Lesley University Job Posting: Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
About Lesley University:
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley University is highly regarded for its undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts, and applied social sciences. Lesley fosters a highly creative environment in which innovative ideas thrive, theory is integrated with practice and its 6,400 students and 92,000 alumni are empowered to improve and enrich communities.
Lesley University prides itself on its commitment to student learning, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and excellence in teaching and mentoring. Lesley seeks to have a culture of mutual respect, collaboration, joint problem-solving, transparency, and honest and helpful two-way communications.
We offer a competitive benefits package that includes health, dental, life, and long-term-disability insurance. In addition, we offer generous amounts of vacation and holiday time, as well as a tuition remission policy that enables employees to expand their knowledge and skills.
The Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) reports to the President and serves as a key advisor to the Board of Trustees and a liaison to the Finance, Investment, and Audit Committees of the Board. The individual brings visionary leadership and serves as the strategic financial partner of the president and university leadership, and provides strategic direction to university constituencies with respect to financial affairs. The CFO is responsible and accountable for all financial planning, financial analysis, and financial strategy implementation across Lesley University. The CFO directs the financial vision of the University in alignment with its mission and objectives, evaluating the University's financial performance with respect to long-term operational goals, budgets, and forecasts. The CFO works closely with University leadership to develop strategies, including realignment of existing resources and identification/development of new revenue sources, to realize the vision articulated in the Lesley 2030 Futures Document and achieve the University's strategic goals.
The CFO is the primary financial risk manager and financial advisor for the institution, leading implementation and effectiveness of financial information systems and other control systems; affirming compliance with contractual financial obligations; and managing the liquidity and investment of University funds to optimize cash flow and minimize financial risks. This role is also directly involved in managing the University's endowment and investments, the employee retirement plan, and bond financing. Other essential functions of the role include responsibilities for area internal operations and external compliance.
The CFO oversees several functional areas of service, including budget and financial planning, information technology (IT), accounting systems and controllership functions, financial management insurance and financial risk management, and payroll and procurement. The position is a key strategic, leadership, and managerial role at the University and is a key contributor to identifying resources and solutions that will help propel the university forward.
Strategy, Planning, and Management
Assess and evaluate financial performance through strategic financial modeling with regard to long-term operational goals, budgets and forecasts. Provide insight and recommendations regarding both the short-term and long-term plans of the University. Execute necessary strategies and monitor the outcomes to achieve stated goals.
Engage with Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and other colleagues from across Lesley. Establish yearly financial objectives that align with the University's plan for growth and expansion. Particular key areas of collaboration include: partnering with the Provost and deans on all financial aspects of academic affairs; working with the VP for Strategy and Implementation on the ramifications of Lesley 2030, Lesley's strategic plan; working with the VP of Enrollment Management to understand, develop and oversee enrollment projections and financial aid strategies; and working with the VP of Advancement and staff on tracking and reporting of gifts.
Strategic Financial Analysis, Budgeting, and Forecasting
Develop forward-looking models based on analysis of investment needs, cost and revenue structures, and potential ROI. Apply preferred model to help drive strategic decision-making for the University's plans, current operations, and needs based on evaluation of findings.
Develop multi-year budgets to promote financial stability and factor in changes in enrollment as new academic offerings are developed. Identify, develop and execute decision-making based on analysis of business initiatives, program launches and/or new course offerings. Collaborate in evaluating new program/projects, culminating in financial feasibility studies and offering analysis of potential for success and ROI.
Monitor trends in higher education affecting the financial well-being of the university and the university's position vis a vis financial equilibrium.
Information Technology (IT)
Oversee IT and systems needs. The CFO will play a key role in setting the vision for the unit's positioning within the University, both immediately and longer-term.
Work with IT to build capacity to support emergent University needs in strategic planning, business modeling support, and data analytics.
In tandem with CIO, lead efforts to upgrade and enhance the role of technology and systems support across the University with respect to needs for learning and teaching.
Facilitate cultural shift among all reporting units to ground operations in strategic financial analysis in addition to budgeting and accounting principles.
Oversee cash, investments and asset management functions. Explore new investment opportunities and provide recommendations on potential returns and risks. Manage cash flow planning process and ensure funds availability.
Risk Management and External Compliance
Responsible for annual insurance renewals and on-going day-to day insurance claims; this includes a risk assessment associated with the University's coverage.
Oversee banking relationships and assess the investment performance of fund managers. Represent University to banks, financial partners, other institutions, donors, public auditors and rating agencies such as Standard and Poor's.
Proven track record for visionary leadership during organizational growth.
Demonstrated strategic mindset, including excellent analytical, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.
Outstanding leadership ability, including communication and presentation skills, confidence, and executive presence, including the ability to manage and motivate staff.
An open, collaborative and engaging management style that builds strong relationships both across the campus and throughout the surrounding communities.
Strong knowledge of strategic financial modeling, analysis, and scenario planning.
Ability to establish metrics tied to financial and institutional strategies, monitor progress towards them, and drive desired results.
Proven experience in evaluating and coordinating with a CIO/IT department to manage and/or upgrade accounting and enterprise systems.
10 years of progressive experience in accounting, finance or budgeting providing strategic financial leadership in a complex organization.
Bachelor's degree required.
Must be authorized to work in the United States; if you hold a visa, your visa status must allow you to work at Lesley University.
Advanced degree in finance or related area.
Systems implementation experience.
5-years of experience as a CFO in a complex organization, preferably in higher education.
Experience in reallocating resources, reducing expenditures, and finding new sources of revenue.
Familiarity with national trends and best practices in higher education finance, including current strategies in enrollment, tuition discounting, and other drivers of cost and revenue.
Knowledge and understanding of GAAP, IFRS, SOX compliance, SEC reporting and tax form 990 as well as experience working with external auditors, internal controls, and compliance-related issues.
Demonstrated cultural competency and working style that will further the University's commitment to Inclusive Excellence.
Background checks are required for all positions.
Lesley University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to increasing the diversity of the university community and the curriculum. Candidates who believe they can contribute to this goal are encouraged to apply.
A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references must be included for full consideration.
Applications will be reviewed upon the establishment of an appropriate pool of candidates.
About Lesley University
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley University is highly regarded for its graduate and undergraduate programs in education, the arts, and applied social sciences. Lesley fosters a highly creative environment in which innovative ideas thrive, theory is integrated with practice and its 7,000 students and 87,000 alumni are empowered to improve and enrich communities.