Former Executive Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Fiscal Affairs, University System of Georgia
Shelley C. Nickel recently retired from the University System of Georgia after a distinguished career as a respected public servant in the field of public administration and policy. Most recently, she served as the Interim President of Georgia Southern, a regional university enrolling 26,400 students in southeast Georgia. Under her tenure, the University entered its first year as a new institution, after the recent consolidation of Georgia Southern and Armstrong State Universities. Nickel previously served as Executive Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Fiscal Affairs and Treasurer for the Board of Regents, University System of Georgia (USG) providing strategic leadership and policy guidance for the Board and the System’s 26 institutions. Her portfolio included all financial activity, research and policy analysis and information technology, providing the Board and University System the ability to make data-driven decisions. Shelley was responsible for executing the board’s strategic plan and implementing system-wide projects such as consolidation, which reduced the number of institutions from 35 to 26 since 2011. The USG’s consolidation initiative has served as a national model for other higher education systems. Shelley also led the University System’s effort to operationalize shared services practices for administrative functions. These initiatives created greater efficiency and better use of University System resources, including more than $32.9 million in annual cost savings. Nickel has served in a wide range of administrative positions in Georgia. She was appointed Interim President of Gordon College, a USG liberal arts college serving 5,000 students. She was also appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue as director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget for the state of Georgia, the highest state office in budget planning and management. Nickel also served as president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, which is responsible for the state’s scholarship, grant and loan programs, including the nationally known HOPE Program. She is a graduate of Penn State University, where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Public Administration. She is a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association and served on the College of Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board.