Western University of Health Sciences has tapped Joshua McFarlen, CPA, CA, MPAcc, as its Interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Treasurer.
McFarlen joined WesternU in July 2018 and serves as Vice President for Finance. He takes over as Interim CFO and Treasurer following the retirement of Senior Vice President for Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Kevin D. Shaw, who served WesternU for 31 years. Shaw, who has been instrumental in the dramatic growth of the University, retired on April 2, 2021 and will stay on as an advisor to assist in the transition.
“We are so grateful that Josh has agreed to serve as Interim CFO,” said WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD. “WesternU finances are remarkably strong, and Josh resonates with the University mission and culture of humanism and his expertise drawn from years in both international accountancy and higher education are exactly what we need in transition out of the pandemic and to judiciously plan for University growth in the face of inevitable financial challenges and opportunities ahead.”
Kevin Shaw is an invaluable mentor and guide, and he placed the University in an incredibly strong financial position, McFarlen said.
“He has achieved more as CFO of Western University of Health Sciences than I think almost anyone could possibly realize. His is a nearly unmatched record of growth for a young institution. I cannot stress enough how incredibly high a bar he has set for the fiscal management of the institution,” McFarlen said. “Institutionally, we have so much to thank him for. Through disciplined, prudent fiscal management, the University finds itself in a fiscally healthy state, achieved through stable, well-managed and consistent outcomes.”
McFarlen earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Regina and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. He is an active, licensed Certified Public Accountant in California and Canada. He began his career in the audit practice of Big 4 public accounting firm KPMG, then served as a Financial Administrative Officer as well as in the Controller’s Office at the University of Saskatchewan. He also spent time in a CFO role in private financial services prior to joining WesternU.
McFarlen said as Interim CFO he wants to serve as a great financial steward for the University.
“I want to ensure the institution is fiscally strong and healthy so we are able to appropriately move forward and continue to do what we do best, which is to do a wonderful job of educating health science professionals of the future even as we continue to grow in a very stable, consistent way,” he said.