As Vice Provost for Academic Administration, Prita Patel oversees financial and administrative activities for the Provost and serves as his liaison on issues regarding information technology, facilities planning, risk management, and human resources. She directly supervises the Office of the Registrar and AU Central (One Stop Student Service Center). She works with the deans and unit heads on program development matters, and helps launch and maintain partnership agreements, academic affiliations and contracts. She spearheads process improvements and leads organizational change management within Academic Affairs.
Since joining AU in 2014, Prita has served the university community with her financial management expertise, empathetic leadership style, and commitment to our shared mission. She has collaborated closely with deans, vice provosts, and budget officers from all academic units and established effective partnerships with key leaders from across campus. Prior to joining American University, Prita previously held the position of Senior Director of Finance, Budget and Risk Management at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. Earlier in her career, she worked at a major investment bank in the healthcare equity research division. Prita received a BS in finance and marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and an MSc in International Health Management from the Imperial College Business School (London, England).
The Vice Provost for Academic Administration serves as the financial expert in providing advice and technical assistance to unit budget managers in the preparation of the Academic Affairs annual revenue budget of $367m and expense budget of $273m. This office manages budgetary activities throughout the year and provides guidance to all units in the Academic Affairs division in promoting fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets, while making sure that all revenue targets are set. The office of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration manages the two-year budget cycle process for the Academic Affairs division; examines budget proposals for completeness, accuracy and conformance with University policies and procedures; consolidates individual
departmental budgets into operating and capital budget summaries; and presents analysis for final division submission to the President and eventually to the Board of Trustees. The office also reviews budget justifications, monitors use of resources, and summarizes/assesses units’ longer-term financial plans within the Academic Affairs division.
In addition to providing leadership and guidance for administrative service units reporting to the Provost, the office of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration tries to anticipate needs, analyze resources and respond to requests made by the Provost, Deans and the unit heads. The office works with Academic Affairs units to resolve personnel issues, makes recommendations regarding reorganizations, and assists in analyzing financial performance following University guidelines. The office makes decisions on issues where there is a precedent and some other important issues for which there is no precedent. It also deals with questions and/or proposed revisions to policies and other issues as they arise, and works with departments to resolve and assists
departments with resource allocations to ensure optimum efficiencies.
The office manages all International Travel Insurance requests for all units reporting to the Provost and coordinates the requests with the Office of Risk Management. In addition the office facilitates Human Resource functions including: Performance Management Planning, position funding, and managing the annual staff merit process for the Academic Affairs division. The Vice Provost for Academic Administration identifies problem areas where budget is insufficient to cover projected compensation and ensures appropriate resolution.
The Vice Provost for Academic Administration manages the Information Technology Portfolio for the Academic Affairs division. This involves setting priorities for web and technology projects to complete each academic year, to support the provost and the various units that report to him. She and her staff work to keep abreast of technology that might be implemented to better serve these constituencies.
The Vice Provost oversees the expenditures related to the Office of the Provost website and its various unit sub-sites. In coordination and conjunction with the Manager of Web Systems, who reports to her, she sets the priorities for web projects to meet the needs of
the provost and the units under the provost umbrella so that they support the initiatives and strategic plan of American University, and by doing so, AU's students, faculty, and staff.