in the 2008-2010 economic downturn, with the University outperforming most peer institutions and led the effort by the University to purchase buildings and land owned by Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston.

He also worked to secure quality, affordable childcare and early education options for university employees and cooperative agreements with local facilities. Faculty, staff and full-time students now have access at discounted rates to Bright Horizons and the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center in Evanston and at the KinderCare Learning Center in Chicago.

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