Associate Vice President for Finance

Job description

Job Title: Associate Vice President for Finance
Location: Finance
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 4633
Staff Posting Details

University of Puget Sound seeks a strategic and innovative leader to serve as Associate Vice President for Finance.

The Organization

Established in 1888, the University of Puget Sound is a nationally ranked residential liberal arts college and one of just five independent colleges in the Pacific Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States. The university draws 2,600 students from 46 states and 8 countries. Puget Sound has been designated as one of only 40 Colleges that Change Lives and is in the top 5% of colleges for students who go on to earn doctorate degrees. Princeton Review reported that Puget Sound’s faculty-student interaction is one of the best in the nation. The university has recently launched an ambitious ten-year strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, to advance institutional excellence, academic distinction, and student success.

The Location

The university sits on 97 acres in Tacoma’s North End neighborhood and is within minutes of Tacoma’s urban center and Commencement Bay. With just over 200,000 residents, Tacoma is the third largest city in the state and is positioned 32 miles south of Seattle and 31 miles north of Olympia, the state capital. The Cascade Mountain Range is to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Tacoma and the surrounding region offer a rich variety of art and cultural offerings and outdoor activities. The city and region support a variety of living options ranging from Craftsman and Victorian homes in historic neighborhoods to downtown lofts and condominiums to homes in suburban and rural settings.

The Position


  • The Associate Vice President for Finance (AVP) reports to the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (EVP) and works strategically and collaboratively to enhance the university’s financial strength through analysis, innovative ideas, cost-effective approaches, high quality budgeting and monitoring, accurate accounting and tax compliance, and useful reporting for decision-making.
  • The AVP partners with the EVP to support Board of Trustee committees, evaluate and implement initiatives of the strategic plan, complete a variety of projects, and assist the EVP in the achievement of goals established by the Finance and Administration division.
  • The AVP oversees and reports on the university’s annual operating budget of approximately $138 million and net assets of approximately $550 million, and directly manages a department budget of $1.38 million.
  • The AVP leads a 13-member Finance team and ensures that each member of the team is highly effective and efficient, produces high quality work, offers excellent service to constituents, seeks continuous improvements, and develops professionally.
  • The AVP ensures a strong system of internal controls on an institution-wide basis with clear policies and procedures, and is responsible for planning, directing, monitoring, and coordinating the financial and accounting activities of the university in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, applicable regulations, university policies, sound business practices, and the highest of ethical standards.
  • The AVP is a financial officer of the corporation and serves as a deputy to the EVP. The AVP is a member of the Finance and Administration leadership team and the President’s administrative LEAD team.

Essential Functions

  • Board of Trustees Support: Collaborate with the EVP to provide support to the Board of Trustees, in particular to the Finance and Facilities Committee and the Audit Committee. Draft committee meeting planning calendars, agendas, materials, and minutes. Coordinate the periodic review of and recommend modifications to board-approved financial policies and committee roles and responsibilities.
  • Leadership, Management, and Supervision: Understand and stay informed about current issues for higher education, liberal arts institutions, and the University of Puget Sound. Demonstrate and promote high standards for quality, productivity, and service. Build and foster effective working relationships with faculty, staff, students, and other constituents, and lead collaborative processes to bring about shared understanding and positive change. Hire exceptional, best-fit talent and build a strong, cohesive team with an institutional and student-centered perspective in support of mission. Ensure that staff are properly trained and cross-trained and are developing to their full potential and supporting university goals. Align roles and assignments to meet team goals and deadlines. Examine existing processes and continuously implement improvements.
  • Financial Planning and Budgeting: Understand the university’s operations, including linkage to the long range financial planning model that is used for testing scenarios, establishing annual budgets, and institutional decision-making. Collaborate with and support campus departments as they evaluate their budgets and make proposals. Guide Finance staff in an efficient process to load detailed budgets into PeopleSoft that comply with Board-approved budget parameters. Oversee periodic forecasting of revenues and expenses relative to budget and the preparation of budget variance reports that explain any variances.
  • Accounting and Internal Controls: Ensure that appropriate internal controls, policies, and procedures are in place and understood by Finance staff and the campus community as applicable. Provide leadership to Finance staff in researching and applying accounting rules and in creating efficient processes. Support and guide the Director of Finance to ensure that accounting records are accurate, timely, and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and university policies, including accounting for the endowment, short-term investments, split-interest agreements, construction and fixed assets, government and private grants, donor contributions, debt, and net assets. Ensure timely month-end and fiscal year-end closes and reconciliation of all asset and liability accounts, with follow-up on any unusual activity or balances. Support and guide the Accounts Payable Manager to ensure accurate and timely vendor payments, expense reimbursements, student refunds, and other disbursements, with excellent service to campus constituents. Ensure that the necessary internal controls and segregation of duties are in place with respect to payroll processing in Human Resources and postings to the financial records.
  • Procurement and Cost Savings: Guide and support the Procurement Manager in providing procurement expertise and service to campus departments and in identifying and securing institution-wide cost savings and quality enhancements. Capture and report achieved savings and benefits.
  • Treasury: Maintain strong banking relationships and support the Director of Finance in overseeing bank services and transactions. Ensure an effective P-card program and oversee externally managed investment of cash in accordance with university policy. Ensure timely debt service payments, monitoring of covenant compliance, and submission of compliance reports. Support the Director of Finance in achieving accurate and timely endowment, split interest agreement, outside trusts and other investment accounting and reporting. Ensure timely execution of authorized endowment investment decisions.
  • Tax and Regulatory Compliance: Stay current on tax and regulatory issues applicable to the university and ensure compliance. Seek outside counsel from experts as needed and authorized. Recommend compliance and risk mitigation strategies. Provide leadership to staff in researching and applying tax rules and regulatory requirements and ensure that appropriate documentation of tax and regulatory filings, treatment, and positions taken are maintained. Support and guide the Director of Finance in ensuring that regulatory registrations and reports and federal, state, and local tax returns are filed accurately and timely.
  • Financial Reporting and Audit: Understand and stay informed about audit and reporting developments and industry best practices. Ensure that the university’s audited financial statements and schedules are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Provide financial analysis, dashboards, and other reports and tools to support university leadership and effective decision-making. Serve as a liaison with external auditors and support and guide the Director of Finance in preparation for external audits.
  • Technology: Champion effective use of technology in fulfilling Finance responsibilities. Support and guide the Financial Systems Analyst and other Finance team members to further streamline business processes, optimize use of technology, oversee technology upgrades, implement digital tools, ensure compliance with security policies, and maintain useful Finance web pages.
  • Other: Complete and/or oversee special projects and perform other duties as assigned by the EVP.


  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in business, accounting, or finance
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Some public accounting experience a plus
  • Ten years of related professional experience that demonstrates progressive responsibility, with at least five years of applicable management level experience
  • Experience with a private higher education institution highly desired
  • Experience optimizing the use of complex automated systems, analytical tools, and reporting
  • Experience researching, interpreting and implementing generally accepted accounting principles, tax rules, and regulations
  • Visible, energetic, forward-thinking, solutions-focused, team-based leader, with ability to lead in a fast-paced setting, prioritize work, plan and advance multiple projects simultaneously, and nimbly adjust plans as circumstances evolve
  • Ability to initiate, respond to and manage change and to perform well with a certain level of ambiguity
  • Collaborative nature and positive outlook with ability to build teams and effective relationships across organizational lines, and to mentor and develop staff
  • Effective communicator with strong presentation and writing skills Ability to think creatively, anticipate opportunities, create a shared vision, promote change, and implement new strategies
  • Highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, with ability to maintain confidences and navigate sensitive and nuanced issues and situations
  • Ability to grasp complex issues quickly, synthesize salient points, and create effective executive summaries
  • Institutional, analytical and strategic thinker who is also skilled at monitoring important details
  • A leader with initiative who take ownership for areas of responsibility and meets commitments and deadlines
  • A professional who respectfully works, communicates and provides leadership within a diverse campus community

Compensation and Benefits Decisions about starting salaries are made based on the extent and relatedness of the candidate's education and experience and on internal equity and market considerations.

This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Puget Sound offers a generous benefits package. For more information, visit:

Application Deadline Search and selection procedures will be closed when a sufficient number of qualified candidates have been identified. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit application materials no later than April 15, 2019 to ensure consideration.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

All offers of employment are contingent on successful completion of a background inquiry.

Diversity Statement:

  • We acknowledge the richness of commonalities and differences we share as a university community; the intrinsic worth of all who work and study here; that education is enhanced by investigation of and reflection upon multiple perspectives.
  • We aspire to create respect for and appreciation of all persons as a key characteristic of our campus community; to increase the diversity of all parts of our University community through commitment to diversity in our recruitment and retention efforts; to foster a spirit of openness to active engagement among all members of our campus community.
  • We act to achieve an environment that welcomes and supports diversity; to ensure full educational opportunity for all who teach and learn here; to prepare effectively citizen-leaders for a pluralistic world.

Puget Sound is committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity. We seek diversity of identity, thought, perspective, and background in our students, faculty, and staff. To learn more please visit:

The University of Puget Sound is an equal opportunity employer.

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Job No:
Posted: 3/8/2019
Application Due: 8/6/2019
Work Type: