Marlyn Finley retired as Eastern Illinois University's treasurer on Jan. 1, 2000. Now, with the appointment of a new treasurer, he can actually stop working.
"I told him now he'd actually have a chance to do some other things," said Paul McCann, whose first day on the job was June 19. "Things you might actually associate with retirement."
As a cost-saving measure, the university officially went without a full-time treasurer after Finley's retirement six-and-a-half years ago. Fortunately, the incumbent was happy to help out on a part-time basis.
Even so, relief was evident at the newcomer's arrival.
"We're extremely happy to have Mr. McCann join our office," said Jeff Cooley, Eastern's vice president for business affairs. "Challenges await us in the coming months, and it's a relief to know that we have a well-qualified full-time person to help us with those challenges."
McCann, of Decatur, was no stranger to Eastern when he decided to apply for the position of director of business services/treasurer. Years ago, as manager of the accounting firm, Murphey, Jenne and Jones, he came to campus as a member of the audit team hired to do Eastern's annual external audit.
"Through that experience, I came to think highly of the people and staff here," he said.
Now, as he gets acquainted with the position that's "still being defined," his appreciation has deepened.
"The people are so wonderful. They're good at their jobs and well-qualified," he said. "My intention is to lend some expertise to the various departments I will be working with most closely -- payroll, benefits, the business office and purchasing."
This expertise comes at a crucial time as Eastern continues the update of its computer infrastructure. The entire campus is in the process of changing over to one integrated system in a process called Enterprise Information System Enhancement.
The project -- better known throughout campus as Banner, because Banner is the name of the main software suite involved - began taking shape in 2005, with all aspects of the system expected to be online by early 2008.
"There are a lot of changes taking place," McCann said. "And I want our people to feel good about themselves, about me and about the university."
McCann received his bachelor's degree in business/accounting from Augustana College in Rock Island. In addition to his work at Murphey, Jenne and Jones (now known as Peat Marwick), McCann served as a partner with the accounting firm of Doehring Winders and Co., LLP, and as chief financial officer with Behnke and Co., Inc., a Decatur insurance firm.
He also serves as treasurer of Macon Resources, a Decatur endeavor which offers job opportunities for the developmentally disabled.
Three years ago, McCann and his wife, Becky, took over their own business - Premier Farms, a school fundraising company specializing in sausage, cheeses and candy.
The couple, along with their children, William and Jennifer, continue to reside in Decatur. McCann is the son of Russell and Gladys McCann, also of Decatur.