MBE for ‘sure footed’ University finance director

Sarah Randall-Paley © Lancaster University

Lancaster University’s Director of Finance Sarah Randall-Paley has been awarded the MBE for services to higher education in The King's Birthday Honours List.

Sarah has had significant impact across the whole university sector for more than a decade. On a national level she has helped to ensure good financial management in universities and in significant national bodies, providing expertise and advice to ensure that public and university money is spent appropriately.

Sarah qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in London, working in audit and forensic accounting.

She has been Lancaster University’s Director of Finance since 2009, where she is responsible for Finance and Procurement activities including financial management and control, financial reporting, preparation of data returns, audit preparation, treasury management and promoting value for money.

She also supports the Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield in his wider responsibilities as designated Accountable Officer under the OfS regulatory framework.

Professor Schofield said: “Sarah is a phenomenal colleague and I could not be more happy to see her recognised in this way. Beyond her well-known accomplishments as one of the most sure-footed finance directors in higher education, Sarah is gracious, kind and generous with her time. She has a razor-sharp intellect and a creative artistry which is often revealed in her summing up of meetings. She is highly respected within the Lancaster University community and that is reflected through her national leadership too.”

Sarah is also a former Chair of the national British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG) and former Chair of the Audit Committee of The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), current Chair of the BUFDG Tax Group, a co-opted member and a member of the national TRAC Development Group and Governor and Chair of Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School.

She said: "I have been astonished and somewhat overwhelmed by this recognition. It has been both a privilege and pleasure to facilitate Lancaster University's phenomenal journey and achievements over many years and alongside that to work with other professional colleagues at BUFDG for the benefit of the wider sector."

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