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The University Controller leads the activities of the Office of the University Controller/Division of Financial Affairs and is responsible for maintaining adequate records of assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and other financial transactions of the university; for establishing and maintaining effective internal control procedures; and for preparing all necessary financial reports of an accounting nature.

The University Controller is elected by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the President. The University Controller reports to the Vice President for Finance, as the President designates, and serves at the pleasure of the President.

Departments reporting to the University Controller include the Associate Controller (responsible for Accounting and Financial Operations), the University Payroll Office, the Unviersity Tax Office, the Shared Services Center, Financial Information Services, Financial Research Administration (Sponsored Financial Services, and Cost Analysis and Capital Assets), and Finance Communications.

University Policies for which the University Controller is responsible.

Organization Chart (PDF, 60 KB)

(text-only version)

About the University Controller

University Controller Karen Mahalo previously served as Cornell’s associate controller. Before coming to Cornell, she was senior associate controller and served in progressively responsible roles for over 15 years at the University of Rochester. She has been the corporate finance manager for Sentry Safe, an internal audit specialist for Xerox, a supervising senior accountant for KPMG, LLP, and a senior financial analyst at MVP Health Care.

With over 30 years of experience in the higher education, health care, and domestic and international manufacturing industries, Karen has done extensive work in accounting, reporting, auditing, and compliance, and developing internal controls and risk assessments. She has led cross-functional teams in implementing business process improvements, financial systems and enhancements, and accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the NACUBO Accounting Principles Council.