Ohio State University CFO to depart after innovative tenure
Columbus, Ohio – After a five-year term as the senior vice president and chief financial officer that included the implementation of successful innovative funding strategies, Geoffrey Chatas announced today that he will leave The Ohio State University to pursue another opportunity.
Chatas will remain with the university through May 10. Transition planning is under way and will be announced soon.
“It has been a distinct privilege to serve at this great institution, which is a national leader in keeping college affordable and at the same time supports the highest standards of excellence in scholarship, research and teaching,” Chatas said. “Since joining Ohio State in 2010, my time here has been both meaningful and exciting, and I am confident the university is at a great moment in its remarkable history.”
Chatas brought a new perspective to the university’s finances that included a long-range view and a focus on the bottom line, and he succeeded in implementing a number of major initiatives at Ohio State that generated resources to support the university’s core academic mission.
Among other accomplishments, in October 2011, Chatas and his financial team made Ohio State the first public university to issue century bonds. By selling $500 million in 100-year bonds, Ohio State was able to lock in low interest rates for capital improvement projects.
Under Chatas’ leadership, the university negotiated a transaction in 2012 to free money from its parking operations to be used for academic priorities. That 50-year lease produced a $483 million payment that has been invested in the university’s endowment.
Through successful investing and stewardship of these funds, the $483 million has grown to $555 million, and the university has applied $62 million of the proceeds to fund 87 Eminence Fellows Program scholarships to attract top students from across the nation, to fund partially the first wave of 40 new faculty members, to invest in the arts, and to cover the costs of on-campus bus service.
Chatas has accepted an opportunity with QIC, a global diversified alternatives investment firm that financed the Ohio State parking transaction. Chatas will lead QIC’s infrastructure business in North America, managing a new fund unrelated to the Ohio State parking lease. He will not be involved in any aspect of the parking lease.
Ohio State President Michael V. Drake praised Chatas’ leadership and innovation.
“Geoff has challenged Ohio State to look at many of our resources in a new way, all for the benefit of our faculty, students and staff in support of our academic mission,” Drake said. “His forward-thinking approach to meet the changing dynamics faced by institutions of higher education leaves the university in a strong financial position. We wish Geoff the very best in this next chapter of his career.”