Mark D. Ellard has an impressive resume. The recently appointed Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer has worked in the Alabama Community College System for more than 20 years in various roles. Prior to that, Ellard worked as a state college auditor. He is also a big Rush fan, a drummer and a certified public accountant.
Now, Ellard is all geared up to make his mark at Mississippi University for Women.
“I think he is going to do great things for the university,” Angie Atkins, director of Resources Management, said, “He’s already hit the ground running. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our campus.”
Ellard has worn many hats throughout his career. He has served as interim president, executive vice president, and CFO for multiple community colleges. With his experience in the two-year community college system, he is now slowly learning the ropes of a four-year institution.
However, he expects this transition to be easier than anticipated. The W is very similar to his prior workplaces when it comes to class sizes and budget allocations. His said his biggest challenge right now is learning the new software that the university uses.
Ellard has big shoes to fill. His predecessor is the newly appointed President Nora Miller. This doesn’t daunt Ellard. He said he is glad to have her nearby.
“He’s got a nice personality, and people enjoy talking to him,” said Nora Miller, President of The W.
“I feel confident,” said Miller. “I hope that he will help us expedite and automate some processes, and I hope that he will continue to find ways for us to improve efficiencies.”
Ellard loves the camaraderie that he has found at The W. He hopes that this will help him work through the challenges of figuring out a way to do things better and be more efficient.
“Having someone come in with fresh eyes helps, because it’s easier for them to see things that the people have been there a while haven’t,” said Ellard.