Hartwick College's New Vice President of Finance Sydney Rose Leo

Hartwick College Names New Vice President for Finance

June 16, 2016

Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich announced today that Sydney Rose Leo has been named Vice President for Finance, concluding a seven-month nationwide search. She will begin August 15.

Leo joins Hartwick from Fisk University in Nashville, TN, where she served as Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer. There she was a key member of the executive leadership team, and oversaw finance and accounting, financial aid, student billing, grant accounting, human resources and payroll, information technology, campus safety, facilities and student dining.

At Fisk, she also developed and managed the university’s first zero-sum operating budget, designed a three-year plan and budget that lowered institutional discounts by 15%, turned a profit on room and board, launched the development of a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan, and eliminated a persistent structural operating deficit.

“Hartwick College has been fortunate to attract talented vice presidential leadership in recent years,” said President Drugovich. “This trend continues as we welcome Sydney Rose Leo to the key role of Vice President for Finance.  Ms. Leo is well prepared for this role, and her abilities became evident to many during the search process. Ms. Leo will succeed George Elsbeck when he retires in August after nine years of exemplary service to the College.”

Prior to joining Fisk, Leo was chief financial officer of the Interaction Institute for Social Change, and an executive consultant to organizations including City Year, Inc., The Schawartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. She also served as senior manager at Ernst & Young, LLP, and director at KPMG, LLP.

“Service to a mission has become an increasingly important aspect in my life view,” said Leo. “I am excited to serve Hartwick College because of its commitment to diversity and inclusion and dedication to creating an engaged community that integrates a liberal arts education with experiential learning. I am looking forward to working with Hartwick to ensure continued financial and operational sustainability and to protect and further its mission.”

A 1988 graduate of Smith College in Northampton, MA with a bachelor of science in sociology, Leo also earned a master of science in finance and accounting from the University of Hartford (CT), and a master of science in computer information systems from Bentley University in Waltham, MA in 1996.