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Executive Director of Finance and Administration, School of Professional Studies

Wake Forest University
School of Professional Studies (Charlotte)

Job Details

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Job Description Summary

Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the School of Professional Studies is the newest school from Wake Forest University. SPS houses innovative graduate degree and non-degree programs, including certificates and other credentials, for working professionals.

The Executive Director of Finance is responsible for overseeing financial and administrative operations to support the financial and other performance goals of the School. This includes developing and implementing financial strategies, leading, and managing budgets, promoting an inclusive work environment, maximizing resources to support efficiency and productivity, managing risk, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, implementing relevant policies, and improving financial processes. Through the creation and revision of long-term plans and projections, the Executive Director works closely with other School leaders and staff to execute financial practices that are sound, effective, and consistent with University and School practices and priorities. The Executive Director develops and implements policies and procedures necessary for optimal performance and to promote an inclusive and engaged culture.

Job Description

Essential Functions:

  • Develops and implements financial strategies and manages, directs, and organizes the financial and business operating functions to ensure the organization’s financial stability.
  • Provides leadership on resource allocation, expenditures processing and development of short- and long-range fiscal plans that ensure consistency with the University’s strategic fiscal goals and objectives.
  • Conducts forecasting, sensitivity/scenario, and other analysis in order to provide proactive recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness of SPS operations across all functions.
  • Enhance human resources capacity as the School scales, enhancing professional development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, training, and recruiting.
  • Develops and implements strategies to promote a culture of inclusivity and productivity within the School.
  • Provides projections or forecasts of expenses in comparison to budget categories/line items to avoid deficits, optimize use of available funds, adhere to approved budget parameters, and recommend financial strategies to inform program pricing decisions.
  • Oversee administrative functions to ensure efficient and consistent operations as the needs of the School evolve.
  • Prepares annual operating budget proposals and provides ongoing and ad hoc budget analysis and oversight.
  • Develops and/or analyzes student enrollment trends and other special project projections including program pro forma, ROI and breakeven analysis to identify the impact of enrollment on School and University budgets.
  • Manages the financial activity of revenue sharing programs to ensure proper allocation and accounting.
  • Conducts regular internal reviews to ensure accuracy and efficiency of procedures and processes.
  • Serves as primary liaison with University Financial Services.
  • Assists in the preparation of reports in response to external and internal requests for financial information.
  • Establishes policies and procedures to ensure accurate financial oversight and develops and evaluates goals and objectives to monitor effectiveness.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Master’s Degree in Business, Finance or a related field, or the equivalent combination of training, education, and experience plus ten or more years of related experience.
  • Strong logical and analytical problem-solving skills; critical thinking skills with attention to detail.
  • General understanding and working knowledge of standard accounting principles.
  • Ability to interpret financial reports, analyze data & trends, and develop recommendations.
  • Familiarity with contemporary/best practices related to human resources management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively communicate with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret policy and procedural questions without the benefit of precedent; make recommendations to higher management in a coherent manner with supporting arguments.
  • Ability to work independently, with evidence of good judgment and high-level problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in Excel (template development, pivot tables, macros) and Access (creating queries and reports).
  • Knowledge of University systems, as well as Human Resources, Budget and Financial Planning practices, policies, and procedures, or ability to acquire knowledge in a short period of time.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Prior experience in Finance or Accounting and Human Resources in higher education.
  • Knowledge of Workday Finance .


  • Responsible for own work and the work of others.

Additional Job Description

In an effort to protect the health and safety of the campus community, all faculty and staff positions, excluding staff who perform duties exclusively at Graylyn Conference Center, are required to be fully vaccinated with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to their hire date. Once hired, faculty and staff must maintain full COVID-19 vaccination status throughout their employment at Wake Forest University. Faculty and staff with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude vaccination should contact Human Resources to request a reasonable accommodation.

Time Type Requirement

Full timeNote to Applicant:This position profile identifies the key responsibilities and expectations for performance. It cannot encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by his/her supervisor.

In order to provide a safe and productive learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final staff candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce while promoting an inclusive work environment committed to excellence in the spirit of Pro Humanitate. In adherence with applicable laws and as provided by University policies, the University prohibits discrimination in its employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.


Wake Forest University, formed in 1834, has experienced decades of growth and innovation.  WFU is a distinctive university that combines a liberal arts core with graduate and professional schools and innovative research programs.  The University embraces the teacher-scholar ideal, which prizes the personal interaction between students and faculty.  It is a place where exceptional teaching, fundamental research and discovery, and the engagement of faculty and students in the classroom and the laboratory are paramount.

Wake Forest University is a community that seeks the enlightenment and freedom which come through diligent study and learning. Its higher goal, however, is to give life to the University motto "Pro Humanitate," as members translate a passion for knowledge into compassionate service. The community shares a tradition that embraces freedom and integrity and acknowledges the worth of the individual. The heritage, established by the school's founders and nurtured by succeeding generations, promotes a democratic spirit arising from open-mindedness and discourse. Wake Forest fosters compassion and caring for others. Its collective strength and character are derived from the values and distinctive experiences of each individual; therefore, it affirms the richness of human intellect and culture and its contribution to knowledge, faith, reason, and dialogue. Furthermore, it strives toward a society in which good will, respect, and equality prevail. To that end, Wake Forest University rejects hatred and bigotry in any form and promotes justice, honor, and mutual trust.​

The University is comprised of:  the undergraduate college, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Divinity, School of Law, and School of Medicine (located on the Bowman Gray campus with Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center) and today enrolls about 4,846 undergraduates and 2,823 students in graduate programs at its principal location, the Reynolda campus.  Students at Wake Forest University enjoy a great deal of access to and interaction with world-class faculty both in and out of the classroom setting with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1.  Wake Forest employs approximately 2,772 full and part-time faculty and staff.

Wake Forest is a collegiate university offering a vibrant, intellectual community with a rich cultural life, an impressive array of facilities, and a strong athletics program competing in the fifteen-team Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).  Since its founding, the university has adopted the motto “pro humanitate,” which is exemplified by a deep institutional commitment to public service and engagement with the world. Wake Forest has a strong commitment to holistic, eight-dimensional well-being for students, faculty and staff as evidenced in the Thrive initiative.

Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest is located in Winston-Salem, NC, a beautiful, mid-sized city centrally located in the Piedmont-Triad region of North Carolina.  Winston-Salem is a family-friendly city with high quality schools, numerous outdoor recreational activities and events, and is known for its vibrant and thriving arts scene.

Winston-Salem residents enjoy close proximity to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains (1.5 hours) and Atlantic beaches (4 hours), a moderate climate with four distinct seasons, a very reasonable cost of living, and an eclectic variety of restaurants, wine bars, and breweries for dining with friends and family.  Winston-Salem offers many of the amenities of a large city but with the sense of community and quality of life of a smaller town (

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