UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business/treasurer for Penn State, has announced his intention to retire in August 2020.
As senior vice president, Gray oversees a number of high-profile, mission-critical units at the University. His responsibilities also include oversight of Penn State’s financial performance for an operating budget totaling $6.8 billion for the 2019-20 fiscal year, and he has presided over numerous critical transformations of the University during his tenure.
The University plans to conduct a national search for Gray’s replacement.
“David’s leadership and dedication have been invaluable in making sure the University is a responsible steward of its fiscal resources. His efforts have helped to further strengthen Penn State’s financial footing as the University plans and prepares for the challenges of the future,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “To try to sum up his impact on Penn State in a single sentence would not do justice to his long list of accomplishments or the critical role he has played in setting the University’s strategic direction. The work he has done, including helping the University to become more efficient with its resources, embarking on ambitious programs to modernize the way we do business and developing the capital plan, will be felt across Penn State for decades to come.”
Gray has served in his role since February 2012 and oversees numerous offices across Penn State, including Auxiliary and Business Services, Commonwealth Operations, Corporate Controller, Diversity and Inclusion, Enterprise Project Management, Ethics and Compliance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Internal Audit, Investment Management, Physical Plant and University Police and Public Safety.
He also leads financial, endowment management, business and administrative activities at all Penn State campuses. As part of this, Gray is a member of the Penn State Health board of directors.
Gray is a member of the President’s Council and the board of directors for the Corporation for Penn State, and chairs the Penn State Investment Council.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve my alma mater these past eight years,” Gray said. “We have made tremendous progress as an institution over that time span, and I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish. There is much unfinished work in front of us, but I know that Penn State is in good hands moving forward.”
Under Gray’s leadership, Penn State launched a multiyear effort to replace antiquated computing systems with industry-leading solutions, including introducing LionPATH, Penn State’s student information system; WorkLion, a modern human resources and payroll management software system; and the System for Integrated Management, Budgeting and Accounting, or SIMBA, the University’s new budgeting and financial information system.
“What David managed to accomplish with the changeover in these information technology systems help set Penn State on modern, sustainable path in terms of the way the University conducts business,” Barron said. “It has helped to fundamentally transform Penn State.”
Gray also was instrumental in developing the University’s most recent five-year capital plan, a multi-billion-dollar effort to address Penn State’s maintenance backlog and modernize University facilities.
He has worked to advance the University’s leadership in sustainability, including reducing the University’s greenhouse gas emissions and seeking to power Penn State through renewable energy, among other efforts.
Gray has been active in philanthropic efforts as well, including a leadership role in chairing the 2018 and 2019 Penn State United Way charity campaigns. In 2018, he and his wife Margaret committed $210,000 to create the first graduate scholarship in Penn State’s new master of public policy program in the College of the Liberal Arts.
Gray holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration, both from Penn State.
Prior to joining Penn State, he served as senior vice president for administration, finance and technology and university treasurer at the University of Massachusetts from 2009 to 2012. Before becoming senior vice president at UMass, Gray also served as chief information officer and vice president for information technology, and as CEO of UMass Online.
His professional experience also includes service as vice chancellor for information technology for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education from 1995 to 2000, and as its assistant vice chancellor for financial management from 1990 to 1995. Gray also has served in various administrative, policy formation and financial management posts for New Jersey and Pennsylvania state governments.
He is on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development/Internet2 and the Centre County United Way. Gray was also on the board of directors for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, and has been active in EDUCAUSE, the National Association of College and University Business Officers and a number of professional and community service organizations.