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Vice President for Finance

Job description

The University of Washington (UW), one of the nation’s most distinguished educational and research institutions, is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Finance.


Ranked in the world’s top 15 universities in measures that include U.S. News & World Report and The Academic Ranking of World Universities, the UW is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the Pacific coast. Together, the University’s three campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell anchor the Puget Sound region and are firmly established as the pinnacle of the higher education system in Washington State.  All three campuses benefit from the region’s Pacific Rim location, from the growth of the Pacific Northwest, and from the growth and dynamism of Seattle.


UW’s three campuses educate approximately 31,000 undergraduates and 14,000 graduate and professional students, with about 5,000 students at Bothell and Tacoma (each with about 4,300 undergraduates and 500-700 graduate students). In addition, the UW’s Continuum College programs (online, MOOC’s, summer programs, and extension activities) will educate another 49,000 students this year.


For additional data about the University, see http://www.washington.edu/about/


The Vice President for Finance (VP Finance) reports to the Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration (EVPFA). The VP Finance will contribute to advancing the mission and strategic direction of the University, which includes promoting and directly supporting a climate of innovation, creative problem solving, and diversity of thought, people, and cultures.


The VP Finance provides leadership, oversight, and stewardship for all aspects of the University’s financial resources. S/he serves as a strategic advisor to the EVPFA and recommends financial and administrative objectives, policies, programs, and practices that ensure a sound financial structure for the University. The VP Finance is integral to developing a long-term sustainable economic model that ensures the viability of the University. The VP Finance controls the flow of cash through the organization, maintains the integrity of funds, and provides institutional support for adherence to fiduciary boundaries and constraints. As CFO, s/he is responsible for the management of financial matters and compliance with audit, legal and donor requirements, IRS, federal, state, research and financial aid.


The VP Finance oversees an administrative organizational structure that includes all major aspects of finance and business services. Units reporting to the VP Finance includes the following:  Office of the Controller, Treasury, Enterprise Services, the Integrated Service Center, and the Finance Transformation project.


The Finance Transformation project team is responsible for implementing a new financial system at the University.  While currently managed by the AVP Enterprise Services, the project will require dedicated management once approved. 

The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of financial and business management experience in roles directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the position. In addition, ideal candidates will have the following core competencies, personal qualities and qualifications:


Strategic and Visionary Leadership & Management

The VP Finance will be a strategic thinker with the vision, capacity, and experience to set a direction for the Finance function and understand and balance a complex array of constituent needs and to align those needs with effective and current solutions.  This leader will have the perspective to consider the short- and long-term impacts of decisions, plans, and programs on the University, and make sound recommendations accordingly. The VP Finance will bring superb management skills and will build a culture of accountability using a collaborative and team-oriented leadership style. S/he will have good judgment in recognizing talent and building strong teams that are empowered to achieve individual and institutional goals. 


Financial Expertise and Integrity

The VP Finance will have unquestionable professional integrity and progressive experience in financial and administrative leadership roles managing an integrated finance department. This leader will bring a demonstrated success in developing financial infrastructure that supports academic and strategic priorities. S/he will bring strong analytical and technical skills and administrative acumen in strategic financial planning, fiscal development and management; financial modeling and forecasting; debt financing; financial risk management and best practices in a complex and highly matrix organization; comprehensive knowledge of regulatory reporting, filing, and compliance requirements; accounting principles and an understanding of revenue and expense trends and longer term resource issues in higher education. 


The VP Finance will build controls, improve operations, manage assigned  units, upgrade purchasing, provide analytic capability and decision support and build Treasury breath and creativity as well as strengthen risk management and compliance.  Experience supporting governing boards and in staffing committees or subgroups on matters of financial, capital investment or administration is essential. An advanced degree (MBA) or (MPA) is required; CPA, and or CFA is preferred.


Change Management
The successful candidate will have a strong record of accomplishment in managing large-scale project leadership and organizational change. Strong project management and continuous process improvement expertise with enterprise-wide systems; strong commitment and record of accomplishment spearheading organizational transformation and bringing in world-class processes; and the ability to work through complex issues and deal with ambiguity are required. 


Collaboration/ Relationship Building and Influencing

The VP Finance will have outstanding influencing verbal and communication abilities and superb listening skills, that are respectful to diverse viewpoints and can inspire stakeholders internal and external to the Vice President of Finance units.  The VP Finance will be adept at facilitating connections and building partnerships and collaborations based on trust and credibility, to establish the necessary partnerships with the President, Provost, Board of Trustees, senior administrative team, faculty, staff, students and external partners. The VP Finance will have the ability to communicate candidly the realities inherent in achieving campus finance goals, find creative strategies and work successfully and collaboratively in a complex and fluid environment.


For the full position and university profile please see http://koyapartners.com/search/vice-president-of-finance/



University of Washington has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to assist with identifying qualified candidates for this opportunity. This search is being led by Beth Schaefer, Liz Neumann and Medelene Beasley. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or e-mail Liz, Beth or Medelene at the following:


Liz Neumann                                                                   

Managing Director

[email protected]


Beth Schaefer                                                                  

Vice President, Executive Search

[email protected]


Medelene Beasley

Principal, Executive Search

[email protected]                                                                                         

At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote access, opportunity and justice for all.


People who represent cultures from around the world help everyone at UW gain perspective and make meaningful impact, so we strive to create an inclusive and accessible environment for all. Our Race & Equity Initiative allows us to work toward achieving this mission–together we will support and sustain diversity and equity at the UW.




Diversity Profile: University


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Job No:
Posted: 9/6/2017
Application Due: 11/5/2017
Work Type: