The university's Office of
Finance and Administration is undergoing a makeover of
sorts — one
that its leaders say will make it more effective and
efficient in the way that it handles the
Jim McGill, senior vice president for finance and
administration, said he is making the changes
to streamline university administration, and to facilitate
coordination among central financial units. As
part of the restructuring, McGill has tapped Michael
Strine, executive director of financial planning
and analysis and a Johns Hopkins graduate, to be vice
president for finance, a newly created position.
The appointment is effectively immediately.
"Since arriving at Johns Hopkins University," McGill
said, "I have maintained a flat
organizational structure, which has worked well, I believe.
However, it is timely to reduce the number
of direct reports."
McGill said he made the changes for several reasons,
including a need to focus his time on
productivity initiatives. To that end, Strine will now
oversee the university's controller, treasurer and
purchasing operation in addition to budgets. He also will
use existing resources to structure a small
office to aid in improving business processes across the
university. Strine also will begin the process
of recruiting a new controller to replace Phil Tahey, who
committed to three years in that post when
he joined the university in 2005.
McGill said Strine is well-qualified for his new role
because of his appreciation of the
university's tradition of shared responsibility between
central units and the divisional financial and
"He has developed excellent working relationships
throughout Johns Hopkins. Coupled with his
financial skills, he is ready to serve in his new role,"
McGill said. "Hopkins is fortunate to have Michael
back as one of its own."
Strine, who earned a doctorate in political science
from the School of Arts and Sciences in
1992, said that the restructuring and his stepped-up role
are part of a larger plan to position the
financial team in central administration to focus on such
issues as cost-cutting, efficiency and
effectiveness, and realigning the SAP software system. The
goal, Strine said, is for the university's
finance offices to better support their customers —
faculty and staff, trustees, outside auditors and
"The new structure will not change the patterns of
interaction that members of the finance
team in central administration have with their divisional
counterparts," Strine said. Instead, he said, it
will provide an opportunity for those offices to
collectively manage their priorities and resources and
to consolidate their support functions, such as technology
systems, budget and human resources, to
better serve their customers.
Strine added that the restructuring is meant to make
sure that in a time of transition in the
university's presidency and the Controller's Office, the
financial organization is positioned to ensure
continuation of the excellence that he said has
characterized the Johns Hopkins finance
administration over the last decade.
McGill praised Tahey and his work, particularly his
implementation of the financial piece of SAP
and his efforts to negotiate the myriad of regulatory
issues that govern research and other
complicated aspects of the university. Tahey will continue
to serve as controller until his replacement
is hired and afterward will work on special projects as his
time permits, McGill said.
"Phil Tahey has served admirably as controller of the
university for more than three years,"
McGill said. "He brought to us not only his exceptional
intelligence and skills but knowledge of Johns
Hopkins from his prior work here with the university's
Strine arrived at the university just six months ago
from New Castle County, Del., where he
served as chief financial officer. He has extensive
experience in financial policy and operations,
including budget, treasury, cash management, accounting and
internal controls, as well as accounts
payable and payroll. Previously, he served two Delaware
governors in the state's Department of
Finance, where he oversaw policy development, financial
analysis, and legislative and public affairs.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Delaware, Strine
earned his doctorate at Johns Hopkins
studying public law under J. Woodford Howard. Strine has
also served as an assistant professor at the
University of Denver and the University of Colorado at
Boulder, where he was published in leading