Tim Downs, who has served in leadership roles in operations and financial management at Princeton University for the past 14 years, has been named vice president for finance and administration and chief financial officer (VPFA-CFO) at Ithaca College and started his role in August 2021.
At Ithaca College, Downs serves as an essential strategic partner, working collaboratively with the president, the board of trustees, and the senior leadership team as well as with faculty, staff, and student leaders to assure a successful and stable financial future for the college. He provides leadership and managerial oversight for 300 staff members in the areas of business and finance, facilities, and auxiliary services, and have primary responsibility for the development and implementation of the college’s annual operating budget that will allow for financial alignment with the Ithaca Forever strategic plan.
Downs joined Princeton in 2007 as manager of the Facilities Finance and Business Office and was promoted to executive director for facilities finance and administrative services in 2012. In that role, he was responsible for leading a 37-member department providing budget, finance, business operations, procurement, information technology, and customer service support. He managed all financial aspects of a $125 million operating budget, $50 million major maintenance budget, and multi-billion-dollar capital projects budget.
Among his other accomplishments at Princeton, Downs developed the university’s $5.5 billion capital plan, overhauling an $80 million construction surcharge program to close a $14 million deficit; reviewed and strengthened the stewardship program for the university’s $7 billion physical plant; managed key municipal relationships leading to a revaluation of the university’s property tax payment; and partnered with developers and financers on such sustainability projects as a 5.4MW solar field array and 12MW power purchase agreement.
His private-sector experiences have included serving as a group controller for Aramark Uniform Services and in a series of financial management positions within key strategic business units at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. He entered the education field as director of finance and then president of the Sanford Brown Institute, one of 82 campuses under the Career Education Corporation umbrella.
Downs earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Temple University and M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from the University of Delaware.
His service to his profession and his community has included serving on the boards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education State Board of Private Licensed Schools, Pennsylvania Training Assurance Fund, and Princeton Blairstown Center—a not-for-profit helping at-risk youth—and on the Council Rock School District Planning Committee.