Longtime higher education leader and finance expert James E. Trusdell is Georgian Court University’s new vice president for finance and administration. As the university’s chief financial officer, he leads one of the institution’s largest units, with direct responsibility for GCU’s financial operations, as well as areas like facilities, human resources, campus safety, and conferences and special events.
Over the course of more than 25 years, Trusdell has helped build financial organizations and streamlined business operations to drive growth, productivity, and bottom-line results – all critical elements in today’s challenging higher education environment.
Most recently, he served as the vice president for finance and administration and CFO for Holy Family University and led a financial turnaround that resulted in four years of revenue growth, improved financial results, and balanced operations. Before that, Trusdell succeeded in various financial leadership roles at Temple University; most notably, serving six years as associate dean of finance and chief of staff for Temple University’s College of Health Professions and Social Work.
Trusdell, a graduate of Philadelphia University, earned his master of business administration from St. Joseph University. The Philadelphia native also understands the role of Catholic education, having attended St. Katherine’s of Siena Parish grade school and Archbishop Ryan High School. An avid Philly sports fan, Mr. Trusdell still lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife, Patrice, and their three children –Casey, Kelly and Kevin.
“I am honored to join a university with a mission focused on providing access for students to quality higher education, coupled with a commitment to its Mercy core values of justice, respect, integrity, service, and compassion,” said Trusdell. “I am looking forward to working with a committed team of leaders and colleagues as the university continues its transformation for the future.”
Beyond his deep experience in higher education, Trusdell brings to GCU a significant understanding of corporate strategies and efficiencies—some of which can apply to colleges and universities. For 17 years, he worked in the insurance industry, including two years at Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. as assistant vice president of cost and budget. He also worked for 15 years at CIGNA Corp., where he was the controller for their managed disability business and assistance vice president for claim operations in CIGNA’s Integrated Care Division.
His unique work history made him an exceptional candidate for the job, said GCU president Joseph R Marbach, Ph.D.
“Jim’s understanding of faith-based universities like ours is an advantage, especially as we draw on his experience in areas like facilities management, forecasting, legal, auxiliary operations, financial reporting and human resources,” said Marbach. “He brings expertise that will certainly be an asset to the university as we continue to implement our new Strategic Compass,” which is a long-range plan intended to guide decision making and growth at GCU. It includes an emphasis on bolstering revenue streams; making the most of GCU’s human, financial and physical resources; and growing programs to serve students.