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Ending a 30 month nationwide search, the University appointed former University of California at Berkeley administrator Selimo Rael as the new vice president of finance. The post was vacated in 1988 when Marna Whittington was promoted after the death of then-Senior Vice President Helen O'Bannon. The original search for Whittington's replacement was called off last summer after administrators failed to reach a consensus on whom to appoint. A new search for the position, however, began 10 months ago and has culminated in the naming of Rael, currently the associate vice chancellor of financial and business services at Berkeley. Administrators said last year that there was no pressing need to fill the position, saying that Whittington and others in the financial affairs division are able to complete the duties. But Whittington said yesterday that it is a crucial time for the University now that its state budget has been cut by nearly $19 million and that the University could not cope with the amount of work. "We've been limping along," she said, adding that Rael is just the person to help the University deal with its financial crisis. "I am enthusiastic about moving to the East Coast and look forward to the new challenges, both personally and professionally, that this opportunity presents," he added. Rael's appointment is not a further increase in the number of administrators, Whittington said, adding "this position has always been there." "We have reduced the number of positions in the office of the vice president during the past year," she added. Rael was wooed away from Berkeley despite a strong effort hold onto him, according to Whittington. Whittington said Rael "has the strengths we need for the 1990s."

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