Office of the President

Rick Petillo named chief financial officer


Rick Petillo has been named chief financial officer, effective Jan. 2, 2020.

Clemson’s Office of Human Resources and a search committee provided an exhaustive review of the significant number of applicants the national search prompted. Chaired by Lisa Knox, director of strategy and operations for the Division of Finance and Operations, the search committee was comprised of several members of Clemson’s Executive Leadership Team.

This photo is a professional headshot of Clemson University's next CFO, Rick Petillo
Rick Petillo becomes the University’s next chief financial officer Jan. 2, 2020.

Petillo will report to Tony Wagner, executive vice president of finance and operations, and he will provide stewardship of all the University’s financial matters. Housing, dining, parking services, procurement and business services, debt and capital financing, grants and contracts administration, the Controller’s Office, accounting for related organizations, budget, financial planning and analytics and the municipal court will benefit from Petillo’s direct leadership.

A graduate of Duke University and the President’s Leadership Institute at Clemson University, Petillo joined Clemson’s Division of Finance and Operations in 2015 having spent 15 years in banking and finance at Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney, Bank of America and First Southwest Company.

While Petillo served as Clemson’s director of debt and capital financing, he led the University’s efforts to determine appropriate benchmarks for cost of education and revenue trends, modernized the University’s internal loan program, developed a long-range, multivariable capital planning model, successfully financed more than $500 million of capital projects, implemented financing strategies resulting in more than $35 million in debt service savings and contributed to the University achieving a credit rating upgrade. Also, Petillo had served as the interim director for budget and analytics.

“Rick’s stewardship as Clemson’s director of debt and capital financing has been exemplary,” said Tony Wagner, executive vice president of finance and operations. “Clemson has been able to optimize its capital priorities and to leverage its strategic investment opportunities in large part because of Rick’s thought leadership.”

Petillo will assume the responsibilities of Steve Crump who is retiring.

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