As the new Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations in UVAFinance, Burke will be in charge of building a robust and modern internal controls system and transforming core business practices at the University.
The AVP for Financial Operations itself represents a transformation; during a late-2016 search for a new Controller, UVAFinance leadership and the search team realized that the process and system changes coming up were going to require something slightly different than the traditional role entailed.
In this new role, Burke has oversight of accounting, financial reporting, procurement, payroll, and tax and accounts receivable. The alignment of these functions will allow for more responsive service to UVAFinance stakeholders, and allow UVAFinance to tackle upcoming changes with more speed and ease.
Most recently the Chief Financial Officer at Bloomberg Tradebook and Bloomberg Capital Markets, Burke brings deep experience in financial operations, internal controls and financial reporting. He has implemented financial systems and led a chart of accounts redesign, both of which will be required in UVAFinance in the near future. A new internal control framework, standardized and documented business practices, migration of payroll to Ufirst, and, inevitably, a new finance system are also on the horizon for UVAFinance.
“Jerry’s background and skillset will allow him to lead this change,” said Melody Bianchetto, Vice President for Finance.
“He has the specialized knowledge necessary to ensure success; he can help us handle the changes that are coming while keeping us on track with our mission and core values,” she said.
With a 30 year career in financial services based in Manhattan, Burke’s choice to work in academia in Charlottesville might seem potentially jarring, but he is philosophical about it.
First, he points out that he commuted to his work in the city, while he and his wife lived in small-town New Jersey, bringing up three children, now grown.
As for the shift from business to academics, he said, “This is a unique opportunity for me to leverage 80 to 90% of my background while working on subject matter that’s completely different.”
“It’s sort of like being a carpenter who builds houses, but one day you wake up and decide to make fine furniture. You can leverage a lot of your skills and do something new that interests you. UVA’s mission is something I want to be a part of.”
Burke looks forward to working collaboratively with University and school financial leaders, as well as those in financial roles at the UVA Medical Center, UVA’s College at Wise, and our affiliated foundations.
Building partnerships across the University will be a big priority for Burke: “We want to make sure we’re providing people with the information they need to make decisions and understand trends, and help them forecast the future as accurately as possible,” he said.
“We’re all part of the same team,” he commented.
“I look forward to building up our team and moving us forward quickly and intelligently during a period of many changes.”