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Financial officer helped shape the university


Mallery aggressively supported university mission, projects

The Pacific University vice president charged with seven counts of first-degree sex abuse also happens to be one of the most accomplished financial officers in the school’s recent history, according to several people associated with the Forest Grove school.

“He ranks up there with the best ever,” said Tim Schauermann, a Pacific alumnus and current member of its Board of Trustees.

While some finance directors focus more narrowly on budgets and accounting, Mallery and his predecessor, Darlene Morgan, thought more about the “big, big picture,” Schauermann said, “like a CEO of a very large business would think.”

As vice president of finance and administration, Mallery was essentially Pacific’s chief financial officer.

In addition to managing the school’s finances and a $102 million budget, he oversaw six departments: facilities and safety management; financial aid; human resources; lease management; legal affairs; and university information services.

Mallery helped shepherd through a refinancing arrangement which freed up enough to build a new residence hall for its growing student population.

That dorm, located just south of University Avenue, is well on the way to completion this summer and is supported by a strong team that will not be affected by Mallery’s leave of absence, according to sources.

A different project — a third building for Hillsboro’s health-professions campus — will take years longer, said Trustee Gene Zurbrugg, partly because it’s in line behind the dorm project.

The board approved planning for HPC 3 (as the building is known) but Zurbrugg, a prominent Hillsboro contractor, said he and his colleagues won’t approve construction until it has financing. That’s where Mallery’s skills would come in.

“Mike has been instrumental in the vision for that facility,” said Vice President of University Advancement Cassie McVeety, who described Mallery as the project manager.

“I think he’s truly outstanding,” said McVeety, who has worked with many people in similar positions at other institutions.

Mallery came to Pacific from Oregon Health & Science University in 2010, followiing in the footsteps of Pacific President Lesley Hallick, who recommended him as Morgan’s successor. At OHSU he held the title of vice provost for finance and academic administration.

In his four years at Pacific, Mallery has “aggressively supported” the mission of the university, said one professor, who did not want to be identified. “Instead of looking at a project and saying ‘can’t be done, don’t have the money, maybe next year,’ Mallery would say, ‘Well, let’s think about how we can do that. Yeah — we can make it work.’”

He applied that thoughtful, can-do attitude to both small requests from professors and large building projects, such as the new dorm underway.

“If you had a problem, you could talk to Mike,” the professor said.

“He’s the guy you could go to and get a straight story from. Administrators are not always known for that.”