Mary Lou Merkt, vice president for finance and administration, Furman University, Greenville, S.C., becomes the 2017–18 chair of the NACUBO Board of Directors on August 1. She succeeds Randy Gentzler, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore.
In her role at Furman, a liberal arts university, Merkt handles responsibilities that span across many departments. She oversees financial planning and execution, accounting operations, debt management, and institutional endowment. Merkt is also responsible for the bookstore, human resources, facilities, dining services, procurement, campus police, the golf course, the conference center, postal operations, real estate transactions, and the child development center. She also serves as a board member for the Furman University Foundation Inc.
During her 14-year tenure, Merkt has provided leadership for $190 million in facilities projects, including construction of new buildings and a substantial reduction of deferred maintenance. A strong believer in the intersection of building efficiency and sustainability, Merkt has managed the development of eight buildings at Furman that have been awarded LEED distinction, as well as a large solar farm recently added to provide energy to campus. In order to finance plant improvements and other projects, Merkt devised a comprehensive debt policy and issued or refinanced more than $150 million of bonds for the university.
Prior to joining Furman, from 1996–2003, Merkt was the vice president for finance and administration at Sweet Briar College, Va., where she coordinated the development of the college’s first facilities master plan and completed construction and renovation projects totaling $26 million, including restoration of the college’s historic district. In addition, she spent 11 years at Radford University, located in Virginia, serving in several financial positions during her tenure.
Merkt earned both her MBA and bachelor’s degree in accounting from Radford University, and is a certified public accountant.
Serving on the NACUBO board since 2013, Merkt was the SACUBO board president from 2014–15.
The NACUBO vice chair for 2017–18 is Lynne Schaefer, vice president, administration and finance, University of Maryland Baltimore County. Lynn Valenter, vice chancellor finance and operations, at Washington State University, Vancouver, will serve as secretary.