Ohio State University names new chief financial officer
The Ohio State University has appointed a new chief financial officer. Geoffrey S. Chatas, a seasoned corporate financial executive, will manage and oversee the university’s $4.5 billion budget. Subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, his appointment as senior vice president and chief financial officer will be effective Feb. 15.
Chatas succeeds William J. Shkurti, who will retire this spring after 20 years of service to Ohio State. Shkurti has agreed to serve beyond his retirement as part-time counselor to the president on state fiscal policy. Shkurti will continue to formally carry out the chief financial officer functions until his retirement date of March 31, while Chatas begins his leadership on-boarding and his assessment of organizational and financial information and processes.
“We are truly fortunate to have attracted Geoff Chatas to Ohio State,” said President E. Gordon Gee. “The university’s strength, complexity, and unmatched potential require a chief financial officer with broad professional experience and a track record of success. Those qualities – combined with a deep commitment to public higher education and graduate-level teaching experience – make him uniquely well-suited to move our financial operations forward in a strategic way.”
Chatas joins the university with a strong background in finance and banking, most recently as managing director of the Infrastructure Investments Fund at JP Morgan Asset Management. For the past three years, he has co-taught finance classes to MBA students at the Fisher College of Business in an adjunct capacity. This quarter, along with Michael Weisbach, Professor and Ralph W. Kurtz Chair in Finance, he is teaching Finance 845, “Private Equity-Theory and Practice.” He held a similar position at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina from 2004-06.
Chatas has also served as chief financial officer for Progress Energy, Inc., and senior vice president for finance and treasurer for AEP, Inc.
Following Shkurti’s retirement announcement, the office of the CFO was restructured. Non-financial functions such as public safety, facilities, and transportation & parking were transferred to the senior vice president for planning and administration, so that the CFO could focus solely on the financial responsibilities of the institution and its affiliated entities.
In the position, Chatas is charged with leading the financial strategy to advance Ohio State from “excellence to eminence,” the goal that Gee articulated when he returned to the university in 2007.
He will lead a team of some 350 people, including those who manage the business functions of Ohio State, as well as a dual reporting relationship with the senior fiscal officers in academic and non-academic units. His responsibilities include managing the university’s annual operating budget and $400 million capital budget – which includes approximately $1 billion of construction in process at any given time – as well as financial reporting and compliance associated with a public university.
A resident of New Albany, he earned a master´s degree in business administration in 1990 from INSEAD, an international business school in France; a master´s in history in 1988 from Oxford University in the United Kingdom and a bachelor´s degree in 1985 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is proficient in both German and French.
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 55,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 18 colleges, 80 centers, and 170 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.