Controller and Assistant Vice Chancellor Ila Killian will retire after 31.5 years with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
With 2004-05 Administrator of theYear Award
Well known in the UNC system for spotless audits, Killian started at the University in 1975 as an accounting technician. Her last day is December 4 and her retirement becomes effective January 1, 2007.
At a recent campus reception, long-time associate and friend Paulette Dial offered these words.
“We’ve been through a lot together,” Dial said. “We grew up, our children grew up and the University grew up. There have been many changes, a lot of work and a lot of good times.”
Killian has been the controller since 1984 and served in the dual role of budget officer for the first 14 years. She supervises a staff of 23 and is responsible for internal and external financial reporting, accounts payable and receivable, capital project budgeting and accounting, fixed asset and grant accounting, payroll and supervision of the cashier’s office.
She graduated summa cum laude from UNCP in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She earned an associate degree from Fayetteville Technical Community College, where she earned the Scholastic Award as the top student in the accounting program.
In retirement, Killian said she would spend more time at the beach with her husband and family of six children, seven grandchildren, two brothers and two sisters. She will also spend more time at her church, Midway Presbyterian, where she is an elder, clerk for the session and sings in the choir.
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Neil Hawk said Killian is an outstanding public servant.
“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.”
With husband Dr. Wright Killian, a retired UNCP professor
“I think if anyone asked me to 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 14 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 Banner finance this year.”
UNCP was the first UNC institution to convert to the new financial 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 15 years of clean audits and one finding in 17 years,” 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 years - 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.”
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. She was also named Outstanding Administrator in the Business Affairs division.
A native of the Purvis community, near Rowland, N.C., she is married to Dr. Wright Killian, a retired UNCP psychology professor. She has three daughters who graduated from UNCP: Theresa Marie Brady, Rebecca Ann Gray-Carr and Mary Ila Oxendine and three sons, Garrett, Steve and Scott. There are seven grandchildren.