Michelle Gates


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Vice President of Administrative Services

Michelle GatesMichelle Gates is a financial executive with deep leadership experience in higher education and a proven track record of strategic leadership in financial management and planning, organizational development and operational roles.

Gates began serving Rio Salado College in June 2020 after a successful tenure as the University of Arizona’s associate vice president for finance with the Office of Strategic Initiatives. In that role she managed the successful implementation of the university’s strategic plan, demonstrating her leadership through a number of contributions that have strengthened the framework for financial management and operations.

Gates also served as the chief financial officer and vice president for business affairs at Columbia College Chicago. She demonstrated her financial management and planning expertise by bringing expenditures in line with revenues, strengthening financial ratios and restructuring college debt to reduce expenditures and ensure long range flexibility.

Gates has held positions as senior associate vice president for financial affairs with Emerson College in Boston, director of budget and planning with New York University in the United Arab Emirates, director of university budget operations with Northern Arizona University and director of finance for the city of Roseburg, Oregon.

Throughout her career, Gates has been recognized for leading organizational transformation in international and USA environments delivered through team building, leadership development, cultural integration, change management and business process improvement.

Gates holds a master’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Portland State University.