Michael S. Horan Joins Worcester Polytechnic Institute as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Horan, an accomplished financial and business operations professional in higher education and industry, will oversee the university’s financial, physical, and technological resources.
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Worcester, Mass. – June 22, 2021 –Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) announced today that Michael S. Horan, Ed.D., CPA, an accomplished financial professional with experience in higher education and industry, will join the university in August as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). Horan is currently vice president for finance, CFO, and treasurer at Illinois Institute of Technology. He will fill the position previously held by Jeffrey S. Solomon, who is retiring after 16 years at WPI.

“Michael Horan brings to WPI an impressive track record of using data-driven decision-making in resource management, and in being strategic and market-driven in ways that both increase financial resilience and provide opportunities to invest for innovation,” said WPI President Laurie Leshin. “His progressive experience in business, finance, and operations will be particularly valuable as we continue to manage through the pandemic, evolve our distinctive approach to education and research, and respond to dynamic pressures on higher education, most critically the needs and expectations of students and their families for access, affordability, and long-term relevance of the education and experiences WPI provides.”

Horan was appointed after a national search and will report directly to Leshin. He will oversee a team responsible for accounting, finance, financial planning and analysis, operations, campus facilities and planning, campus police, and information technology at WPI. He also will serve as the university’s chief investment officer. The university has an annual budget of more than $250 million, an endowment of $600 million, employs about 1,200 faculty and staff, serves about 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and operates a 95-acre campus plus additional facilities in the region.

Michael Horan brings to WPI an impressive track record of using data-driven decision-making in resource management, and in being strategic and market-driven...
  • President Laurie Leshin

Before joining IIT in 2017, Horan held CFO positions at Capital University from 2014 to 2017 and at Oglethorpe University from 2009 to 2014. He also taught at Oglethorpe from 1998 to 2009 as an adjunct professor of business. Before his work in higher education, he was vice president, controller, and executive director of shared services and restructuring for Cox Communications Inc., where he coordinated the cable company’s 1994 merger with the cable operations of Times Mirror Company.

A Certified Public Accountant, Horan earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Georgia. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and a BA in Business from Fort Lewis College in Colorado. A native of Denver, he grew up in his family’s funeral home business and is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

“WPI has always been the model that its peers in higher education strive to follow,” Horan said. “The university has been creative and nimble during the pandemic, in particular, and those are the attributes that universities need to succeed. I look forward to bringing my skills to WPI and being part of a team that will help the university grow.”