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Wharton alumnus named CFO at Jackson State

Howard Merlin

Jackson State University is pleased to announce the appointment of Howard E. Merlin, CPA, has been appointed by Jackson State University as vice president for business and finance/chief financial officer (CFO). Merlin joins JSU with over 40 years of experience in business, finance, IT, accounting, human resources, facilities management, procurement and various other disciplines.

Merlin holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a Master of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh native also has an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Virginia. Merlin replaces interim CFO Dr. Marvel Turner, CPA.

Prior to joining Jackson State, Merlin founded RampUp Consulting, where he has assisted several organizations, from startups to firms with $75 million in revenue with IT, finance, organizational and procurement-related issues. For example, at RampUp, he assisted in creating a business plan that resulted in a six-year interest-free loan for a social entrepreneurial startup bringing a new textile industry to Kenya. Additionally, Merlin became CFO of SPHM Enterprises, a business management, advising and strategic planning firm that provides services to for-profit organizations.

Previously, Merlin spent 10 years at Lincoln University as the Vice President for Fiscal Affairs and Treasurer. While at Lincoln, Merlin worked with Bynum and then President Dr. Ivory V. Nelson to elevate the struggling institution to financial soundness. During his tenure at Lincoln, Merlin was fiscally responsible for financing over $75 million for campus renovations and other initiatives, helping LU to achieve Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s investment grade ratings (one of the few HBCU’s with such), and improving the University’s cost structure, business and accounting practices and processes. Merlin was responsible for adding millions of dollars to Lincoln’s bottom line every year and maintaining stable cash reserves.


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