While Sierra Nevada University works through the process of approvals necessary to join the University of Nevada Reno family, SNU operations will be managed by an Executive Transition Office jointly led by Dr. Jill Heaton, Executive Vice President and Provost, and Sue Johnson, Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration.
Dr. Jill Heaton, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost
Dr. Heaton joins the Executive Transition Office from her position as the UNR Senior Vice Provost. She has extensive credentials to lead academic operations at SNU, guide academic program integration, and support the process of certifying the SNU acquisition through federal and national accrediting bodies.
Throughout her 17-year career at the University of Nevada Reno, Dr. Heaton has distinguished herself as one of UNR’s finest instructors, researchers, and administrators. As the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, which she began in August 2018, her responsibilities included many of the most important aspects of faculty affairs. This included space allocation for classrooms and laboratories, coordinating faculty, and campus policy changes reflected in the University Administrative Manual. Dr. Heaton is a former Chair of the Department of Geography.
Her research interests have focused on reptiles in arid climates, including Nevada and Namibia. Jill is an exceptional faculty member, university citizen and administrator. Her knowledge, wisdom and leadership have been critical for UNR’s success during her time in the Provost’s office.
Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration
Sue Johnson has been with Sierra Nevada University since 2012 and brings over 30 years of progressive executive management experience: financial analysis, including program profitability analysis; budgeting and budget management; capital expenditure planning and facility master planning; and organizational change management.
Johnson began her career as a Senior Staff Accountant at Grant Thornton. She then served for over 9 years as the Chief Financial Officer for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, where she oversaw a $160 million budget; and directed the functions of accounting, finance, purchasing, credit, regulatory compliance and strategic planning/analysis, among others. She was responsible for summarizing large quantities of business data into actionable information; led the process of identifying capital reinvestment needs and oversaw $7-$22 million in annual capital expenditures; and designed and directed business planning, long-range planning, and budgeting processes.
Following her time at Harrah’s, Johnson served as the Acting Chief Financial Officer for Carson City, where she oversaw 25 governmental funds and 11 proprietary funds with expenditures totaling over $117 million annually; coordinated the operations of finance, risk management and purchasing; worked with bond counsel to coordinate bond sales; and directed the annual comprehensive financial report. She subsequently served for two separate one year periods as Carson City’s Internal Auditor. Most recently, Johnson has worked for Freeman & Williams, LLP, a Carson City based accounting practice, where she has developed and managed their internal control review services for a widely diversified clientele.