Furman University vice president for finance and administration Mary Lou Merkt has been named the 2017-18 chair of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Board of Directors. She assumes her duties Aug. 1.
At Furman, Merkt manages responsibilities that span multiple departments. She oversees financial planning and execution, accounting operations, debt management, and institutional endowment. She is also responsible for the university bookstore, human resources, facilities, dining services, procurement, campus police, the golf course, the conference center, postal operations, real estate transactions, and the child development center. Merkt also serves as a board member for the Furman University Foundation Inc.
During her 14-year tenure, Merkt has provided leadership for $190 million in facilities projects, including construction of new buildings and a substantial reduction of deferred maintenance. A strong advocate for building efficiency and sustainability, Merkt has managed the development of eight buildings at Furman that have been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) distinction, as well as a large solar farm recently added to provide energy to campus. To finance plant improvements and other projects, Merkt crafted a comprehensive debt policy and issued or refinanced more than $150 million of bonds for the university.
Prior to joining Furman, from 1996-2003, Merkt was the vice president for finance and administration at Sweet Briar College, Va., where she coordinated the development of the college’s first facilities master plan and completed construction and renovation projects totaling $26 million. In addition, she spent 11 years at Radford University, located in Virginia, serving in several financial positions.
Merkt earned both her MBA and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Radford University, and is a certified public accountant.
Merkt has served on the NACUBO board since 2013, and was the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers board president from 2014-15. As NACUBO chair, Merkt succeeds Randy Gentzler, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore.
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