Dr. Sara F. Thorndike

As the Senior Vice President for Finance & Business/Treasurer at The Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Sara F. Thorndike is responsible for the management of Finance & Business and the unit's strategic planning process. Sara also leads financial, endowment management, business, and administrative activities at all Penn State campuses and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Penn State Health, the University's academic medical enterprise. Sara also serves as a member of the President's Council and the Board of Directors for Penn State Corporation. She chairs the Penn State Investment Council and Health Care Advisory Council.

Prior to joining Penn State University, Sara served as Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance & Chief Financial Officer for East Carolina University (ECU) from 2018 to 2021, responsible for operating and capital budget and planning, financial services, campus operations, information technology, and computing services, human resources, health sciences administration & finance and clinical financial operations, athletics fiscal affairs, real estate, police, environmental health & safety, auxiliary services, enterprise risk management, and materials management.

Previously, she served as the Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Chief Financial Officer, and Controller for the University of North Carolina Wilmington from 2014 to 2018. From 2005 - 2014 Sara served as the Controller and Accounting Director for The Principia Corporation. Prior to 2005, she served in financial analyst and accountant roles for various corporations.

Sara earned an Ed.D. in higher education leadership from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, an MBA from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Franklin University. She is a certified public accountant licensed in Ohio and North Carolina. 

In addition to her role at Penn State, Sara serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County and the Centre County United Way. Sara serves as a volunteer for the Higher Education Financial Wellness Alliance and is active in NACUBO and a variety of professional and community service organizations.