sealPurdue News

June 19, 2001

Purdue leads efforts to educate new
university financial officers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University is leading a drive to better prepare college and university financial administrators.

This fall, Purdue's School of Education will offer the nation's first master of science in education degree with a higher education business and finance management specialization. In addition, the university also is partnering with three financial organizations – Commonfund Institute, the Association for Financial Professionals and the Treasury Institute for Higher Education – to create the National Higher Education Treasury Academy at Purdue.

Kenneth P. Burns, Purdue executive vice president and treasurer, was one of the driving forces behind both programs.

"The financial structure for institutions of higher learning cannot be compared to any other for-profit or not-for-profit organization when you consider the myriad of funding sources and regulatory agencies that make up a college's or university's financial infrastructure," Burns said. "On a daily basis these professionals are asked to manage the resources distributed by state legislatures, federal agencies, investment firms, private citizens, public companies and oversight groups, to name just a few.

"A manager needs an unusual hybrid of skills to succeed when you couple those financial responsibilities with the management of physical, technical and human resources present at a college or university."

Marilyn Haring, dean of the School of Education, said the master's specialization will give current and future university financial officers a broad understanding of many of the issues that face higher education administrators in general, along with the specifics of resource management.

"This first-of-its-kind specialization is ideal for people who handle college and university cash flows, budgeting, debt management, facilities and space management," Haring said. "We certainly aren't out to provide mini-MBAs or finance degrees. Rather, we want to better prepare the people doing a university's day-to-day financial resource management."

The National Higher Education Treasury Academy is the first professional development program created for entry- and mid-level higher education professionals with at least three years experience, said Steve Wanger, academy director.

"We want to help prepare people for greater responsibility within their college or university by providing training in the financial fundamentals and by teaching them how to apply financial management strategies to their area," Wanger said.

He said participants will investigate the basic concepts of treasury and cash management, explore current trends, examine industry leaders and learn to anticipate future issues.

The academy will offer two courses, taught as one-week residential sessions, beginning this fall. The second course takes place in conjunction with the annual Treasury Institute for Higher Education symposium, which is the national conference for senior treasury and finance professionals. Academy enrollment will be limited to 24 students per course.

Academy participants do not have to be enrolled in Purdue's new degree specialization. The two academy courses, however, are a required part of the higher education business and finance management specialization curriculum for the Purdue degree.

Sources: Kenneth P. Burns, (765) 494-9705,

Marilyn Haring, (765) 494-2341,

Writer: Jenny Pratt, (765) 494-2079,

Other source: Steve Wanger, (765) 496-7430,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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