Chief Financial Officer

Arden Hills, Ramsey County / Mounds View, Ramsey County / New Brighton, Ramsey County / Saint Paul, Ramsey County
Jan 24, 2014
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Bethel University is pleased to announce the search for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO has strategic and operational responsibility for the university’s financial resources including strategy development, financial modeling in annual and multi-year time horizons in alignment with the university’s strategic plan, operating and capital budget development, financial and operational analysis, as well as oversight of other areas as described below. This position reports to the President, serves on the Cabinet and Executive Leadership Team (ELT), serves as the lead ex-officio member of the Finance and Administration Committee as well as the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees, and is a key partner to the Bethel University Foundation Board of Governors. The CFO partners with other key leaders inside and outside of the university in building financial systems that optimize its resources to support the university’s mission and strategic plan.


Based in St. Paul, Minn., with an additional seminary location in San Diego, Bethel University has been a leader and model in Christian higher education since 1871. For generations, Bethel’s blending of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has transformed women and men, preparing them for unique callings in the kingdom of God. With more than 6,500 students enrolled in 100 academic programs in two colleges, a graduate school, and a seminary, Bethel University is one of the most comprehensive, interdenominational Christian universities in the nation. Students and employees are guided by Bethel’s core values, rooted in Scripture: Christ-followers, character-builders, truth-seekers, learners, salt and light, reconcilers, and world-changers. Bethel is often described as a community serving and encouraging one another toward their individual potential. Working together in Christ’s name, students and employees at Bethel become personally transformed and, in turn, help to transform the world for Christ. For further information on Bethel University, go to

The CFO will be a financial leader and proactively recommend strategies to the President and relevant Board of Trustees members that will build the financial strength of the university in the long term, and mitigate, in the short to medium term, the current negative economic and demographic influences. The CFO will provide oversight for accounting; internal and external financial reporting and compliance; debt and cash management; accounting and audit oversight for endowment assets; collaboration with Bethel Foundation leadership in support of Foundation investment of endowment, defined benefit, and university assets; risk management; grant accounting and reporting; management of the university’s restricted and designated funds; financial analysis of the defined benefit plan; real estate administration; funding plans for all campus building and capital projects; campus auxiliary services, including print services, mail services, and food services; campus store and purchasing services; and development and oversight of related policies and procedures.

The CFO will lead a team of approximately 20 staff in the business office (which includes accounting and finance), and campus store and purchasing services areas as well as manage two significant vendor relationships in the auxiliary services area.


An advanced degree is required, with an MBA in finance and/or accounting strongly preferred. CPA certification is also strongly preferred. At least 10 years of executive finance leadership experience is required with a strong preference given to candidates with experience in higher education and/or organizations that have experienced transformational change.

Candidates should have demonstrated leadership managing finance and related functions in a complex organization and significant experience in providing analytic and financial expertise supporting the organization’s ability to achieve its strategies and produce bottom line results. In addition to being a unit leader, candidates must have the ability to be a full business partner to the President and ELT, proactively providing meaningful input on a broad range of issues to improve the performance of the university. Candidates must have the ability to frame decisions in a holistic manner and articulate them to other leaders for discussion. A demonstrated understanding of business operations, including defined benefit and health care functions, is required. Candidates must have a proficient knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles and tax issues for not-for-profit settings.

Successful candidates will be proven self-starters, have demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills, have a proven track record of accuracy and attention to detail, and have strong problem-solving skills. Candidates must have the ability to build and maintain solid banking relationships as well as partnerships with the Board of Trustees and Bethel University Foundation Board of Governors. A demonstrated ability to build strong collaborative relationships with all levels of the university and the ability to represent the university well to external audiences is required.

Interested candidates should submit their application materials to the Office of Human Resources including a cover letter, resume, list of at least three professional references, and an application for employment at Bethel University. Priority will be given to candidates who apply on or before February 7, 2014. Questions should be directed to Cara Wald, Director of Human Resources, at