Mark Finlan

Contact Mark Finlan

Mark Finlan

Mark has more than 20 years of consulting experience in the education and public sectors. He specializes in leading institutions through complex programs to align strategy, improve performance and reduce costs.

About Mark

At any given time, some part of each higher education institution needs to be transforming to keep up with changing student needs and an evolving environment.

Mark is a managing director at Huron who works closely with colleges, universities and academic health centers to transform their strategies and operations. He applies nearly two decades of consulting expertise to help institutions drive financial performance and long-term growth.

Over the course of his career, Mark has:

  • Led a 15-month cost transformation effort for a leading private university, identifying opportunities to close a nearly $100 million budget deficit and developing a new budget model aligned to the institution’s mission.
  • Overseen the organizational assessment of a large public health sciences institution and developed an innovative service delivery model that spanned multiple functions including human resources, finance, IT, marketing and research administration.
  • Helped a top historically black college develop a four-year strategic plan to fulfill the institution’s goal of becoming a best-in-class, land-grant doctoral research university.

Prior to joining Huron, Mark led the higher education and organization and human capital practices within Censeo Consulting Group. Prior to that, he was a principal at Bain & Company, where he helped found their higher education practice.

Mark has received Top 25 Consultant and Excellence in Social and Community Investment recognition by Consulting Magazine for his leadership and pro bono work.

Areas of Expertise

  • Budgeting and Financial Management
  • Performance Improvement
  • Organizational Design and Alignment
  • Business Unit Strategy
  • Academic Affairs


  • Education & Research

Education & Certifications

  • MBA, University of North Carolina
  • B.S., College of William & Mary


  • The Staffing Crisis in Higher Education

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    View the results of a survey of higher education leaders launched by Huron and the Chronicle of Higher Education exploring the current state of staffing on campus

  • The Path to Operational Excellence

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    Having a lower cost position is an advantage, and the ability to make quick, data-informed decisions better positions institutions to respond to change.

  • From Pandemic to Transformation: Higher Education Leadership

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    Throughout the ongoing global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. colleges and universities have been confronting unprecedented change.

  • Efficiency and Cost Reduction: What to Stop Doing

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    Efforts such as strategic sourcing, business process redesign and more represent the promise of assembling small pockets of savings into cost reductions.

  • The Flexible Future: Actionable Scenario Planning for Higher Education Leaders

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    Institutional leadership must engage in robust scenario planning that evaluates the benefits and risks of several potential responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Empowering Agile Decision Making in Higher Education

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    By incorporating principles of agile decision making, leaders can help prepare their teams to adapt to rapid change throughout what is sure to be a period of significant flux over the coming months and years.

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