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VP of Business and Finance resigns after four years

Hossein Sadid, vice president for business and finance and treasurer of the University of Richmond, announced Sept. 7 that he would resign in June after four years at the university.

"I just celebrated my 60th birthday," Sadid said. "I agonized for several months over the decision and talked with my family. I don't make these decisions lightly, but we agreed it was the right time.

"It's time for my graduation."

Before joining the Richmond staff in July 2009, Sadid worked for 28 years at Case Western Reserve University, a private research school in Cleveland, Ohio, he said.

He was the chief financial officer for six years at the university. Sadid then retired and joined an education project in Abu Dhabi sponsored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was in the United Arab Emirates for several weeks, he said, planning for the new Masdar Institute for Science and Technology.

"It had a great impact," Sadid said. "To be successful, you have to have a combination of many things, but most of all, experience."

When he was contacted about the job at Richmond by a recruiting site, Sadid had been hesitant to come out of retirement, he said, but he had known enough about Richmond to have been impressed by it. When he came to campus to learn about the job, he fell in love with the school and its staff.

Sadid's favorite aspect of his time here has been the people. "We have fascinating, incredible people," he said. "I am so proud of my team. Every member of my department is a true, true Spider. They are unsung heroes who love what they do."

With his team, Sadid has spearheaded a housing redevelopment plan that will include a new residence hall behind South Court that will house 153 students, additional apartments on the intramural fields, which will house 176 students, the renovation of nine more blocks of apartments and the demolition of the remaining 11 by fall 2014.

Sadid received the Richmond College Student Government Association's Administrator of the Year award in 2011, for his developments in transportation and sustainability, also under the five-year Richmond Promise plan. "That was fantastic. I hold it as a measure of success for myself that everything we do has to translate into academic success," he said. "I take a lot of pride in knowing everything we do makes life better for the students."

Sadid is confident that the foundation for the five-year plan is firm, he said. Although his absence will be felt, he said the plan would outlast him, President Ed Ayers and other current members of the staff. He said his greatest achievement had been enhancing the university's financial capacity to ensure that the staff could continue its momentum in the future.

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Sadid, who oversees the largest staff unit on campus with 532 members, received more than 100 notes and emails from the university community in response to his resignation, he said. Some reactions were angry, some were sad and some were congratulatory, but he said it had been meaningful to hear that he had made an impact even on people he hadn't known.

Ayers wrote a message to the campus community that outlined Sadid's contributions to the university, including the development of the 2011 Campus Master Plan, increased sharing of financial information with university members, expansion of UR Downtown and the implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

Sadid has represented the university well and embodied its values of community outreach and academic success, Ayers wrote in his email.

"He has also provided great leadership for the university during the economic downturn," Ayers said. "I am sorry to see him leave the university, but am very pleased that he will remain with us for the rest of this year." Sadid has had a distinguished career in service to higher education nationally, he said.

University officials are searching for a new vice president for business and finance, who will succeed Sadid on July 1, 2013.

Sadid has no plans, he said, but he will continue to live in Richmond because he likes the lifestyle and weather. He joked about becoming a landscaper for the university, which he said must be a great job. "Whatever I do, it has to translate to impacting lives."

Steve Allred, provost and vice president for academic affairs, was not available to comment.

Contact staff writer Rachel Bevels at rachel.bevels@richmond.edu

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