Three weeks into role, CFO deems GW’s financial health ‘stable’

Just less than three weeks into his post as executive vice president and treasurer, Mark Diaz said the University’s finances seem “stable” but have room to improve.

Diaz, in a University release last week, discussed early evaluations of GW’s financial health and his vision for institutional culture. Diaz, who stepped into his role Aug. 1 after nearly two decades as a budget and planning leader at the University of Miami, said the University would benefit from “optimizing” its resources, “rather than maximizing them.”

“GW has resources — human, financial and other assets — and it’s a matter of optimizing them to grow and achieve our aspirations,” Diaz said.

Diaz’s role also includes collaboration with University President Thomas LeBlanc to see through his five priorities, including improving institutional culture, according to the release.

Diaz said that to improve institutional culture, administrators must identify a common purpose for GW’s community to rally around. He said officials will share a “comprehensive assessment” about the University’s institutional culture initiative in the “coming weeks.”

“One of the things you always have to guard against is the phenomenon that ‘I’ll fix my corner of the world because I understand its culture,’ and inadvertently what you’re creating is a sub-culture,” Diaz said. “You’re not doing anything to align or enhance the institutional culture.”

He said his first few months at GW will largely be spent “reading, meeting, observing” to assess GW’s resources and culture before making major decisions. He added that he would like to keep students, faculty and staff informed about both the current status of and potential future for the University’s finances.

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