Lipscomb University has appointed Susan Coomer Galbreath senior vice president for strategy in the newly launched Office of University Strategy. Galbreath previously served as vice provost for academic and financial affairs and special assistant to the president at the university.
In her new role, Galbreath will implement university goals; identify issues in higher education and in the marketplace with potential impact on the institution; and focus on strategic initiatives in academics, technology, human resources, organizational design, process improvement and financial efficiencies.
“Dr. Galbreath has made significant contributions to Lipscomb University through her work in the provost’s office and as a faculty member that have had a tremendous positive impact on the institution,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry. “Beyond her impact on students in the classroom, her strong leadership, vision and skill at identifying issues and implementing solutions will ensure that Lipscomb University continues to be an innovative institution that changes the lives of its students for generations to come.”
An intentional focus on strategy is an emerging practice among organizations, particularly among colleges and universities. In December Nashville mayor Megan Barry created the city’s first chief strategy officer position.
“Changes in the higher education and business landscapes are coming fast and furiously creating a more complex organizational structure, increasing globalization issues, numerous new regulations and the need for innovative results and initiatives on a more frequent and sustainable basis,” said Galbreath, also a professor of accounting on the Lipscomb faculty. “Being able to act quickly to changes in market needs and the business environment and to know how those changes fit within a cohesive strategy is more crucial now than ever. Leaders of existing areas have their days full of their current duties and responsibilities. This new position exists to provide continuous focus on strategy development rather than a periodic process or review and to help share the load with the president and the executive team.”
In her role in the provost’s office, Galbreath provided vision and leadership for academic budgets; strategic initiatives, including Summer Programs, Wintermester and community college partnerships; and the Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides faculty with training and support for teaching excellence. In her tenure at Lipscomb, Galbreath has also provided leadership for the College of Business, global learning, the academic department of communication and journalism, university communication and marketing, and the Center for Teaching and Learning, where she was also the founding director. In these various roles, Galbreath's leadership has driven change and challenged the status quo with an innovative and collaborative approach. She joined the Lipscomb faculty in 2001 as associate professor of accounting in the College of Business.
A veteran educator, Galbreath was on the faculty at Tennessee Technological University and East Carolina University prior to coming to Lipscomb. She served as an in-charge auditor at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Nashville for two years. She was a member of the Leadership Middle Tennessee Class of 2015. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award from the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and has been named a Nashville Woman of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal.
A native of Cookeville, Galbreath holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Accountancy with an emphasis in accounting information systems and a Ph.D. in accounting from the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Galbreath is also a certified public accountant.