Chief Auditor Ron Stark Accepts Saudi Arabia Post
Atlanta — March 25, 2009
Ron Stark, chief audit officer and associate vice chancellor of Internal Audit for the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG), will be leaving the USG at the end of April for a similar position at the King Abdulla University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.
“Ron indicates that the new position is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. “He has made truly invaluable contributions to the University System and we will miss his leadership and his talents.”
In his new position as general auditor at KAUST, Stark will report to the university president and develop policy, a business procedures manual and oversee internal audit for the institution.
“This is an exciting opportunity,” Stark said. “It will be very difficult to leave the University System and Georgia, but the chance to help build and shape a major new research university is rare.”
Stark is referring to the fact that KAUST is currently being built as an international, graduate-level research university in Saudi Arabia. It will open with a $25 billion endowment and is open to men and women from around the world, with entry based on merit.
The core campus is located on the Red Sea at Thuwal, and will focus on research into resources, energy and the environment, biosciences and engineering, materials science and engineering and applied mathematics and computational sciences. The university will open in Sept. 2009 with degrees in 11 fields of study.
Stark has served in his current position at the USG since 1998, when he came from the University of California at Irvine, where he was the university’s audit director.
At the Board of Regents, Stark oversees internal audit and compliance for the regents’ system office and the 35 colleges and universities, as well as Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He leads a staff of 12 in this critical risk management function for the USG.
During his work at the USG, Stark has led in the development of the System’s first ethics policy, the creation and implementation of a system-wide hotline to report fraud and abuse, the creation and implementation of a new enterprise risk management and compliance program for the system, and conducted an overall review of the regents’ Policy Manual. In 2007, Stark coordinated a system-wide audit of the use of P-cards which uncovered inadequate oversight and controls, and which resulted in significant new controls. Before leaving the USG, Stark will complete the development of a five-year strategic audit plan for the system.
Stark will take up his new position in late May 2009. Davis said no decisions have yet been made regarding the search for Stark’s replacement.