Pullman, Washington State
Jun 16, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Other Executive Administration
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Washington State University seeks a Controller

Under the administrative direction of the Associate Vice President for Finance, the Controller serves as the University’s chief accounting and reporting officer and supports the University strategic plan through managing and directing core financial functions. The Controller leads four associate directors or managers (with an overall staff of approximately 70) with responsibility for all aspects of sponsored programs post award accounting, payroll, general accounting, financial reporting and forecasting, accounts payable, travel services, accounts receivable, student accounts, and tax and post bond issuance compliance activities. The Controller interacts and collaborates with financial leadership at each University campus, college, and administrative area. The Controller serves as a member of the AVP’s senior leadership team.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Oversee sponsored programs post award accounting, payroll, general accounting, financial reporting, accounts payable, travel services, accounts receivable, student accounts, tax, and post bond issuance compliance activities.
  • Develop and inspire a high functioning and diverse team, ensuring a work environment that embodies the institution and division core values; coach team members toward optimal performance and career advancement.
  • Supervise departmental leadership and oversee the establishment of goals, objectives, and performance metrics for the individual departments.
  • Oversee the preparation of the annual University Financial Report ensuring accuracy and timeliness.
  • Provide University leadership with access to accurate and timely information for strategic decision making and other reporting needs such as internal financial reports and long-range financial forecasts and decision support modeling.
  • Oversee the preparation of the University’s Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate cost study; participate in negotiations with rate-setting agency.
  • Participate in the identification and resolution of financial issues with current or potential impact on the University as an enterprise.
  • Ensure University compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and accounting pronouncements, principles, and standards.
  • Establish or recommend University-wide accounting and fiscal policies and transactional standards, ensuring consistency with the University’s mission and strategic plans and generally accepted accounting standards, GASB pronouncements, GAAP, OMB Uniform guidance, OFM regulations, and NACUBO guidance; oversee related training programs.

To view position profile, click here:

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration, or closely related field;
  • Certified Public Accountant certificate;
  • Eight years of senior level accounting or financial experience with six years of progressively responsible management and supervisory experience;
  • Familiarity with higher education accounting and financial reporting, GASB pronouncements, GAAP, OMB Uniform guidance, and NACUBO guidance;
  • Demonstrated commitment to open collaboration and customer service;
  • Demonstrated ability to be a hands-on leader, and to manage multiple, competing priorities, while developing and leading engaged teams; and
  • Exceptional communications skill, both written and verbal.
  • Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master’s degree in accounting, business administration, or closely related field;
  • Experience with post award grant and research accounting and compliance;
  • Prior management experience in at least two of the following functional areas: sponsored program post award accounting, payroll, general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable/student accounts, treasury services, or tax;
  • Experience in evaluating and transforming business processes utilizing lean principles; and
  • Experience with FASB financial reporting.

About Washington State University:

Founded in 1890 in Pullman, Washington State University (WSU) is Washington’s land-grant university with an overarching mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens – locally, nationally, and globally. WSU is committed to innovation and excellence in research and scholarship. WSU has a current enrollment of over 30,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and approximately 6,000 faculty and staff at its five campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett), as well as its numerous other locations across the State of Washington and online through its Global Campus. With a new President (Dr. Kirk Schulz began as the University’s 11th president in June 2016) and a new Vice President of Finance and Administration (Stacy Pearson started in March 2017); the University community is energized and excited.

U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "America's Best Colleges" rankings place WSU in the top 75 public national universities. WSU was one of only three Northwest universities to be placed in the top two tiers, along with the University of Washington and the University of Oregon. WSU is ranked as a "highest research activity" institution by the Carnegie Foundation and is in the top 12 percent of research universities as reported by the National Science Foundation. Also, WSU was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its engagement activities with its Community Engagement Classification.

WSU employs approximately 6,000 faculty and professional staff and the University deeply values diversity among its faculty, students, and staff. WSU students represent diverse social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds: approximately 10 percent of WSU students hail from outside the state of Washington, and approximately 6.8 percent are international students. WSU annually awards more than $280 million in scholarships and financial aid to approximately 17,000 undergraduate students.

WSU operates as an integrated university, with all campuses adhering to the same set of practices and policies: degree requirements are similar across campuses; all instructors and researchers, regardless of their location, are considered part of one faculty; and the offices of finance and administration are regarded as distinct, but highly integrated components of one division. WSU has been redefining its administrative and operational structures to ensure delivery of an integrated set of services while allowing each campus autonomy and a clearly defined identity.

The operating budget of the University for the 2015-17 biennium is approximately $2.05 billion, and capital budget authority during the 2015-17 biennium is $311.7 million. WSU’s endowment is $886 million, including $418 million from the WSU Foundation and $468 million in land-grant endowments.

WSU has an ambitious 2014-2019 strategic plan available at that is built on the core values and broad mission of the University. Building on the cornerstones of the strategic plan is the “Drive to 25.” WSU’s goal is to be recognized as one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching and engagement by 2030:

  • WSU will offer a transformative educational experience to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • WSU will accelerate the development of a preeminent research portfolio.  

Location: This position is located in Pullman, Washington, a town of approximately 31,000 people located in southeastern Washington, 75 miles south of Spokane. Pullman offers the stimulation of a research university in a small town living environment. It is close to mountain ranges, scenic lakes, and rivers in an area that offers excellent outdoor activities.

Procedure for Candidacy:

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and are welcomed until position is filled. Click here to apply and be sure to include your resume and cover letter:

For nominations or further information:

Caitlin Hummel

Senior Consultant

Summit Search Solutions, Inc.

Direct: (585) 598-3269

WSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, protected veterans, persons of disability, and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.

WSU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource Services at: 509-335-4521; Washington State TDD Relay Service, Voice Callers: 1-800-833-6384; TDD Callers: 1-800-833-6388, 509-335-1259 (FAX), or

Summit Search Solutions, Inc. is a boutique executive search firm with a team of experienced recruiting consultants in strategic locations across the country including California, Colorado, New York, and North Carolina. Summit brings precision, process, and passion to its work.