Cornelius Wilbur Cissel, 72, retired director of finance and business at the University of Maryland and a former professor of economics and business administration there, died of pneumonia Aug. 7 at a hospital in Albany, N.Y. He had cancer.

Mr. Cissel, who lived in University Park before moving to Delmar, N.Y., in 1980, was born in Washington. He graduated from the old Central High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Maryland. He took a degree in business administration at the old Baltimore College of Commerce.

He joined the Maryland faculty as an instructor in 1936. He became a certified public accountant in 1939, served in the Navy in World War II and was named comptroller of the university in 1953. He was appointed director of business and finance in 1957 and retired in 1974.

Mr. Cissel was a member of the American Institute of Accountants, the American Accounting Association and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. He was a Mason and a member of the University Methodist Church in College Park.

Survivors include his wife, Lavelle Forrester Cissel of Delmar; two sons, Robert F., of University Park, and Kim A., of Miami,; a daughter, Eileen C. Jones of Slingerlands, N.Y.; a sister, Elizabeth Lynt of Silver Spring, and five grandchildren.