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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University August 8, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 41
Philip Tahey, Longtime Associate of JHU, Is Appointed Controller

Philip Tahey

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Philip Tahey has been appointed controller of The Johns Hopkins University, effective Sept. 6. In his new role, Tahey will lead the administration of financial reporting for a university system that has grown to become, in financial terms, a $2.8 billion business.

Specifically, he will oversee the Controller's Office, which has 140 full- and part-time employees in the offices of Tax and Payroll, Cost Analysis and Research Accounting, General Accounting, Accounting Services (which includes Student Loans), Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Cash Accounting, and Financial Systems Administration.

Tahey will also play an important role in the development and implementation of HopkinsOne, the massive effort begun in January 2003 to re-engineer all the financial and administrative processes of both the university and health system. Once implemented, the integrated Web-based system will effectively tie together and streamline selected business functions, including purchasing, accounts payable, payroll, sponsored projects and human resources.

A Pittsburgh native and a cum laude graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, Tahey worked for 20 years with financial giant KPMG, a global provider of audit, risk advisory and tax services. For several of those years, Tahey was KPMG's lead partner on the Johns Hopkins account and also was assigned to JHU as part of the external audit team.

Since 2000, Tahey has operated as an independent consultant, working with Bearing Point and advising many colleges and universities, including Johns Hopkins, on special assignments.

James McGill, senior vice president for finance and administration, said that the university has found a first-rate successor to Jerry Bridges, the controller of 18 years who retired in June. A national search for a new controller was led by Herb Hansen, associate dean for finance and administration at the School of Public Health.

"Phil is an experienced accounting and financial management professional, with considerable background in and knowledge of higher education. Specifically, he has had a long professional association with Johns Hopkins," said McGill in a broadcast announcement of the appointment. "In fact, Phil's expertise and experience make him unusually well qualified to serve as the university's chief financial reporting officer, to be point person for compliance with the financial requirements of the federal government and other research sponsors, and to act as a key leader in HopkinsOne implementation."

From 1980 to 2000, Tahey worked with KPMG, where he began as a staff accountant and worked his way up to audit partner. Tahey specialized in academic medical centers, higher education institutions, research organizations and higher education industry associations. As audit partner, he oversaw audit and certain consulting engagements ranging from small nonprofit organizations with $10 million in revenues to large research institutions with $3 billion in revenues. Among his list of clients was Georgetown University, Goucher College, Maryland Institute College of Art and the Association of American Universities.

He worked in various positions in KPMG's Baltimore and Washington, D.C., offices, serving clients in industries including real estate development and financial institutions. He also led and participated in several initial public offerings of commercial clients.

As an independent consultant, he has assisted Johns Hopkins in developing and implementing year-end closing and financial process improvements in the General Accounting Office; reviewed research administration in selected departments; analyzed endowment investment pool accounts; and assisted in HopkinsOne implementation.

Tahey said that he is eager to assume his new position and continue a relationship that began 25 years ago. As a KPMG staff accountant, one of his very first clients was Johns Hopkins.

He said one of the biggest challenges ahead of him is ensuring that the university, which receives more federal research money than any other institution in the country, remains in full compliance with all its sponsored projects.

Tahey said he also realizes he has big shoes to fill.

"I think I now know how Doug DeCinces felt when he replaced Brooks Robinson at third base for the Orioles," he said. "Jerry Bridges has built a wonderful staff and done a magnificent job enhancing the reputation of the university. He has many admirers among his peers. I hope to build upon the work Jerry started and help lead the university through the ongoing HopkinsOne implementation."


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