The Finance Director has responsibility for stewarding the financial vision of the Provost and Vice Provosts (VPs), which comprise Provost Central (PC). Additionally, this position provides leadership, mentorship, and support to the chief business officers (CBOs) and other personnel supporting the PC organization. This individual will provide advice and counsel to Vanderbilt's Provost and Vice Provosts as they develop and implement their strategic initiatives. Reporting to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance, the Finance Director is a key member of the Financial Operations and Planning team. This role is responsible for developing high quality financial and operational analysis and presentations, including but not limited to, financial forecasts, annual and long-range operating and capital budgets, and financial models. The Finance Director is responsible for implementing Provost and Finance directed goals and objectives; overseeing and evaluating overall financial and administrative activities across all Provost Central areas; and performing key administrative functions. This individual interfaces with a wide constituency of partners across the institution and must consistently demonstrate innovation, energy, drive, and a passion for customer service; the Finance Director must be a proactive communicator who passionately engages with people, develops creative solutions, and builds constituent confidence and trust.
Vanderbilt University and the Department of Financial Operations and Planning are committed to excellence and diversity. Individuals that identify as part of an underrepresented population are encouraged to initiate their candidacy for this role.
Duties and Responsibilities
Serve as the primary business advisor to the Provost Central areas and the financial liaison to the Financial Operations and Planning team.
Provides strategic leadership and vision in the development of financial and business models for the Provost's and VP's strategic initiatives.
Proactively assess areas' ongoing activities to develop realistic financial projections and assess opportunities where additional resources could be invested or redirected in support of Vanderbilt's strategic initiatives.
Continually champion the alignment of strategic priorities with financial resources and the need for sustainable long-term financial equilibrium.
Partner with CBOs to develop models that respond to new financial or operational circumstances and highlight key metrics and data comparisons to assist leadership in strategic decision making and maximization of resources.
Develop robust, high quality, and consistent financial reporting and forecasting deliverables for PC areas; Prepare monthly financial summaries to identify trends and update expectations.
Advocate for good management practices, efficiencies, and communications.
Exercise delegated authority with prudent assessment of individual transactions, considering the impact financially and operationally, mindful of internal controls, and setting the cultural tone desired by the University. Review and approve further delegated authority and responsibility throughout the VP areas.
Assist in cultivating a culture where faculty and staff throughout the University understand their individual fiduciary roles and responsibilities.
Develop a productive and effective working relationship with leaders across the University by actively seeking out communication and collaboration opportunities. Promote a unified view of Vanderbilt University's interests and align departments in working toward common financial goals
Function as a technical expert on budgetary, financial, accounting, operational, and policy issues
Advocate for change within the VP areas by assisting the university with the successful implementation of new financial and administrative procedures and systems. Serve as a point of contact for problem resolution and ideas for continuous improvement
Represent the PC areas on various University committees, provide insightful and diplomatic feedback to the committee and communicate updates to constituents within Finance and Academic Affairs, as appropriate.
Recruit, develop and retain a high performing, talented and diverse team of business and administrative professionals
Serve as a key partner and advisor to the CBOs for VP areas. Mentor CBOs and other departmental leaders in leadership qualities championed by Financial Operations and Planning including, but not limited to, accountability, proactivity, creativity, capability, and resilience.
Provide feedback and professional development plans for direct reports
Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience and proven abilities
CPA and/or Master's degree in Business Administration or related discipline preferred
Demonstrated financial expertise; strong technical knowledge and skills; broad and thorough knowledge of GAAP, not-for-profit accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis
Experience working in an academic environment is preferred
Experience using Oracle ERP and HCM systems is preferred
Ability to work effectively in an academic environment with fluid reporting relationships
Ability to distill complex data to clear, essential elements and effectively communicate key concepts to individuals with differing levels of financial acumen
Demonstrated effectiveness in interpersonal and communication skills - honest, direct, and willing to discuss complex topics or provide difficult feedback. Must maintain balance amongst numerous, different constituents and communicate with a wide range of audiences
Attentive to detail while never losing sight of the high-level strategic direction and impact
Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines. Flexibility in dealing with changes in approach and/or deliverables
Ability to work independently while providing appropriate work status updates
Ability to accept feedback as an opportunity for development, not as a criticism
Ability to move the organization forward even in the face of ambiguity and complexity
Ability to maintain a positive, problem-solving attitude in the face of adversity
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.