In a world where everyone strives to be different and special, Joel Wallace, new vice president for financial administration, takes a different approach.
“I don’t consider myself that special compared to the people I work with,” says Wallace. “I think the people here are just fantastic; both the people that I work with and the students I’m getting to know.”
From a very early age, Wallace knew he wanted to do something in business. “I’ve always been interested in that area, even when I was in academy,” says Wallace. “I took little bookkeeping courses and worked in the business office while in academy. Then I worked in financial aid in college.”
The summer between Wallace’s junior and senior year of college, he got an internship with the General Conference auditing service. The internship was in the Southern Union, but after it ended Wallace was offered a job at the Southwestern Union Conference in Burleson, Texas as the under-treasurer, as well as the trust director and department treasurer. He joined the Union with his graduation in 1990 and has been here ever since.
The new job at the University came to him as a surprise.
“I was working in my backyard one evening when I got a call from the search committee asking if I would be interested in the position and I said yes,” says Wallace. “I was interested in this title because of the educational system. I like the idea of working with young people and just the energy that a university campus brings to the environment. I wanted to be thought of as a part of that.”
His new job includes many areas for Wallace to oversee, such as the IT department, student finance, the business office, maintenance and grounds, and transportation.
“I deal with the hiring process of new employees, and I assist our human resources director in different areas,” says Wallace. “Whatever comes along related to the university budget, costs and decisions that need be made for the different departments, I do.”
The biggest challenge to Wallace’s job right now is that the areas he’s responsible for are really diverse. “Right now it’s just challenging understanding the history of the institution,” says Wallace. “When an institution is running and you step into it from the outside, it’s a little hard to understand all the working and moving parts all at once.”
Getting to know the students has been one of the most fun parts of Wallace’s job. “Passing them in the halls, or if a student comes in to clean, otherwise it’s the cafeteria,” says Wallace. “I get to sit down and meet new people and see what’s going on in their lives.”
Wallace brings the abilities of a certified public accountant and general knowledge in that area, as well as his working knowledge of the Church from working at the Union.
“I hope I can just step up to the task and let God lead in my life and in the work of the school,” says Wallace.