Ila Killian, a 29-year employee in UNCP’s Office of Business Affairs, was promoted to assistant vice chancellor/controller.
Starting with the University as an accounting technician, Killian has been the controller since 1984, serving the dual role of budget officer for the first 14 years. She supervises a staff of 22 and is responsible for internal and external financial reporting, accounts payable and receivable, capital project budgeting and accounting, asset and grant accounting, payroll and the cashier’s office.
Killian reports to Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Neil Hawk.
“Ila has been one of the best controller’s in the university system for a long time, and she is looked upon as an expert in her field and is constantly being called upon to answer financial questions by controllers at sister institutions,” Hawk said. “Ila is a dedicated employee that has devoted a huge portion of her life to making UNCP’s finances the best in the system.”
“I think if anyone asked me define dedication, I would simply say Ila Killian,” he said. “It is her devotion and ability that make this title change long over due. It has been a pleasure and a great opportunity to work with Ila and her staff for the last 12 years.”
A growing University and changing technology have been two constant challenges on the job, Killian said.
“There have been a lot of changes since I started in a finance office that had only one calculator,” Killian said. “We are now in the process of converting to a new financial system this year.”
UNCP will be one of the first UNC institutions to convert to the new system. Killian said teamwork and dedicated employees are vital to the success of her office.
“There is a sense of accomplishment here because we have had more than 10 years of clean audits,” Killian said. “It takes an entire campus – not just our office – to accomplish that.”
“I am very thankful that I have an experienced and hard working staff,” she said.
Enrollment growth, construction - totaling approximately $100 million in five year - and new methods for financing have presented Killian’s office with an increasingly complex and changing environment.
“Today, we have higher education bonds, certificates of participation and internal revenue financing, and all of these financing methods require procedures to track and report the flow of funds,” Killian said. “Even our growing international student programs require new and time consuming reporting.”
Killian said she particularly enjoys the part of her job that involves services to students.
“Several years ago, a need was identified for a Student Services Committee with membership from across campus,” she said. “Our job is to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our core student services processes.”
Killian is chair of the Student Services Committee, which includes members from the offices of Controller, Financial Aid, Academic Affairs, Institutional Research, University Computing, Business Services, Bookstore, Graduate Distance Education, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs and the Registrar.
Killian also worked on the University’s re-accreditation effort with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and she serves as director and is the former chair of the UNC Financial Systems User’s Group.
Killian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from UNCP. She earned an associate degree in accounting from Fayetteville Technical Community College.
Named to the National Register of Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals, Killian was nominated for the 2001 Barry K. Sanders Award for outstanding fiscal management professionals in North Carolina.
A native of the Purvis community, near Rowland, she is married to Dr. Paul Killian, a psychology professor at UNCP. She has three daughters who graduated from UNCP: Theresa Marie Brady, Rebecca Ann Gray-Carr and Mary Ila Oxendine. There are five grandchildren.