Openshaw leading SC State’s Fiscal Affairs

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some six months ago, SC State University’s new chief financial officer took on his new role with his sleeves rolled up, ready to take on the challenge to ensure the financial stability of SC State.


Col. (Ret.) James Openshaw
Col. (Ret.) James Openshaw has been the finance expert at the table alongside President Elzey as he navigates talks and planning with state lawmakers and Governor Nikki Haley to meet the financial needs of the only state-assisted Historically Black College and University.


He is certain that with assistance from President Elzey he will be able to develop and implement a strategic financial plan that will help stabilize the university and ensure its viability as an institution of excellence in research, teaching and service.

“I am quite honored that President Elzey has confidence in the expertise that I have to turn this ship around. This has been quite a challenge, but I am ready, willing and able to do it,” stated Openshaw.

Openshaw, who assumed duties as vice president of Fiscal Affairs in January 2014, provides leadership, oversight and direction on all matters relating to the financial management of the university.

Openshaw was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program after graduation from The Citadel in 1973. He completed Navigator Flight Training and Navigator Bombardier Training with follow-on assignments to the B-52H and later the FB-111A aircraft where he obtained over 3,000 flying hours as a fighter/bomber and instructor navigator.

Among his many tours of duty and assignments, he was an air staff training officer at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas in 1980.

Openshaw was assigned to the Pentagon as an acquisition program manager working for the secretary of the Air Force managing the $28 billion B-1B aircraft and $62 billion B-2 stealth bomber aircraft research and development programs from 1987 to 1992.

He later worked as a squadron commander at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado. There, he was responsible for leading 1,500 personnel technical trainers through management and executive decision making skills.

From 1994 to 1996, he was the deputy group commander at the U.S. Air Force Technical Training Group at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He was responsible for the oversight of all financial activities, academic policy, strategic planning, training and operations. He successfully garnered $300 million in operational achievement.

Openshaw retired from the United States Air Force in 1997 with 24 years of service. Upon retiring, he served as the chief financial officer for the Aurora Police Department in Aurora, Colo.

In 1999, he returned to The Citadel to serve as budget director. Openshaw was responsible for overseeing the college’s $102 million budget. He also provided report analysis and position control management.

Openshaw holds a Master of Public Administration from Golden Gate University and a Master of Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University. In 2007, Col. Openshaw successfully completed South Carolina’s Executive Management Institute.

He and his wife, Faye, have two children, Tami and Brad, and two grandchildren, Bailey and Jensen Smith.