New Vice President of Finance Paul Eisenmenger is a product of a liberal arts education at a small school in the Midwest. This, he says, is why he was so responsive to Knox’s executive search.
Having attended several schools throughout his life including Northern Illinois University and DePaul University, he found his undergraduate time at Judson University to be most meaningful.
“A smaller college environment, the relationships with the professors I had, it was quite meaningful to me in terms of my path,” Eisenmenger said.
Before going into finance, Eisenmenger worked in industry and marketing. He says that these roles helped him to be more mindful when making presentations involving finance.
“I always think that that helped a little bit because I know what it’s like to sit in a finance meeting and not be completely aware of what the finance guy is talking about,” he said.
During his 16 years in higher education, Eisenmenger has filled various roles such as controller and Chief Executive Officer (CFO). He has worked at Trinity International University, Valparaiso University and most recently, Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. At Knox, Eisenmenger hopes to make better use of the resources we have available to us and build a foundation for current and future students.
“In many respects we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and in a very challenging higher education environment, [we hope to] to create that stability and that solid financial footing,” he said.
Eisenmenger has yet to find a home for himself in Galesburg but is confident that he will in due time. For now, he travels between Galesburg and his current home in Palatine, Ill. to visit his family. He does this so that his children, twins in eighth grade, can finish the year at their current school.
With Knox being located in a rural area, Eisenmenger notes how it differs from institutions he has taught at previously. The metropolitan setting of these institutions made for a broader community, contrasting the tight-knit community at Knox.
“I think every institution has its own focus, its own strings, its own character,” he said. “I think Knox is different in the regard that it’s very much ingrained in the community. It is a smaller, more intimate community.”
Eisenmenger looks forward to engaging with the community, whether that be the Galesburg community or with Knox faculty and students. Although his positions normally do not provide ample opportunity for student interaction, he has been able to do so through his role as an adjunct faculty member. At his previous institutions he has taught accounting, principles of finance and marketing among others.
“That’s kind of the best way I’ve found to really plug into the students,” he said. “You feel like you’re part of their learning experience.”