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MSU selects Lisa Frace as first chief financial officer

April 2, 2021
<p>The Hannah Administration Building on Sept. 20, 2020.</p>

The Hannah Administration Building on Sept. 20, 2020.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Michigan State University has selected Lisa Frace as the university's first senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), set to begin May 10, according to an email from President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.

"MSU’s financial stability is more important now than ever," Stanley said in a press release. "Certainly, the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges, but it is also our responsibility as leaders to continually evaluate if our resource allocation matches our values and priorities. Lisa has spent her career re-imaging and modernizing budget and fiscal processes for higher education institutions. I am pleased to welcome her to MSU.”

Frace's selection is up for approval from the Board of Trustees at their April 16 meeting. She currently serves as the senior associate vice chancellor and chief finance and budget officer at the University of California, Davis.

Stanley announced the new role in September as part of the university's administrative reconstruction. The CFO will be responsible for managing the university’s financial progress, developing a comprehensive long-range financial plan and ensuring institutional resources are used effectively, Stanley said in the email.

Following her approval, Vice President for Planning and Budgets Dave Byelich and Vice President for Finance Mark Haas will report to her.

"I am excited to be joining a university with the breadth, depth and scale of MSU,” Frace said in the press release. “From the incredible work being done across the state of Michigan and the focus on advancing the land grant mission, to the amazing global efforts, MSU stands apart even among other tier-one research universities. I look forward to joining all the faculty, staff and students who make an impact.”

Frace has previously worked as the associate vice president for planning and budget and chief budgeting officer at Arizona State University.

She is currently a board member of both the National Association of College and University Business Officers and their western region. Frace received the association’s Rising Star Award in 2017.

“During the search process, I was immediately impressed by Lisa’s ability to think strategically, innovatively and collaboratively to align resources to support a university’s academic mission,” Chief of Staff to the President Mike Zeig said. “She is a national leader in higher education finance and will be a great asset to the university.”

The search was led Zeig and Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer Melissa Woo.

“Lisa has demonstrated a great commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the financial field which why she is a great fit for MSU, we share similar core values,” Woo said. “She not only brings strong leadership experience but also an understanding of what success in higher education looks like."

Frace has received a bachelor’s degree in health planning and administration and a master’s degree in business administration with concentrations in marketing and finance from Pennsylvania State University. She also attended the executive program in the Darden Graduate School of Management at the University of Virginia.

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