Internal Audit: Mr. Whitfield

Rick N. Whitfield, now director of internal audit at Vanderbilt University, has been named Managing Director of Internal Audit at Penn starting January 1, Executive Vice President John Fry announced last week. Mr. Whitfield succeeds Rod Fancher, who is retiring after 12 years as Director of Internal Audit here.

Mr. Whitfield will be responsible for the development and implementation of the audit plans and programs for both the University and the Health System at Penn, overseeing performance of operational and financial audits; audits of existing computer-based systems; and reviews of accounting practices and procedures of all University and Health System operations as well as assisting in the orientation and instruction of University and Health System personnel on accounting policies, procedures, and internal controls.

Mr. Whitfield also had dual university/medical center responsibility at Vanderbilt, where, according to Mr. Fry, he built one of the most progressive internal audit operations in the country. The blend makes him "the ideal person to move Penn's internal audit department forward, as it evolves from an enforcement unit to one that serves as problem-solver and business partner to managers in the schools and central administration," Mr. Fry said.

Mr. Whitfield joined Vanderbilt in 1981 as assistant director of internal audit, and moved up to director in 1984. While there, he transformed the internal audit function from a "policing" function to a "value added" service function, Mr. Fry said. He also identified strategies for enhancing revenue in the Medical Center; played a leading role in improving technology in the internal audit workplace; and aligned the unit's goals to be consistent with the vision and mission of the University.

Mr. Whitfield took his B.S. in accounting from Austin Peay State University and an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management. A certified public accountant, he began his career in 1974 as an accountant with Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He was director of internal audit at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee from 1978-1980, and worked in private practice before joining Vanderbilt.

He is currently secretary/treasurer of the Association of College and University Auditors, and a member of the Association of Health Care Internal Auditors, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the Hospital Financial Management Association. He has conducted peer reviews of internal audit departments at Cornell, Harvard and Duke universities, and conducted numerous national seminars for higher education and health care associations.


Tuesday, November 21, 1995
Volume 42 Number 13

Return to index for this issue.
Return to Almanac Homepage.