Department: Office of Sr Vice President Salary/Grade: EXS/20
Draft Job Summary
This position is instrumental in supporting the Senior Vice President of Business and Finance (SVP) to realize the vision and mission for the University.
The Vice President for Operations is an essential advisor to and operational subject matter expert for SVP. The VP will support the SVP in a way that allows the SVP to work most effectively with internal and external stakeholders, creating bandwidth for the SVP by providing leadership support across the SVP’s units. As the primary deputy to the SVP, the VP must be trusted to accurately represent the SVP’s interests and objectives and be capable of executing across all responsibilities outlined below.
The VP is a highly strategic and facilitative position that requires a combination of focus, flexibility, agility as well as a willingness to play an active, behind the scenes, or forward-facing, role depending on the need. The VP must be able to anticipate and manage priorities, and recommend the best course of action based on analysis and judgement.
In addition to those responsibilities representing and advising the SVP, the VP will provide additional leadership support for certain divisional units to create greater capacity for the SVP.
Provide additional, day-to-day leadership support for certain SVP units:
Risk, Internal Audit, Compliance, and Procurement functions.
Neighborhood and Community Relations.
Office of Strategy and Change (dual report to Provost).
Department of Safety and Security, on an as-needed basis.
Support the daily operations of the SVP’s office, ensuring high-level support for SVP.
Represent the SVP with operational leaders across other SVP units:
Partners with divisional leaders ensure coordination and execution of SVP objectives.
Work with leaders of operational units to triage issues needing SVP involvement, and handling other issues directly with unit leaders.
Represent the SVP with key internal and external stakeholders:
Interface on behalf of the SVP with other key internal partners, including but not limited to: Provost’s Office, Office for Research, Athletics and Recreation, and Student Affairs.
Ensure strong working relationships between SVP units and academic schools and programs.
Serve on university-level committees and task forces on behalf of SVP.
Develop strong relationships alongside the SVP with relevant committees of the Board of Trustees.
Represent the SVP externally with the City of Evanston/Chicago, key industry groups, and other outside parties as appropriate.
Partner closely with the SAVP for Finance and Treasurer and the AVP for Budget and Planning on divisional budget across SVP units.
Oversee the budget of the SVP’s office.
Represent the SVP’s interests in institutional budget and resource planning.
Identify, prioritize, and align investment opportunities across the SVP portfolio.
Identify and prioritize cost containment initiatives across SVP portfolio.
Lead Key Projects and Initiatives Across the SVP Portfolio:
Oversee COVID-related implications and coordination for SVP units.
In partnership with the VP for Human Resources, develop and execute a talent recruitment, retention, and development strategy for SVP units.
Organize support functions across SVP units in support of Northwestern’s global ambitions.
Develop a framework for operational process improvement and project management support within the SVP units.
New projects and initiatives as determined by the SVP and VP.
Minimum Qualifications and Competencies
The person must have high energy, integrity, patience, and perseverance, with the ability to maintain confidential information with tact & discretion.
The ability to prioritize, navigate, and negotiate complex and competing priorities, with the ability to steer decisions towards the best outcome for Northwestern.
An orientation focused on results with an unwavering focus on execution and efficiency. Demonstrated experience with problem solving, particularly when no easy outcome exists.
A high-level of interest, understanding, and awareness of the higher education industry, and in particular, operational experience with all SVP functions.
Strong working relationships with all units within the SVP portfolio and key unit and school partners across the university is strongly preferred.
Superior communication skills (written and verbal) and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences on behalf of the SVP.
Ability to analyze complex data and communicate relevant issues to the SVP.
The ability to develop effective relationships with both internal & external constituencies, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, trustees, & external stakeholders is required. Ability to participate in cross-functional teams and maintain positive working relationships with other key functions within the organization.
Ability to lead the implementation of new systems and processes as they pertain to policy changes & new procedures in the SVP’s portfolio.
Previous experience managing complex budgets, with knowledge of accounting & financial management practices & processes.
Strong managerial experience that brings out the best in team members to yield operational excellence, pride, ownership, and commitment to Northwestern.
A minimum of a master’s degree, preferably an MBA with applicability to the SVP portfolio.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 39997
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.