June 14, 2013

University Auditor Michael Dickinson to retire

Mike Dickinson
Mike Dickinson

University Auditor Mike Dickinson has announced his retirement from Cornell after 25 years of service, effective July 16.

A member of the university’s senior leadership, Dickinson came to Cornell as the associate audit director and was named university auditor in 1992.

“Mike has provided superb, thoughtful leadership and oversight, [and he] is well respected by university leadership and key stakeholders as a pivotal member of the university’s Risk Council,” President David Skorton said in a message to staff.

The university auditor is elected by the Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees and oversees a group of 12 professional internal auditors in Ithaca and at Weill Cornell in New York City. Duties include advising the university on critical operations and controls, recommending improvements and monitoring compliance with policies and regulations. The University Audit Office primarily assists university management and the Audit Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees to oversee Cornell’s operations worldwide.

“As one of Cornell’s recent trustees and Audit Committee chairs, I truly appreciate the high level of competency, integrity, accountability and good will that Mike Dickinson always delivered to the university,” said Cheryl Francis ’76, a trustee emerita and Presidential Councillor. “Cornell is a much better institution because of Mike’s contributions, and he built – and leaves in place – a strong audit office staffed by capable professionals. We have all been well-served.”

Dickinson’s achievements during his service as university auditor include developing an undergraduate internship program with the Department of Applied Economics and Management, now the Dyson School; establishing the Cornell Hotline, a tool for the Cornell community to submit concerns; and developing the ethical conduct policy, the financial irregularities policy and the Audit Committee’s charter.

Cornell is a national leader in student financial aid fraud protection and detection, and has been recognized by the State University of New York as a “best practice” institution for its risk assessment and policy processes.

“I have had a wonderful experience during my career at Cornell, traveling from Essex County Cooperative Extension to Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha,” Dickinson said. “I want to thank all of my colleagues, particularly the staff of the Audit Office, both current and past.”

During Dickinson’s time at the Audit Office, 25 of its staff members have gone on to higher positions at Cornell, and 12 staff members have obtained their CPA licenses using experience gained there.

Prior to coming to Cornell, he was division controller at RCA and managed the accounting functions for five divisions of its parent company, General Electric.