UNCW Names Sara Thorndike Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs and CFO

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sara Thorndike, a dedicated contributor to UNCW's success since 2014, has been promoted to the role of Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs and CFO, effective immediately. She will report to Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli at this time, but will eventually report to the new Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, whom the university expects to announce in early January. 

During her time at UNCW, Thorndike has developed and managed a collaborative team comprised of 65 staff members in budget, debt, accounting, tax, purchasing, student accounts, cashiering, financial systems, and financial analytics. She is responsible for oversight of annually audited financial statements and internal controls and has represented former Vice Chancellor Rick Whitfield in various internal and external leadership capacities. She was integral to UNCW receiving upgrades from Moody's and Standard & Poor's and helped in the refunding of three debt issuances, saving the university $21 million in the last three years.

Thorndike reorganized UNCW's finance team to increase efficiency, created the financial analytics team, reengineered complex budget processes, and created an internal loan program for strategic investments. Earlier this year, she was selected by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, a professional development initiative designed to prepare promising professionals for leadership positions in higher education business and finance, for its 2017-18 NACUBO Fellows Program. In August, she was named a Rising Star by the same organization.