Terrence O’Connor, an executive with both corporate and academic experience, will be the new vice president for finance and administration at the University of St. Thomas, it was announced by Dr. Judith Dwyer, executive vice president.

O’Connor, 52, will begin his new position July 1. He has served as associate vice president — finance and controller at the University of Minnesota since 1996, the year he retired from a 27-year career at GTE Corp.

His GTE experience includes controller of its manufacturing division, controller and chief financial officer of GTE Leasing, director of mergers and acquisitions for GTE Service, and director of finance for GTE Mobilnet.

O’Connor is a 1969 graduate of DePaul University, Chicago, and a certified public accountant. Earlier in his career he co-founded and was chief financial officer of a still-thriving finance company in Florida.

“Mr. O’Connor is bringing a wealth of experience to his role as St. Thomas’ chief financial officer,” Dwyer said. “He has won respect for his outstanding accomplishments at GTE and contributions in the area of fiscal management at the University of Minnesota. We look forward to having him as a colleague at St. Thomas.”

In addition to overseeing the university’s annual budget, O’Connor will administer St. Thomas’ physical plant and public safety operations, and will play a key role in the university’s strategic-planning process.

O’Connor said he has enjoyed his work in higher education since leaving GTE and was attracted to St. Thomas because of its entrepreneurial spirit, its mission as a Catholic urban university and the involvement of its board of trustees.

O’Connor and his wife, Marlene, make their home in Lakeville and attend the All Saints Catholic Church there. They have two grown children, and two grandchildren, living in Chicago.

Dr. Michael Sullivan, who had been St. Thomas’ vice president for business affairs and treasurer since 1985, on July 1 will become an associate professor in the Graduate School of Business and will manage the university’s investments.