Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

  • Position Title: Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer
  • Name of Institution: Winthrop University
  • Campus Location: Rock Hill, SC
  • Contact: Oscar Page
  • Email: oscar.page@agbsearch.com
  • Job Close Date: October 30, 2017

Position Description

Winthrop University, a highly ranked, public, comprehensive university, announces a national search for the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer. Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, this individual will have responsibility for providing leadership for the Division of Finance and Business Affairs and will join the President’s senior leadership team. The person selected to fill the position will begin as early as January 2018.

About the Position

Winthrop University seeks a Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer who demonstrates strategic and visionary leadership, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, entrepreneurial drive, and a commitment to the mission of the University and its Division of Finance and Business Affairs. The Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer reports directly to the Provost, is a member of the President’s leadership team, and is responsible for the management of finances and facilities and for providing a strategic fiscal vision and operational plan for the campus while ensuring a high level of innovation, transparency, collaboration, and accountability. The Vice President serves as the staff representative of the University to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and, in that role, must work with key officers within the state government of South Carolina. He or she should possess a high level of integrity, energy, leadership skills, and a commitment to collaborative working relationships with the senior leadership team and others across the University. The ideal candidate will have a record of progressive and effective management experience as well as demonstrated knowledge of management of university finance and business affairs, strategic planning, debt, financial accounting and management, budgets, real estate, institutional and financial risk, and contracts. Demonstrated knowledge in areas such as procurement, physical plant, and other auxiliaries is essential.

About Winthrop University

Founded in 1886 and located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Winthrop University offers its 6,000-plus undergraduate and graduate students an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement. In its degree-granting Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop embraces only those programs and activities that can be delivered at an exemplary level. Winthrop is well known for its inclusive and supportive campus environment, with University College supporting programs in both academic and student affairs. Winthrop University is achieving national stature as a competitive and distinctive co-educational, public, residential, comprehensive, values-oriented institution. The values of service, excellence, diversity, community, and leadership provide the foundation for the University’s continuing development and shape Winthrop’s continuing success. Numerous national accolades reflect the sustained high quality and value of the Winthrop experience, including the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Winthrop as one of the top ten public comprehensive universities in the South. Winthrop is an active member of the Rock Hill community and is recognized as a key component of the region’s economic resurgence. Approximately 20 minutes from Charlotte, North Carolina, Winthrop has direct access to and is engaged in a broad and expansive regional arts and business community. Winthrop’s beautiful campus encompasses a rich architectural blend of neo-Georgian buildings and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. The attractive recreational and research complex area that surrounds Winthrop Lake is home to Winthrop’s 18 Division I men’s and women’s sports. Winthrop University is comprised of 47 buildings totaling over 2.3 million square feet of space on a footprint of 418 acres. The main academic and administrative area of campus is 94 acres.

About the Division of Finance and Business Affairs

University promotes sound resource management, provides quality services, and partners across campus to develop solutions in support of the mission of the University. The division has more than 600 employees, of whom approximately 525 are permanent staff and 100 are employed in temporary positions. Areas under the leadership of the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer include financial planning and reporting, operating and capital budgets, student financial services, controller, purchasing, risk management, facilities, and campus design.

Financial Position

Winthrop is a public four-year university which relies primarily on tuition revenue for its operating budget, augmented by grant and fundraising dollars. There are two affiliated foundations with separate endowments. Institutional revenue is centrally controlled and budgets have been constant in recent years for most units. The annual budget of the University is approximately $125 million, of which salaries and fringe benefits comprise 60 percent. Institutional debt is approximately $50 million. The Board of Trustees and the President are committed to paying down debt and increasing the endowment. As an entity of the State of South Carolina, annual financial audits are conducted by an independent CPA audit firm. The University has consistently received positive audit reports with unmodified opinions and no material findings.

Leadership Opportunities and Responsibilities

As a member of the senior leadership team, headed by President Daniel Mahony, the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer will assist in attaining the goals of the strategic plan. In this era of challenges to higher education, the Vice President will be expected to provide effective leadership that will result in financial stability driven by strong academic programs, sound financial management, and effective enrollment management.

The Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer will be expected to join the leadership of the University in implementing the Five Basic Goals of the Winthrop Plan:

  • A bachelor's degree with multiple accounting courses and professional experience directing professional accounting, auditing, banking, or finance employees.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Support inclusive excellence by expanding our impact on students and our communities through enrollment growth and increases in retention and graduation rates.
  • Continually enhance the quality of the Winthrop experience for all students by promoting a culture of innovation, with an emphasis on global and community engagement.
  • Attract and retain high quality and diverse faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Provide facilities, technology, and programs that support Winthrop students and the overall Winthrop experience.
  • Ensure financial stability and sustainability.

The Vice President will be expected to provide leadership that is focused on the goals of the Winthrop Plan and to work with the University community and leadership in addressing the issues of new programmatic development, enrollment, and new revenue streams.

The Vice President must:

  • Weigh aspirations against resources and oversee reliable operating budgets, integrate financial matrices with long-range plans, identify new and existing resources for program and infrastructure investment, maintain strong internal controls, and evaluate tuition and financial aid models appropriate for the future of Winthrop students and families;
  • Provide the financial analysis that is necessary in shaping the Winthrop Plan for the University;
  • Collaborate with the administrators of Access and Enrollment Management and Student Life to establish an appropriate relationship between enrollment goals, financial aid and services for students;
  • Continue to strengthen net assets through effective management of finances as well as supporting the advancement efforts of the University;
  • Continue to support modernizing technology;
  • Review existing policies relating to financial management and make changes that are necessary to strengthen the service role of the finance and business affairs division of the University;
  • Review and update the Campus Master Plan of the University as needed and provide leadership to address the physical plant needs of the academic and student services programs;
  • Review and adjust as necessary the budget development process to make it more visible, clear, and inclusive; and
  • Proactively use technology to focus the mission of the finance and business affairs division on serving all constituents on campus in an effective and efficient manner.

In addition to addressing specific leadership challenges, the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer will be expected to provide strong strategic leadership in the following manner:

Executive Leadership:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to collaborative leadership;
  • Participate as an active member of the senior leadership team and serve as the liaison to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees;
  • Represent the finance and administration division on University committees, as needed;
  • Be an effective liaison with other University administrators in developing sound business plans for new programmatic initiatives;
  • Provide leadership to the University community in evaluating the efficacy and efficiency of operations;
  • Lead by example and support the University’s ongoing commitment to a diverse workforce and to professional development for all members of the community;
  • Lead by example in creating a serious culture of customer service and constituent satisfaction throughout the institution; and
  • Work collaboratively and as a team player within the organization, always seeking positive solutions and cross-divisional input to attain the goals of the University.

Financial Management:

  • Proactively, and upon request, advise the President, the Provost, other University administrators, faculty, and staff on matters concerning financial policies and procedures, budgeting, competitive benchmarking, efficiency analysis, and overall operations;
  • Work collaboratively to secure important input from all constituent groups and use the process for the education of the community for a deeper understanding of the budget and University policies;
  • Communicate effectively with students, faculty members, parents, the Board, public leaders and others who contact the division of finance;
  • Actively engage in the University’s broader planning and assessment activities; and
  • Effectively represent the University in the local and regional communities as well as with the elected leaders in the State of South Carolina.

Qualifications

Qualifications and Areas of Experience To provide the leadership required in this position, the Vice President should possess a combination of personal qualities and professional experience. He or she should possess a high level of integrity, energy, a passionate desire to lead, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a willingness to embrace and overcome challenges and advance the University through a close and collaborative working relationship with the senior leadership team and others across the University. Preference will be given to those with a master’s degree and/or a CPA and experience in public higher education; however, candidates from other areas of financial management with an exceptional record of collaborative leadership and success will be considered.

In addition, the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer will have:

  • A record of progressive and effective management experience as well as demonstrated knowledge of management of a university endowment, debt, financial accounting, budget, real estate, institutional and financial risk, and contracts;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the mission and culture of a regional public university;
  • Demonstrated success in building strong working relationships with the senior leadership team, Board of Trustees, students, faculty, and staff;
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to listen, write, and speak with clarity;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the principle of servant leadership in management and interactions in the University and greater community;
  • An ability to think strategically and to analyze the financial impact of existing and potential programs as the University plans for the future;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the structures and techniques of debt management;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of areas such as physical plant and other auxiliary enterprises;
  • An ability to effectively communicate and work with higher education commissions, elected officials, banks, rating agencies, and underwriters;
  • An ability to provide the Provost, President, Board of Trustees, and all constituents with a dispassionate analysis of information related to key issues;
  • Strong financial planning and management skills and a record of effectively and accurately managing the accounting responsibilities of higher institution;
  • An ability to create a framework of financial accountability within the finance area and throughout the University;
  • An understanding of investment strategies and an ability to assist the Provost, President, and the Foundation Board with their responsibilities in continually building the endowment;
  • Intercultural competence and global perspective, committed to diversity in many forms; and be an honest, ethical, and value-driven person.

Other Information

Position Conditions and Availability

This position is a twelve-month, full-time, administrative appointment. Salary is dependent upon qualifications. Starting date is January 2018.

The Search Committee is being chaired by Dr. P.N. Saksena, Dean of the College of Business Administration at Winthrop University. Applications and nominations will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. The cover letter should address why the applicant is interested in this position and how he or she meets required and preferred qualifications. A complete application will also include a current curriculum vitae and the names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of five references familiar with the candidate’s qualifications. Nomination letters should include the name, position, and contact information of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence. Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted electronically to winthropfinance@agbsearch.com.

The search is being assisted by:

Oscar C. Page, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant, AGB Search

oscar.page@agbsearch.com

Other Information: Winthrop University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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