The University Controller is responsible for leading the activities of the controller, namely maintaining adequate records of assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and other financial transactions of the university; establishing and maintaining effective internal control procedures; and preparing all necessary financial reports of an accounting nature.
The University Controller is elected by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the President. The University Controller reports to the Vice President for Finance, as the President designates, and serves at the pleasure of the President.
Departments reporting to the University Controller include the Associate Controller (responsible for Accounting and Financial Operations), the Shared Services Center, Financial Information Services, and Financial Research Administration (Sponsored Financial Services, and Cost Analysis and Capital Assets).
University Controller Karen Mahalo previously served as Cornell’s associate controller. Before coming to Cornell, she was senior associate controller and served in progressively responsible roles for over 15 years at the University of Rochester. She has been the corporate finance manager for Sentry Safe, an internal audit specialist for Xerox, a supervising senior accountant for KPMG, LLP, and a senior financial analyst at MVP Health Care.
With over 30 years of experience in the higher education, health care, and domestic and international manufacturing industries, Karen has done extensive work in accounting, reporting, auditing, and compliance, and developing internal controls and risk assessments. She has led cross-functional teams in implementing business process improvements, financial systems and enhancements, and accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the NACUBO Accounting Principles Council.