Marilyn Fowle talks and expresses how financial policies are working to the Board at the Nov. 10, 2017 meeting. (Sara Keeling)
Marilyn Fowle talks and expresses how financial policies are working to the Board at the Nov. 10, 2017 meeting.

Sara Keeling

VP for finance to retire in January

October 15, 2018

Marilyn Fowlé, vice president of business affairs and finance, is set to retire on Jan. 31, 2019. Although Fowlé is retiring for personal reasons, and can afford to retire due to having enough years of service accumulated in the Texas Teachers retirement system, she also stated the university is in a good spot, making it “just the right time.”

Fowle says the university is in a good spot with great leadership.

“You wanna walk away when things are going well,” Fowlé said.

One of the most memorable events that has happened in Fowle’s time at MSU was being a part of creating a master plan. According to Fowle, a master plan was not created until after she started working at the university and she has continuously been acting on the plans.

Fowle talking
Bradley Wilson
University Vice President for Administration and Finance Marilyn Fowle, May 1, 2018.

“We got the tuition revenue bond money that allows us to do a lot of things and I had two great presidents that have supported the vision of the master plan so to me that’s just really satisfying to have had this creation of you know, it’s a joint campus wide creation using some consultants, architects to create the master plan,” Fowlé said. “But, now to actually be seeing things take hold of some of those items that were in the master plan it’s really gonna in the next —and it’s not gonna stop with me retiring— there’s things in the works in the next four or five years. So, if all of those come to fruition then the place is gonna be totally different from when I started so that’s really exciting to me, I really enjoy that.”

With a career spanning over 30 years, Fowlé started as a secretary at Arizona State University. She has also been an associate vice president at Texas A&M – Galveston and vice president at three other universities.

“I’ve been Vice President at three other universities and I was an associate vp a while down in Galveston, Texas A&M – Galveston. I was a secretary to begin with at Arizona State and then moved to Texas and I came up through like budget and did budgeting and kind of worked on my MBA, got that and then kept moving up the ladder and got my Doctorate and had kids, and it’s just been a busy 30 years, it goes by fast,” Fowlé said.

For post-retirement plans, Fowlé and her husband have purchased a 30 foot Winnebago Class A RV and a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to tour the country and rented a townhouse in Houston, TX. They decided on Houston because they lived there in the past in the clear lake area.

Fowle and Stewart
Kirsten Caskey
Vice President Marilyn Fowlé and Provost Betty Stewart, Sept. 10, 2012 shortly after both arrived. Stewart left the university in 2016.

“Our plan is, if we can to go ahead and get in the RV and rent the townhouse out through airbnb, because it’s in a great location. We think it’ll be pretty lucrative to do that while we’re not there and just supplement our retirement income,” Fowlé said.

According to Fowlé, plans for a search committee or her replacement are still in the preliminary stages.

“They’re gonna use an outside search firm, a national search firm and I’m willing to do whatever the president would like me help out or do to participate, not participate, train or fill them in or whatever. It’s early [to discuss in detail/fully know] yet we’re just preliminarily started talking about that,” Fowlé said.

While Fowle is going to miss the people, saying her team, all the vice presidents and president Shipley have been wonderful to work with. She will always have a tie to the university because her daughter attended MSU.

“She graduated a couple years ago and is in med school now at Texas Tech so, I know MSU is a really good school and she loved being here so I’ll be back. It’s homecoming for her she thinks of the place very highly and it was good to her,” Fowlé said.

Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and student enrollment, said he is sad to see Fowlé retire, but understands her desire to.

“She’s absolutely one the best professionals I’ve worked with. She’s a brilliant CFO (chief financial officer) and has been very good to work with,” Lamb said. “Yeah I’m gonna miss her a lot. I’m gonna miss her guidance because she’s helped me quite a bit through the years. She’s a very good chief financial officer, incredibly capable has a lot of really good ideas, and has been —I know for me and my understanding of higher ed finances— she’s been just absolutely instrumental.”



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