Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, who reports to the university’s President, the Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning plays an integral role in establishing, transforming, and integrating the planning and budget framework and model for the university. The AVP will assure due attention to financial risk management with the objective of striking the right balance between programmatic risk and opportunity and financial risk and opportunity. The AVP will manage the university’s long-range financial model and utilize best practices to promote and ensure fiscally responsible use of the university’s financial resources in alignment with institutional priorities. The AVP will also lead the development, allocation, management and projection of Northwestern’s operating and capital budgets, including overseeing the development of improvements in the services the office provides to school and units.
Working in partnership with the Office of the Provost, the AVP will clearly articulate the university’s budget planning framework, timetables for deliverables, and complete scenario planning for achieving strategic financial goals. The AVP will recommend and accelerate changes to improve analysis, forecasting, modeling and reporting in order to ensure and enhance the quality of financial information and analyses to facilitate sound decision-making.
The AVP will provide support to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and will be a member of the university’s financial planning team led by the Senior Vice President. The AVP is accountable to the Senior Vice President for fiscal year-end budget outcomes and will establish key performance indicators that regularly monitor budget to actual performance on all aspects of the budget and provide recommendations for corrective action when necessary.
In this dynamic and exciting environment, the next Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning will be expected to address the following opportunities and challenges:
Lead all aspects of the annual financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes
Serve as a strategic financial advisor to the Senior Vice President and provide high-quality analysis and advice to the Provost, President, and other senior leaders
Enhance and strengthen a robust and transparent budget process and useful management tools
Create a genuine culture of partnership and collaboration with all parts of the university
Lead, develop, and evolve the Office of Budget and Planning staff to a new standard of service to the campus
The ideal candidate will demonstrate many of the following personal qualifications, skills, and experience:
A minimum of 10 years of experience in budget and financial management, and financial modeling, ideally in a university, academic medical center, or hospital environment. Alternatively, leadership experience within a highly decentralized non-profit, corporate or government setting with a number of business lines within an externally regulated environment;
Deep knowledge of university budgets and how they work, understanding of budgetary operations, ability to develop and manage budget systems, policies and procedures, and programs that support the university’s strategic priorities and effectively steward the university’s resources; and, demonstrated excellence in using the planning and budget process to support investments in university priorities and institutional decision-making;
A demonstrated ability to engage with all levels of an organization and interact with a diverse group of senior administrators, and with members of the Board of Trustees. Excellent oral and written communication, attention to detail, and strong presentation (C-level and board-level) skills are therefore required. The ability to translate budgetary and financial complexity into clear presentations and to convey and present multi-faceted financial information and concepts in easy to understand and transparent ways is crucial;
A track record of capacity and team building, including the ability to recruit and retain high-performing individuals and develop the talents and expertise of staff so that they can assume expanded responsibilities; business-process re-engineering; and/or, change management related to business process change and major systems implementations;
A clear service-oriented commitment and a leadership style that is both consultative and confident are absolute requirements, as is maintaining productive, collaborative relationships with a full range of internal constituencies. In addition, sound judgment, tact, and diplomatic skills are critical;
Must have a demonstrated, successful track record of implementing creative financial strategies, engaging stakeholders in planning and decision-making, and modeling;
An authentic individual with impeccable integrity whose personal and professional values are consistent with Northwestern University’s teaching and research missions, vision, and leadership framework, and whose strong work ethic follows a balanced approach without compromising integrity;
Minimum qualifications include Bachelor’s degree; a Master’s degree in business or finance or a related field and/or other professional certifications in business is preferred.
Applications and Nominations:
Please send all nominations, inquiries and expressions of interest in confidence and electronically to:
Dan Rodas, Partner
Micah Pierce, Managing Associate
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: 40283
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.