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New University Audit Executive Begins Tenure
The Division of Business, Finance and Administrative Services announces the appointment of Utibe Offiong to the role of university audit executive. Reporting to the senior vice president and chief financial officer and to the University Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees, the audit executive provides guidance to Ernst & Young, the University’s co-sourced internal audit partner.
In her new role, Offiong will be responsible for developing and overseeing an effective internal audit program for the University. She will evaluate and improve the overall effectiveness of the University’s risk management and controls process, and will advise senior management and the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees on the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s systems and controls. Offiong will additionally assess compliance with and adherence to University policies and procedures and applicable laws and regulations.
“Utibe’s vision, skills and past experience have prepared her well to serve in this essential role,” says Amir Rahnamay-Azar, senior vice president and chief financial officer. “She has over 25 years of service as a chief audit executive in higher education, and I know she will be a valuable addition to the University.”
In the near term, Offiong will be tasked with managing and fostering strong collaborative relationships across the University. Internal audit serves a variety of University units, including operations, academic, research and service. As such, she will meet with a broad cross-section of members of the senior administration early on in her time at Syracuse as she establishes relationships with key campus stakeholders.
As the University’s executive for internal audit, Offiong will additionally be responsible for developing and overseeing an annual internal audit plan aimed at: 1) systemically assessing internal controls in the University and its corresponding units, and 2) mitigating risks through audits and recommendations of best practices.
Offiong comes to Syracuse University from Brown University, where she has served as chief university auditor since 2008. At Brown, she was responsible for directing the overall vision for the internal audit function and aligning its initiatives with the risk profile and strategic goals of the organization. Prior to her time at Brown, she held the role of director of internal audit at Northeastern University for 14 years. She also has previous experience with KPMG, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms.
Offiong earned an MBA in business administration from Northeastern University, and holds a B.S. in business administration from the same university. Over the course of her career, Offiong has gained a number of certifications, including certified internal auditor, certified internal controls auditor and certified in risk management assurance.
“I am excited to leverage my extensive higher education experience and collaborative work style to assist Syracuse University in reaching its next level of excellence through audit and related programs,” Offiong says.