Jeff Spear is a seasoned higher education executive with more than 20 years of experience as a CFO for small, private institutions including Houghton College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Southeastern University, where he works today.
In addition to his primary responsibilities, Jeff has also served as a finance specialist on visitation teams for the Middle States Accreditation Association and taken on various roles for NACUBO and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Commision on CFOs. Prior to academia, Jeff was co-owner of an Eastman Kodak spinoff, CFO of a public company and Controller of an investment banking firm—a diverse background responsible for the unique perspective he brings to the challenges facing higher education today.
A frequent presenter on financial modeling and quantitative analysis at higher educational conferences, Jeff recognized that many of concepts he once used to account for activity in the manufacturing world could be transformational when applied to schools. Beginning with a handful of pioneering clients, Jeff launched CFO Colleague in 2013. Just five years later, the practice has grown to include engagements at more than 80 institutions. His current post at Southeastern University is the result of one such interim leadership engagement that evolved into a permanent position in 2017. With Southeastern’s encouragement and support, Jeff continues to lead CFO Colleague while serving the University, an arrangement that allows him to stay current while continuing to learn in a constantly changing environment.
Outside the office, Jeff has served on numerous nonprofit and community development committees and councils, including service as treasurer and a program volunteer for the Winter Sanctuary, a shelter for homeless persons in his previous home of Mount Vernon, Ohio. He currently lives in Lakeland, Florida and shares seven precious grandchildren with his wife Janine.