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University Finance and Administration

FLT Profile: Ruth Philo

Get to know University Finance and Administration’s (UFA’s) Financial Leadership Team (FLT) through our FLT Profile series. Featuring Q&As with each FLT member, the series paints a portrait of who our leaders are —outside of the office.

UFA’s FLT is comprised of 12 individuals: Adam Day, J. Michael Gower, John Fahey, Jason MacDonald, David B. Moore, Nimish Patel, Ruth Philo, Stephanie K. Reed, José M. Román, Eugene Simon, William Troy, and Kim Yozgat.

This profile features Ruth Philo, chief audit executive, Audit and Advisory Services.

Tell us about your first job

“My first job after graduating from university was at a private design college in Toronto, Canada. I started at the bottom as a ‘Secretary/Receptionist’ and, after two months, was promoted to 'Data Processor’ for student

records. Soon after that, I worked with my boss, the Dean of the school, to redefine the job description and become the ‘Academic Records Manager/Registrar’ of the college, a position I held for the next four years before moving on to another opportunity. Little did I know then how much higher-ed would shape the path of my career.”

Is there a TV show that you’re mid-binge on?

“One of my favorite ways to unwind and relax in the evenings or on the weekends is to watch cooking or home improvement shows while cooking. I am currently alternating between

episodes of Love it or List It and Beat Bobby Flay on Discovery +.”

Is there a businessperson you admire?

Ruth Philo
Ruth Philo, chief audit executive, Audit and Advisory Services

“I admire Mary Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors, for her straightforward and inclusive leadership style. She is known for promoting a culture of honesty by encouraging everyone at the company to speak up and confront all problems directly.”

What is your favorite music genre and/or your favorite “get pumped” song and why?

“I have eclectic musical tastes, ranging from jazz and opera to classic rock, R&B, and metal. What I listen to really depends on my mood and the activity at hand. My favorite ‘get pumped’ songs are ‘Gonna Make You Sweat (1990)’ by C+C Music Factory and pretty much anything by Bon Jovi; they motivate me to literally ‘go that extra mile’ during a workout.”

Did you have a career fork in the road?

“Prior to coming to Rutgers, I was at Grant Thornton (GT) for 18 years. While I was there, I experienced many career forks. My first few years at the firm were with their technology practice implementing CRM and financial management systems as a consultant. When GT sold this practice, I was given the choice of being part of the sale and getting promoted or continuing at GT in their management consulting practice and staying at the same level. I chose the latter and, over the next several years, was fortunate enough to gain the breadth of experience in the higher education and not-for-profit sectors that would ultimately prepare me for my current role at Rutgers.”

Tell us about your pet(s)

“Anyone who knows me has either met or seen many pictures of my two dogs, Moose and Daisy.

Moose is a small black and white Shitzu/Bishon Frisee mix with a big personality who loves playing with the big dogs at the dog park and eating cardboard rolls. I got Moose as a 10-week-old puppy from a family breeder in South Dakota in 2009. He came out of the crate at LaGuardia airport with his tail wagging and has kept me entertained every day since.

Daisy Mae is a 26-pound blonde Lhaso Apso that I rescued in 2010 when she was one years old. Born in Hoboken, she is a Jersey girl who loves petting, going on walks, and chasing squirrels. But don’t let her sweet disposition and love of petting fool you — she is the alpha dog in the house and is not afraid to let Moose know it when he crosses the line to grab a toy she wants for herself!”