Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy S. Roberts today announced the appointment of William Aldridge, CPA, as the district’s Chief Financial Officer, effective October 1.
Aldridge previously served at DPS as CFO and Chief Operating Officer, as well as CFO, Treasurer and Secretary of the Cleveland Board of Education, and also as Principal of Pierce, Monroe & Associates, LLC and Partner at Barrow, Aldridge & Co., both Detroit-based firms.
“Bill Aldridge brings both the sustained experience and the instant credibility in a position that requires both, as Detroit Public Schools works to fix its finances in partnership with the State of Michigan while creating academic excellence for all students in Detroit,” said Roberts.
Aldridge has over 35 years of professional experience in public accounting, consulting and executive management. He began his professional career at the international public accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Company in 1970. He then co-founded Barrow, Aldridge & Co., a firm providing auditing, tax, consulting and other services. Within five years the firm became one of the largest minority CPA firms in the country. He remained at Barrow, Aldridge & Co. for 13 years before joining Detroit Public Schools as its Divisional Director of Financial Planning and Budget and Chief Accounting Officer.
Aldridge remained with DPS until 1992, when he was recruited by the Cleveland Public Schools to become its first African-American Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of the Cleveland Board of Education. In 1996 he returned to the Detroit Public Schools to serve as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. In early 2000, he joined Pierce, Monroe & Associates, LLC as its principal.
Before joining the staff of DPS Mr. Aldridge’s CPA firm, along with Coopers & Lybrand, became the first African American firm to audit a major school district. Upon joining DPS as the Divisional Director of Financial Planning and Budget and Chief Accounting Officer in 1988 he was also responsible for assisting in the elimination of DPS’s accumulated deficit of $160 million.
In Cleveland Aldridge stopped years of deficit spending and generate operating surpluses. He was also successful in securing two revisions to Ohio state laws to assist Ohio school districts better manage their finances.
During his 1996 – 2000 return to DPS he was responsible for all non-academic operations of the District with the exception of Human Resources. He led the effort to install the District’s first PeopleSoft application, the HR system, and implemented a variety of other systems and processes. He played a lead role in negotiating a contract with the Detroit Federation of Teachers that provided their first financial performance-based compensation bonus. At the same time he established the District’s first rainy day fund of over $40 million.
Aldridge holds an M.S. in Taxation from Walsh College, a B.S. in Accounting from Central Michigan University and participated in the Executive Development Training Program at the Michigan State University Graduate School of Business.