The College of St. Scholastica (CSS), a regional Catholic Benedictine comprehensive institution in Duluth, Minnesota, seeks a highly experienced leader and manager to join its President’s Cabinet as the Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO has overall strategic and operational responsibility for Finance and Administration Departments and requires an academic leader who brings a passion for inclusive excellence and relentless pursuit of academic quality that will shape CSS’s academic mission for the future.
The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO reports to the President and serves as the strategic financial partner to CSS leadership. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO is responsible for the finance and treasury functions, endowment and investment management, financial and management reporting, financial and capital management, budgeting, information technology, facilities management and services, human resources, and management of the CSS auxiliaries. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO works closely with leadership throughout CSS to develop strategies to strengthen its business, financial and administrative plans and policies to achieve the College’s strategic goals.
The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO provides leadership to the President and President’s Cabinet on financial and business matters. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO directs all financial operations including budgeting, accounting, federal grant financial support, procurement, cash, risks and asset management. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO develops financial planning processes to ensure that financial plans are aligned with CSS’s strategic goals, which includes preparing financial models and annual and long-term operating and capital budgets that provide for the realization of the College’s growth. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO also has responsibility for all reporting and compliance related to fiscal activity including investment and debt management, to the President, the Board of Trustees and various Board Committees and for promoting the development and growth of the College.
In addition to the financial team, the Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO provides the leadership for the College’s facilities, human resources, information technology, and Financial Aid/OneStop Student Services (the student business office) teams. The Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO is a member of the President’s Cabinet, and participates on the Board’s Audit and Finance Committee and Investment Committee.
About The College of St. Scholastica
The College of St. Scholastica was founded as a Catholic institution in 1912 to educate women primarily in nursing, education, and social work. Today, St. Scholastica is a co-educational, independent, comprehensive institution of higher learning offering undergraduate and graduate programs under the sponsorship of the Benedictine Sisters, who continue to have a strong presence on campus.
The College of St. Scholastica aspires to be a diverse and inclusive academic community of excellence, grounded in the rich Catholic Benedictine heritage, sending forth thoughtful leaders sharpened and sensitized by the liberal arts, who are prepared and committed to serve and transform the world. This is accomplished through the mission of providing intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.
Reporting directly to the President and serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet, the Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO is a seasoned administrator who will oversee the following areas:
Financial Aid/OneStop Student Services
Financial Planning, Budgeting and Oversight:
Oversees all financial operations including budgeting, accounting, procurement, cash management, and risk and asset management;
Ensures the provision of adequate, accurate and timely data for strategic decision-making and operational leadership;
Develops financial planning processes to prioritize and ensure that the short- and long-term financial plans are in alignment with the College’s long-term strategic vision. This includes a multi-year financial plan, preparing financial and enrollment models and annual and long term operating and capital budgets that provide for the realization of CSS goals;
Oversees investment strategy, endowment management and treasury functions;
Provides analysis and recommendations regarding CSS’s debt policy and access to financing. Oversees and monitors major financing and financial agreements related to real estate development and other activities of the institution;
Understands the various approaches to budgeting used by Colleges and Universities including Incremental Budgeting, Zero-Based Budgeting, Responsibility Center Management and Performance Based Budgeting. Applies this knowledge in developing a budgeting process that achieves financial transparency, is supported by College staff and faculty, and is true to the values and mission of the College;
Distills complex financial and non-financial data into easy to understand analysis; and
Utilizes forecasting techniques and data analytics when evaluating the financial implications of strategic alternatives, thereby increasing decision maker understanding of the risk and rewards of such alternatives; Has a firm understanding of enterprise risk management and possesses the acumen to provide sound strategic recommendations.
Engagement and Inclusion:
Promotes effective communications across the campus on financial and administrative matters;
Offers opportunities for faculty, staff and students to provide input to the CFO on the College’s finances;
Provides financial and budget transparency for faculty, staff and student constituents; and
Creates a culture of inclusion among staff to actualize the College's fiscal priorities.
Board and External Relations:
Staffs and provides information and analysis to the Board of Trustees and the Board’s Audit and Finance as well as Investment Committees; and
Ensures that the Board of Trustees is informed about and confident in the financial management of the College and supports board members in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.
Provides leadership to the Facilities Management Team, coordinating annual and capital budgets in relation to College strategies; and
Works with the Facilities team to prioritize long term capital requirements, ensuring a prudent use of College resources while maintaining safe and effective plant and equipment.
Oversees Human Resources functions to assure strategic alignment with College goals; and
Provides leadership to the Human Resources team in the areas of talent acquisition and management, compensation, benefits, payroll, professional development and training, employee engagement and satisfaction, labor relations, College policies, and compliance with federal and state laws.
Financial Aid/OneStop Student Services:
Ensures Financial Aid and OneStop Student Services delivers a seamless process to all students, allowing them to review financial assistance options and self-manage the business of being a student.
Provides support to the College’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), understanding the technological capital requirements of the College, and assisting the CIO in developing annual and multi-year budgets to ensure technology needs of the College are met; and
In concert with the CIO, leverages the data analytics capabilities within IT, providing College leaders with new approaches for tracking activities, trends and behaviors that may impact future College performance.
Investment and Balance Sheet Management:
Manages the College’s endowment, allocating endowment assets to provide both capital appreciation and current income in line with the College’s long-term capital needs, as well as ensuring donor designated funds are managed appropriately;
Periodically reviews the College’s Investment Policy for alignment with institutional objectives and prudent investment practices; and
Manages the College’s balance sheet and debt rating so as to optimize future cash flow by utilizing capital markets, and other sources of capital. Monitors debt covenants for compliance.
Education and Experience:
A Bachelor’s degree in accounting finance, business or related field and 10 to 15 years of progressively responsible financial leadership experience; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience. An advanced degree is preferred;
Demonstrated technical competence in financial functional areas including financial reporting, internal controls development and implementation, financial planning and budgeting, financial systems implementation and management, and treasury and debt management;
Demonstrated ability to think strategically and work proactively and collaboratively in the creation and management of financial and administrative solutions resulting in organizational growth and success;
Demonstrated commitment to inclusive leadership and fiscal management;
Experience with IRS requirements; and
Experience with finance and accounting software packages.
An advanced degree in accounting, finance, business or a related field;
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credentials and/or MBA with an emphasis on finance;
Experience working with or managing facilities, human resources, informational technology, financial aid/OneStop Student Services;
Experience as a member of an organization’s senior leadership team;
Experience working effectively with a Board of Trustees as a whole and other applicable Board Committees;
Demonstrated leadership in developing relationships with the business community; and
Professional experience in higher education finance with budgets exceeding $50 million.
Personal / Professional Characteristics:
Impeccable commitment to operating with high standards of ethics and integrity, professionally and personally;
Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to deal effectively with faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as the Board of Trustees and other members of the CSS community;
Demonstrated ability to establish credibility and trust with broad and diverse constituencies;
Facilitates a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of diverse backgrounds;
Commitment to excellence in achieving the division’s goals and supporting strategic initiatives;
Effective problem-solving skills and the ability to engage others to address complex issues collaboratively;
Strong leadership skills to establish vision and inspire and motivate others to achieve extraordinary results;
Able to provide strategic leadership in areas relating to finance, employees, and students;
Demonstrated strong understanding of and commitment to the Benedictine values, as well as the Catholic legacy of intellectual curiosity;
Ability to adjust to constant change;
Strong leadership and effective management skills to lead diverse departments, organize and direct the work of others, and develop team members;
Poised under pressure and able to maintain a sense of balance in stressful situations;
Ability to balance competing demands and multiple responsibilities, making progress on long-term projects and addressing urgent needs;
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with peers and subordinates and effectively with other internal and external constituents;
Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills; and
Proven commitment to inclusive excellence.
How to Apply
Equal Opportunity Statement
The College of St. Scholastica values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law. AA/EOE
Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin in March 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by March 29, 2021. Candidates should complete the application and provide a resume, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Position Brief, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior approval of candidates.
For more information, contact the Search Committee Co-Chairs:
The College of St. Scholastica (CSS) is a thriving independent private college with its main campus overlooking Lake Superior in Duluth, extended campuses throughout Minnesota and vibrant online programs that attract learners from around the world. Since 1912, The College of St. Scholastica has been preparing students for responsible living and meaningful work by emphasizing the Catholic Benedictine values upon which it was founded: Community, Hospitality, Respect, Stewardship and Love of Learning. At CSS, equity and inclusion are viewed as key ingredients to academic excellence and student success.
Duluth is a beautiful and vibrant city of 86,000 set on the shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world. For outdoor enthusiasts, Duluth offers four seasons of first-rate opportunities: beaches, bike paths, jogging trails, ski resorts, cross-country skiing trails, boating and fishing sites, and rinks for skating, curling, and hockey. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is an easy drive. Outside magazine has recently named Duluth as the number one “Outside City” in the US. The magazine also named Duluth as a runner-up fo...r the “best adventure hub” in a worldwide survey of destinations for outdoor activities. The College was also pleased to learn that the nonprofit American Institute for Economics ranked Duluth as one of America’s best small metropolitan areas for college students. Similarly, the travel site DreamPlanGo named Duluth in the Top Ten of America’s Most Scenic College Towns. Duluth’s public schools are Minnesota’s most highly ranked, the cost of living is considered reasonable, and the city has more acres of municipal public parks than any other city in the country. The arts scene is booming with galleries, music venues, and a lively theater and dance community.