Mary Lou Ortiz has been named chief financial officer and vice chancellor for the Division of Finance and Administration at the University of California, Irvine, following a nationwide search. She will assume the post on July 18. Ortiz comes to UCI from The Pennsylvania State University, where she serves as associate vice president for budget as well as university budget officer.
“Mary Lou Ortiz brings to UCI close to 30 years of outstanding experience in promoting financial stewardship, advancing the efficient use of resources, and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We all look forward to her joining us.”
At Penn State, Ortiz is a senior member of the financial leadership team. She oversees the University Budget Office and the development and assessment of the university’s budget and resource allocation policies.
The CFO/vice chancellor is the most senior campus subject-matter expert on matters relating to the university’s fiscal condition and related policies and procedures. In her new role, Ortiz is responsible for UCI’s nearly $4 billion budget and leads a team of more than 800 employees in the Division of Finance and Administration. She will serve in a dual role as the university’s CFO and chief administrative affairs and business officer, providing decision support to campus executive management regarding the strategic allocation and use of campus resources to meet UCI’s academic goals.
Ortiz will head business units critical to maintaining a safe and attractive environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Division of Finance and Administration ensures that buildings and other infrastructure perform efficiently and are well maintained, and it provides professional services in policing, accounting, purchasing, risk management and transportation.
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the University of California, Irvine,” Ortiz said. “I anticipate collaborating with stakeholders across the institution to advance the work being done by this incredible community. As CFO and vice chancellor, I look forward to working with a team that continues to provide strong support of UCI’s leadership role in expanding access to education, investing in cutting-edge research and developing innovative healthcare solutions.”
For much of her career, Ortiz has worked in higher education finance, planning and administration, contributing to a range of efforts, including the implementation of new financial and budgeting systems and the creation of financial models to aid in strategic organizational planning. Prior to joining Penn State, she served as vice chancellor for finance and administration at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, providing financial and operational leadership to the university’s flagship campus and overseeing $1.7 billion in total resources. Ortiz is the former director for finance and resource administration of university services at Princeton University and the former director of planning and financial administration at Columbia University’s student health services.
In addition to her higher education experience, she was the senior director of budget and financial planning from 2006 to 2012 at the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid, relief and development nongovernmental organization, where she oversaw the annual operating budget for the IRC’s 26 overseas offices and affiliates and 32 domestic operations.
Ortiz earned an MBA, a master’s in public administration and a B.A. at Columbia University and is a candidate for a doctorate in education in Penn State’s higher education program.
She replaces Ron Cortez, who left UCI in December 2021. Richard Coulon has been serving as interim CFO since then.