12:00 AM

Ohio State's CFO to retire after 21 years of service

After 21 years guiding The Ohio State University's fiscal and budgetary operations, William J. Shkurti, has announced his intention to retire from his post as senior vice president for business and finance effective March 30, 2010.

"As difficult as it will be to lose Bill's considerable financial talents, I am delighted that he has agreed to serve beyond his retirement as counselor to the president on state fiscal policy," said President E. Gordon Gee.

During his tenure at the university, Shkurti has worked for five presidents and has become recognized for his prudent fiscal management for an overall budget that is currently $4.4 billion.

Shkurti, 62, joined Ohio State in 1988 as the Enarson Executive in Residence in the School of Public Policy after serving as director for the Ohio Office of Budget and Management for Gov. Richard F. Celeste. He was named university vice president for finance in 1990 and assumed additional responsibilities for business operations when he became senior vice president for business operations in 1998.

Shkurti said that he has seen a number of significant changes over the years. This included addressing the decline in state support in the 1990s. The post-Enron world of Sarbanes-Oxley ushered in additional financial oversight and the creation of an audit committee by the board of trustees. The events of 9/11and later Virginia Tech enhanced the role of security at the university. In his final years at the university, he said he is also pleased by the strong bipartisan support for higher education in Ohio by the governor and the general assembly.

"I feel best about being part of the effort to build a stable financial base for the improvement of the university's academic reputation. The fact that it is also my alma mater makes it all the more significant," said Shkurti who holds both a bachelor's and master's degree from Ohio State.

During his remaining year at Ohio State, Shkurti will focus primarily on finance and budget matters. Because the scope of the job has grown too complex for one office, the planning and administrative functions will now report to Jeff Kaplan, senior vice president for administration and planning. The university will embark on a search for a new chief financial officer with the hopes that this individual will be in place upon Shkurti's retirement.

"I don't see my retirement ending my association with Ohio State, I plan to stay involved as a counselor to the president and I hope to continue to teach," said Shkurti, who is an adjunct professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Shkurti began his long career in public service in 1973 as a staff researcher with the Ohio Department of Health. He received his master's degree in public administration in 1974 and a bachelor's of arts degree in economics in 1968. He also served in the United States Army from 1969-71.