Brenau University named South Carolina native Toby Hinton to the post of vice president for financial services with responsibilities for managing and supervising all financial related services and responsibilities of the Business Office, budget maintenance and management, financial reporting and cash flow management for the 2,800-student institution.
Although Hinton is already on the job, he replaces the incumbent, Sandra Thornton, who retires on June 30 at the end of the current university fiscal year.
Hinton previously served for six and a half years on the staff of the Atlanta-based accounting firm Metcalf Davis CPAs, which is the university’s auditing firm. There he specialized in working with nonprofit organizations, including colleges and universities.
From that perspective, Hinton said he knew what was in store for him at Brenau, which consistently receives clean auditing reports from the firm.
“I know that Brenau is in good shape financially,” he said, “and I want to be involved in continuing that tradition of excellence. As an auditor, I was always impressed by how well Brenau maintained records and provided accurate, complete information. I also enjoyed working with the people at Brenau.”
That kind of clear trail to a clean audit is extremely important for universities, which must remain in compliance with federal standards for educational institutions and nonprofits. “A deficient audit report not only looks bad,” Hinton said, “but it could affect government funding for student financial aid, the university’s ability to raise money from donors and, ultimately, whether students will come.”
Hinton grew up in the small community of Givhans, near Charleston, S.C. He graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. (“Clin-non, if you’re a native,” he said) where, in addition to obtaining a degree, he also met his spouse. He and his wife, Suzanne, a native of Dunwoody, Ga., now live in Suwanee, Ga., with their two sons, Cameron, 13, and Garrett, 9.
Hinton arrives at a pivotal time for the university. With a $45 million annual budget, Brenau has just undertaken a $6.5 million expansion program that involves conversion of a 35-year-old city-owned convention facility in Gainesville to be the home for graduate degree programs in physical therapy and other health sciences professions.