Mark Polatajko Selected as Kent State’s New Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
CFO and COO from Wright State to lead Kent State’s Division of Business and Finance
Following a national search, Kent State University has selected Mark M. Polatajko, Ph.D., CPA, as its new senior vice president for finance and administration. Polatajko comes to Kent State from Wright State University, where he has served as vice president for business and finance/chief financial officer and chief operating officer. He joins Kent State on Jan. 1, 2016.
Polatajko will lead Kent State’s Division of Business and Finance that includes budget, financial reporting, facilities planning and operations, business and administration services, public safety, internal audit, as well as compliance/risk management and real estate. In addition, the Division of Human Resources and its vice president will report to Polatajko to enhance and strengthen a seamless coordination of services to faculty, staff and students at Kent State. The senior vice president for finance and administration reports directly to Kent State President Beverly Warren and is a cabinet-level position.
“We are delighted that Mark will be joining our executive leadership team and look forward to his contributions as a strategic and innovative leader in finance and administration,” Warren said. “He joins Kent State at a time of great momentum and will be instrumental in advancing our vision as a transformative, dynamic and distinctive university.
“I want to thank Gregg Floyd, who has served in this position since 2008 and announced this past March his plans for retirement,” Warren continued. “I am deeply grateful to Gregg for his dedication to the university and the many contributions he has made, such as executing the historic Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative, working with trustees to strengthen investment strategies, continuing the university’s leadership in campus safety and emergency preparedness, and most of all, advancing the town-gown relations and developments including the revitalization of downtown Kent. We wouldn’t be where we are without his leadership.”
Floyd will facilitate an effective transition with his successor and will assist the president on special projects until his retirement on June 30, 2016.
“This is such an exciting time to join Kent State,” Polatajko said. “A strategic vision is forming that will drive innovation and positive change not only within the university, but in the community, region and beyond. I am deeply honored that I was invited to be a part of that. I look forward to joining President Warren and my new colleagues in driving progress and success at Kent State University.”
Polatajko has more than 17 years of senior fiscal management experience in both government and not-for-profit organizations. In his role as vice president for business and finance at Wright State, he provides strategic, proactive and innovative leadership to enhance, evaluate, develop and implement customer-driven financial system policies, procedures and processes for the efficient and effective delivery of services to students, customers, faculty, staff and administration. Through his recently added chief operating officer role, Polatajko provides consistent leadership across the university enterprise ensuring a focus on people, learning, partnerships, relationships, sustainability and stewardship.
Prior to joining Wright State on Jan. 1, 2012, Polatajko served as the vice president of Cuyahoga Community College’s Administration and Finance Division. He also held a variety of positions with the Ohio Lottery Commission in Cleveland, eventually becoming the lottery’s deputy director of finance, and has five years of public accounting experience with Ciuni & Panichi in Beachwood, Ohio.
A certified public accountant, Polatajko is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. He formerly served as chairperson of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges Fiscal Officers in 2009-2010 and has chaired the Fiscal Officers Committee of the Inter-University Council of Ohio since 2013.
A native of Parma, Ohio, Polatajko graduated from the University of Akron with his Bachelor of Science in accountancy degree and earned his Master of Business Administration with a specialization in finance from Ashland University. He received his Ph.D. in urban education from Cleveland State University, specializing in leadership and lifelong learning. Polatajko’s research focuses on topics in public university finance, specifically performance funding of state public higher education.
Polatajko, his wife and three children will be moving back to Northeast Ohio from the Dayton area.
For more information about Kent State’s Division of Business and Finance, visit www.kent.edu/business-finance.
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