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10/28/2019 - Jackson, Miss.

The Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA) recently awarded Vijay Patel, Chief Audit Executive for the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), with its prestigious Member Excellence in Service award in recognition of his exceptional volunteer service to the organization and its mission of advancing the profession of internal auditing in higher education.

The longest serving Board Member in ACUA's history, Patel has served as President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Board Member-at-Large, which means he has been directly and/or indirectly involved in many decisions regarding ACUA's mission, vision and strategy. He has served on the Professional Management Selection Committee and the Web Services Team and has chaired both the Membership and the Nominating committees. He has served on a panel for an annual conference presentation and continues to serve as an ACUA Ambassador.

"Vijay's reputation within ACUA is one of dedication, reliability and collegiality," said Julia Hann, President, ACUA, and the Chief Audit Executive for the University of North Florida. "He is considered an outstanding ambassador for the profession, higher education and your institution."

Patel has served as Chief Audit Executive for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning since last month and served as Interim Chief Audit Executive for IHL for 16 months prior to being named to the permanent position. In this role, he serves as the chief liaison to the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning concerning internal audit and other audit-related issues by appropriately informing and advising the Board and the Commissioner of Higher Education of audit and audit-related issues in the system.

He also reviews and appraises the soundness, adequacy and application of accounting, financial and other operating controls to promote effective controls. He conducts operational, financial, compliance and information audits to evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of internal controls and ascertains the extent of compliance with established policies, plans, procedures, law and regulations.

"Vijay is very deserving of the recognition," said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. "His involvement in the international organization for college and university auditors speaks to his level of professionalism and dedication to staying abreast of current issues impacting his work. The university system is fortunate to have someone of his caliber serving as the chief audit executive."

Prior to joining the IHL staff, Patel served as Director of the Office of Internal Audit at the University of Southern Mississippi for 19 years and had also served as Senior Internal and Information Systems Auditor and System Design and Information Analyst at Southern Miss.

Patel holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and statistics from The University of Southern Mississippi and a bachelor's degree in accounting from The University of Southern Mississippi.

He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed in the State of Mississippi, and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

In addition to the extensive contributions he has made to ACUA and its Board of Directors, Patel has also served on the NCAA Gender Equity — Title IX Committee and the Committee on Athletic Minority Equity at Southern Miss.

Patel has a son, Alkesh Patel, who is attending The College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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