Counting the Last Dollar?: Institutional Finance Survival Skills for Fun and (Non)Profit

February 22, 2017
Wed 1:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 0M

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College and universities are complicated financial machines. With so many under financial strain in recent years, and with talk of mergers and some closures, what are the predictive factors that can be applied to institutional finances to determine survivability? Come learn, in a light-hearted style, how to read higher ed financial statements, focusing in on the handful of truly critical line items and what they mean. We will present both commonly used and proposed simplified predictive formulas for estimating an institution's financial health, and will give the audience the opportunity to learn from hypotheticals the chances of (anonymous!) institutions surviving, based on the available financial information.

We will discuss how risk management decisions, such as selection of deductibles or SIRS, can affect deeper issues such as cash flow and bond ratings, and how to make good operational decisions on behalf of institutional finances.

As a result of participating in this session, attendees will understand which are the basic financial statements and ratios used in higher education and what they mean, learn more about how to "talk finance" language for administrative or board reports, and lastly, learn how to identify line items on a financial statements and other trends that are critical to an institution's health.


  • Vincent Morris, ARM, AIC, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CPA – Vice President for Finance, Houghton College, New York

    Prior to his role at Houghton, Vince worked with Arthur J. Gallagher’s Higher Education Practice, providing risk management consultation, research, problem solving, and best practices for higher education clients. Before that he served for over 13 years as Director of Risk Management at Wheaton College in Illinois. Vince holds an MBA with concentrations in Finance, Strategic Management, and Managerial and Organizational Behavior from the University of Chicago and a CPA certificate. He has served on the URMIA Board and on committees in various capacities, and was the President in 2008-2009. Since 2007 he has been a National Instructor for CRM and CIC courses, including beginning and advanced financial statement analysis, for the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. He has written and edited several journal articles and white papers on a wide variety of risk management subjects, including minors on campus, pandemic emergency response planning, foreign travel risk management best practices, and enterprise risk management implementation. On the side he earned a Geology degree, is taking graduate classes in Geographic Information Systems, and keeps several hives of bees.

  • Margaret Tungseth, MBA, CPA, DRM, Senior Vice President for Business, Finance & Technology, Hamline University

    Margaret Tungseth became Hamline University’s senior vice president for business, finance and technology in September of 2014. In her role she provides leadership and management of the university’s finance, ITS, facilities services, and human resources departments. Before coming to Hamline Margaret served as treasurer and vice president for finance and administration at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Previously, Margaret served four years as assistant treasurer and director of risk management and nine years as deferred gifts accountant and insurance administrator at Concordia College. She also taught introductory and upper level accounting courses for six years at Concordia College. Prior to her roles in higher education, she spent 16 years as an accountant. Margaret has held several community and industry leadership positions. From 2003-2013 she served on the national board of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association as president and in other officer and executive committee roles. From 2003-2010, she held various positions on the board of the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce, from director to becoming board chair. From 1999-2008, she served the Fargo-Moorhead YMCA in similar positions, including service as president. Margaret earned a master of business administration with an emphasis on accounting and finance from North Dakota State University, a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science from Concordia College. She is also a CPA.