May 25, 2016

Ithaca College Financier to Serve as Cornell’s Vice President for Financial Affairs

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Gerald Hector will move down the road this summer, departing Ithaca College to serve as Cornell’s new vice president for financial affairs, the University announced Tuesday.

Hector has worked as Ithaca College’s vice president for finance and administration since 2013, according to Joanne DeStefano, Cornell’s executive vice president and chief financial officer and Hector’s predecessor. He will assume his new position on Aug. 1.

In his new role, Hector will work to develop and steer University financial policy, supervising over 150 employees, according to the University. Operations under his jurisdiction will include University risk management, insurance, tax and financial initiatives and the treasury.

He will also work to promote financial contact and work closely with staff at Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech, according to DeStefano, who stressed her faith in Hector’s ability.

“Gerald has an impressive, broad background, and his collaborative leadership style will be a tremendous asset for Cornell,” DeStefano said. “He has shown outstanding fiscal responsibility, innovation and strategic thinking throughout his career, and I look forward to having him in this key role.”

Hector expressed enthusiasm about joining Cornell’s team, citing the challenges posed by today’s higher education climate as factors that will influence his focus and aims.

“Higher education is going through a major transition, and my intention is to bring to this role my finance and accounting accomplishments, communications skills and social awareness of demographic and socio-economic shifts and their impact on the industry,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working on a team to solve many of these tough problems, not only at Cornell but also in the higher education community.”

At Ithaca College, Hector replaced an incremental budget model with a “more strategic” zero-based-model, completed a 10 year master-plan and refinanced several tranches of the college’s debt, according to the University.

Before his time in Ithaca, Hector worked as the vice president of business and finance at Johnson C. Smith University, the University said. He also served as the corporate controller for the United Negro College Fund — where he created the initial budget for the $1 billion Gates Millennium Scholars program, designed to aid gifted minority students — an initiative he considers one of the most important in his career.

“This scholarship program is the one that gives me the greatest amount of pride in my career thus far,” he said.

Hector graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University. He is a certified public accountant and is pursuing a master’s degree in Christian thought from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, according to the University.