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Former CFO Masch named VP of Manhattan College

By Dale Mezzacappa on Jan 14, 2013 04:56 PM

Former District fiscal chief Michael Masch will start work next week as vice president for finance and chief financial officer of Manhattan College, a Catholic institution in New York City.

The college's press release announcing his appointment praised his work in Philadelphia. It said he "generated the district’s first surpluses in a decade, significantly reduced operating costs, pioneered new investments in smaller class sizes, and improved instructional technology and other reform measures. In 2011, he relinquished supervision of district operations to focus full time on a massive budget crisis that confronted the district in the wake of a 15 percent cut in state and federal funding."

In the statement, college president Brendan O'Donnell said that the college "is a beneficiary of his decision" to leave government and return to higher education.

Masch, who had previously worked as Pennsylvania's budget director under Gov. Rendell and as a vice president at the University of Pennsylvania, steered the District through tough financial waters -- and not always smoothly.

In his last two years, Masch faced a precipitous drop in state and federal funding, coupled with higher costs for charters and ever-escalating fixed obligations. The District made massive cuts in personnel and services, but it was not enough.

During the budget crisis, Masch's job required navigating between then-Superintendent Arlene Ackerman -- who was determined to maintain or expand favored programs through her Imagine 2014 initiative -- and the mammoth fiscal crisis brought on by the shrinking revenues. He and Ackerman reportedly stopped communicating. In January 2012, the School Reform Commission ultimately announced a fiscal Armageddon and brought in Thomas Knudsen as chief recovery officer, demoting Masch to adviser status. He left the District in May.

Manhattan, in Riverdale, the Bronx, has 3,400 students and 40 programs of study. Founded in 1853, it is run by the de La Salle Christian Brothers.

Masch said in the statement that he is excited to work for an institution with Manhattan's commitment to service and social justice. "This College is a very special place — small enough that everyone matters, big enough to offer a diverse and exceptional range of educational experiences. ... It is an honor to be here.”

He starts his new position on Jan. 22.

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Comments (9)

Submitted by Christopher Paslay (not verified) on January 14, 2013 6:44 pm
They're saying the same thing about Andy Reid in Kansas City.
Submitted by Joe (not verified) on January 15, 2013 1:44 pm
Submitted by Christopher Paslay (not verified) on January 14, 2013 7:34 pm
Michael Masch was the best finance guy a district could ever want or ask for. We're gonna miss you, Masch, old hoss. Good luck hiding deficits for the crazy Catholics in NYC!!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 14, 2013 8:55 pm
Can't kid me, this is an early April Fools joke, correct????
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 15, 2013 12:07 am
I worked with Mr. Match at the school district. He is arrogant and nowhere near as intelligent as he believes himself to be. His style is to intimidate others, especially subordinates. When confronted with any evidence that contradicts or questions his position, he becomes abusive and condescending to the person challenging him.
Submitted by LS Teach (not verified) on January 15, 2013 5:22 am
Such is the way for most school district top officials and principals...
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 15, 2013 12:06 am
This is another example of those in power in the SDP protecting their own. All of Ackerman's underlings walked away with six figure plus jobs. Masch is the same. It probably helps that Masch also is well connected to Rendell. Far too often in the School District and City of Philadelphia merit does not win - it is nepotism and connections. This is also true in charter schools. Look at the staff lists and look at administration. Whether it is TFA connections, local community connections, ethnic connections, etc, etc. So much for meritocracy!
Submitted by Fatty (not verified) on January 15, 2013 5:45 am
So true!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 15, 2013 7:03 pm
How do you get into this club where you can be paid a six figure salary while you can mismanage funds and obscure the true condition of school finances, and then after you leave in disgrace you get hired at another six figure salary and the public is told "he generated the district’s first surpluses in a decade, significantly reduced operating costs, pioneered new investments in smaller class sizes, and improved instructional technology and other reform measures." Anyone who has been in the District in the last ten years knows what a fantasy this is. Teachers and schools get judged by a single test being taken each year. Top administrators can spin their way from one fiasco to the next. Is this being done deliberately?

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