Meet NC State’s Controller

Written by Tabitha Groelle.

Fran Lawrence has been appointed NC State University Controller, responsible for fiscal accountability, accuracy and reporting for the $2 billion university enterprise. Lawrence will lead the University Controller’s Office, which administers the payment of wages to over 18,000 staff, faculty, student workers and temporary employees; executes over 90,000 vendor payments annually; and manages an external debt portfolio of over $500 million. Additional areas of oversight include the university’s cash management, banking and merchant services; general accounting, financial reporting and taxation; accounts payable; business systems; payroll and debt management.

 “Controller Lawrence is charged with enhancing NC State’s already strong reputation as a leader in fiscal integrity, accountability and responsibility through collaborative partnerships with our university constituents and external partners, improvements in the university’s financial processes and internal controls, and efficient and effective business operations,” stated Dana Harris, associate vice chancellor for finance and university treasurer, “I expect Controller Lawrence to build partnerships with units and colleges across the university, to promote fiscal accountability, training and outreach services as we continue to adhere to the highest standards of quality, performance and service”.

Lawrence brings more than 25 years of progressive accounting, finance and audit experience to NC State, with an impressive resume across state government, two of the Big Four accounting firms, and a Fortune 250 company. 

For the past decade, Lawrence served as the chief financial officer and deputy treasurer of the Finance Operations Division, with the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer (DST), responsible for properly accounting for over $150 billion of funds deposited, invested, and disbursed through the Department of State Treasurer. On behalf of the State Treasurer, Lawrence administered North Carolina’s state banking system, ensuring efficient banking services for all state agencies and institutions. While at DST, Lawrence successfully implemented significant government accounting standards that impacted the financial statements of all government entities throughout the state. 

Lawrence was awarded the Triangle Business Journal’s Outstanding CFO Award in 2014 and was spotlighted in the ‘Last Word’ in the Journal of Accountancy magazine in 2016. She has served in various capacities for a number of non-profit agencies; and recently joined the Southeast Raleigh YMCA Advisory Board. 

Lawrence, a certified public accountant, looks forward to returning to NC State, where she earned both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting. Lawrence begins her role on June 1, 2023.