BU Comptroller Gillian Emmons, National Leader in Higher Ed Accounting and Financial Reporting, Retiring
Will leave post in September to travel and spend more time with family
The Boston University Office of the Comptroller will experience some major changes in September, when Gillian Emmons, associate vice president and comptroller, retires. Emmons says she is leaving the post she has held for 11 years to spend more time with her family and enjoy more of the kind of travel adventures that have been impossible during the pandemic.
Martin Howard, BU senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, says Emmons’ quiet confidence and outstanding technical knowledge will be missed. “Gillian is widely recognized as a leader in the field of college and university accounting and financial reporting,” says Howard. “She led the development of campus financial policies and worked to establish strong standards and processes for departments across the University.”
Emmons has served for many years as a member of the highly regarded Accounting Principles Council within the National Association of College and University Business Officers, as well as an invited member of peer review visiting teams for other major private research universities. At BU, she also oversaw many of the University’s core financial functions, including accounts payable, cashier services, loans and collections, general accounting, miscellaneous receivables, payroll, student accounts, and tax compliance.
She began her relationship with Boston University as part of the Coopers and Lybrand audit engagement during her five-year tenure as a licensed CPA and audit supervisor. She joined the Office of the Comptroller leadership team at BU for a two-year period, from 1984 to 1986, before leaving for a series of other positions outside the University. Emmons recalls that when she was in public accounting, BU was one of her favorite clients. After joining the University, she says, she loved working here, both as a staff analyst and as comptroller.
“The work has been challenging and interesting,” she says. “My colleagues in Financial Affairs and throughout the community are collaborative and knowledgeable, and committed to the University and its students. Thank you to everyone who has made my time here rewarding and fun.”
Emmons’ responsibilities will be assumed by Nicole Tirella, who is currently associate comptroller. Tirella, who will become vice president for financial operations on July 1, says she is honored to step into the role of vice president for financial operations. “I’m excited to become a part of the University’s leadership team and continue with the legacy Gillian and others have tirelessly built,” she says. “I look forward to supporting leadership and tackling the challenges ahead.”
“I am confident that Nicole’s talent and experience in accounting, auditing, and finance will continue as a catalyst for continuous improvement and excellence at Boston University,” Howard says.