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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Germaine Gross hired as new Chief Financial Officer

Germaine Gross will be joining Grinnell as chief financial officer on July 1st. Photo by Ohana Sarvotham.

This summer, Germaine Gross will join the College as chief financial officer and vice president of finance, taking on the titles on July 1. Gross comes from Tulane University in New Orleans, where she served as chief business officer (CBO) for the School of Liberal Arts.

“I always say I didn’t know what liberal arts were,” said Gross. “I was always the business major, got my M.B.A. And so I fell in love with liberal arts.”

Gross will move to Iowa with her husband and daughter. She is a self-described soccer mom and spends a lot of time driving to practices and going to tournaments. During COVID, her family started fishing and crabbing together. They plan to continue fishing in Iowa, even though there are no crabs.

“I mean, really, it’s about family,” Gross said. “The biking, the fishing and crabbing.”

Gross also loves to travel and is working towards going to every continent with her daughter before she graduates high school. The two have already been to Asia and Australia. Gross has also lived across the United States, including Indianapolis, Memphis and San Francisco. She is not looking forward to the cold Midwest winters.

Gross got her B.S. in management with a concentration in accounting from Tulane, and her M.B.A from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I love to continue to learn and the opportunity for me to take classes,” said Gross. “There’s always so much activity on a college campus, whether there are speakers coming or performances, so I feel like I’m constantly learning.”

As CBO at Tulane, Gross handled administrative functions for the School of Liberal Arts, including finance, human resources, facilities and assisting the dean with strategies. At Grinnell, she will have similar responsibilities, but with a broader scope. Instead of overseeing one school at a university, she will oversee the finances of the entire College. This includes the golf course and other auxiliary functions.

She fell in love with operations in a job at Charles Schwab, she said, where she got to see behind the scenes of company processes and procedures. In a college setting, some of these procedures include how students pay their tuition. Gross strives to make processes like these more efficient.

The role of CFO boils down to strategizing for Gross. Making operations more efficient and planning financially for the future of the College are two of her main responsibilities.

“We’re always looking to make sure that our resources are properly allocated to the strategic plan,” said Gross. “So, for instance, we’re always talking about the student experience and making sure that those things kind of stay top of mind if they’re part of a strategic plan.”

There are a lot of pieces involved in planning the budget, from salaries to facilities, tuition and endowment. Grinnell’s 2.93-billion-dollar endowment is managed by Chief Investment Officer Jainen Thayer, who helps decide how much money can be pulled from the endowment while maintaining the principal. Gross will work with him as well as the Office of Admission to finance the budget.

“President Harris put forth a strategic plan, and really, my hope and goal is to make sure that we can fulfill her strategic plan,” said Gross.

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