For most of her three decades in public higher education, Barbara Larson served as the Chief Business Officer at community colleges, overseeing all financial services, information technology, facility planning and operations, police and emergency preparedness functions, and business operations and auxiliary services. She provided advice and counsel on financial policy and other operational matters to Presidents and to both elected and appointed Boards of Trustees in Michigan, Florida and Kansas.
Barbara concluded her career at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, Kansas where she served as Executive Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services. Prior to coming to JCCC, Barbara held positions as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida from 2006 to 2014, and at Lansing Community College in Michigan for 10 years prior to that. She began her community college career as the Budget Director at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Although the majority of her career has been on what some refer to the “business side of the house,” her leadership commitment has been to assist others in finance and administrative areas in connecting their roles to the success of students.
Dr. Larson holds a bachelors degree in Environmental Economics from Rutgers University, a masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University. She has taught courses in higher education governance and finances to doctoral students.
Dr. Larson’s early experiences in international education were pivotal in shaping her career in education. She was an exchange student to Argentina through AFS international programs, and she served as a staff member with the Semester at Sea program, a four month “floating university” that goes around the world.