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Staff Realignment for Business and Finance

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October 3, 2006

A new alignment of the Division of Business and Finance professional staff with new and increased responsibilities has been announced by Eugene S. Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance

“We strive to assess our organizational structure to assure that we are able to provide effective and efficient services to the University community while we fulfill our financial stewardship mission,” Sunshine said. “This objective is particularly important as we undertake the implementation of new financial system platforms in the next several years. To fully leverage the benefits of new technology to provide services, we must align our professional staff to assume those duties.”

Sunshine said The Office of the Controller will become the Office of Financial Operations and Treasurer. “The mission of this office is to assure effective and efficient operation of the University's financial management processes, ensuring auditable, compliant and responsive services. The office also ensures the protection of University assets and the prudent management of its short-term assets, as well as its short and long run liabilities,” he said.

Ingrid Stafford will assume the responsibilities of Associate Vice President for Financial Operations and Treasurer. Stafford joined the University in 1977, assumed her duties as Controller in 1984, and became an Associate Vice President in 1993. She is one of the University's most successful leaders, Sunshine said. The following departments and functions will report to her: Controller, Student Accounts, Student Loans, Risk Management, Research Financial Operations, and asset/liability management. 

Karl Turro will be the Controller of the University. Turro has served the University in progressively more responsible positions since his joining the University in 1989, including serving as the Senior Associate Controller since 2002. He has been on assignment this year as a lead functional representative to the Project Café design team.   He has gained invaluable experience during this year, and will provide critical leadership to the implementation of general ledger and supporting systems, Sunshine said.

Cynthia L. O'Connor will become Senior Associate Controller and Executive Director of Research Financial Operations. O'Connor will have a dual reporting responsibility to both the Controller and to the Treasurer in assuring that both financial operating requirements and compliance (risk mitigation) requirements are being met. Research operations will be significantly changed due to the planned improvements for pre- and post-award administration. O'Connor joined Northwestern in 1999 and became Associate Controller in 2002.

Nancy L. Pinchar will become Assistant Controller and retain her title as Director of Accounting Services. Pinchar joined Northwestern in 1993 and has been Director of Accounting Services since 2002. She has been assuming greater responsibility for daily accounting and financial operations during the past year, as Turro served on the Project Café team.

“It is anticipated that additional changes in assignments and responsibilities will occur as the full scope of Project Café is implemented over the coming months,” Sunshine said. “I know that this team will be excellent leaders for these new initiatives, and we look forward to further recognition of valuable staff as the entire Business and Finance division shares in the responsibility for a successful transition to our new service environment.”