Vanderbilt University — Finance Director, Vice Provost Support

The Director provides leadership and support to the chief business officers (CBOs) and other personnel supporting the Vice Provost (VP) areas within Academic Affairs. The Director leads, assists, and mentors CBOs and support staff in the VP areas, while serving as a key member of the Financial Operations and Planning Team supporting Academic Affairs and reporting to the Sr. Finance Director under the leadership and guidance of the Associate Vice Chancellor of Finance. The Director is responsible for ensuring the development of high quality financial and operational analysis and deliverables, including but not limited to, monthly financial projections, annual and long-range operating and capital budgets, and usage of designated funds, for applicable areas assigned. The Director is responsible for implementing Provost and Finance directed goals and objectives – along with University and Academic Affairs policies and procedures; overseeing and evaluating overall financial and administrative activities across all Vice Provost areas; and performing key administrative functions. The Director interfaces with a wide constituency of partners across the institution and must consistently demonstrate innovation, energy, drive, and a passion for customer service; he/she must be a proactive communicator who passionately engages with people, develops solutions, and builds constituent confidence and trust.

Key Functions

  • Serve as the primary business advisor to the Vice Provost areas and the financial liaison to the Financial Operations and Planning team.
  • Serve as a key partner and advisor to the CBOs for VP areas. Mentor CBOs and other departmental leaders in leadership qualities championed by
  • Financial Operations and Planning including, but not limited to, accountability, proactivity, creativity, capability, and resilience.
  • Ensure the development of robust, high quality, and consistent financial reporting and forecasting deliverables for VP areas.
  • Proactively assess areas’ ongoing activities to develop realistic financial projections and assess opportunities where additional resources could be invested or could be redirected in support of Vanderbilt’s strategic initiatives.
  • Continually champion the alignment of strategic priorities with financial resources and the need for sustainable long-term financial equilibrium.
  • Ensure deliverables align with Provost and finance expectations to allow for consolidation into Provost and Academic Affairs financial reporting.
  • Partner with CBOs to develop models that respond to new financial or operational circumstances and highlight key metrics and data comparisons to assist leadership in strategic decision making and maximization of resources.
  • Interpret information provided by others and advise how the information or request aligns or differs with defined strategies and financial plans for the particular area. Review the areas’ resource portfolio and suggest viable alternatives to achieve planned or desired outcomes.
  • Produce, organize, and present information to succinctly and effectively communicate the desired message.
  • Prepare monthly financial summaries to identify trends and update expectations.
  • Advocate for good management practices, efficiencies, and communications.
  • Exercise delegated authority with prudent assessment of individual transactions, considering the impact financially and operationally, mindful of internal controls, and setting the cultural tone desired by the University.
  • Review and approve further delegated authority and responsibility throughout the VP areas.
  • Assist in cultivating a culture where faculty and staff throughout the University understand their individual fiduciary roles and responsibilities.


  • Develop a productive and effective working relationship with leaders across the university by actively seeking out communication and collaboration opportunities. Promote a unified view of Vanderbilt University’s interests and align departments in working toward common financial goals
  • Function as a technical expert within the area on budgetary, financial, accounting, operational, and policy issues
  • Advocate for change within the VP areas by assisting the university with the successful implementation of new financial and administrative procedures and systems. Serve as a major point of contact for problem resolution and ideas for continuous improvement
  • Represent the VP areas on various University committees, provide insightful and diplomatic feedback to the committee and communicate updates to constituents within Finance and Academic Affairs, as appropriate.
  • Assist in recruiting, developing and retaining high performing business and administrative professionals
  • Provide feedback and professional development plans for direct reports
    Recruits, develops, and retains a talented and diverse team

Required Skills

  • Ability to work effectively in an academic environment with fluid reporting relationships
  • Ability to distill complex data to clear, essential elements and effectively communicate key concepts to individuals with differing levels of financial acumen
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in interpersonal and communication skills – honest, direct, and willing to discuss complex topics or provide difficult feedback. Must maintain balance amongst numerous, different constituents and communicate with a wide range of audiences
  • Considers the sensitivity and complexity of the campus community
  • Attentive to detail while never losing sight of the high-level strategic direction and impact
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines. Flexibility in dealing with changes in approach and/or deliverables
  • Ability to work independently while providing appropriate work status updates
  • Ability to accept feedback as an opportunity for development, not as a criticism
  • Ability to move the organization forward even in the face of ambiguity and complexity
  • Ability to maintain a positive, problem-solving attitude in the face of adversity

Preferred Skills and Experiences:

  • Demonstrated financial expertise; strong technical knowledge and skills; broad and thorough knowledge of GAAP, not-for-profit accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis
  • Experience working in an academic environment is a plus
  • Demonstrated reliability, creativity, and change-management skills
  • Experience using Oracle ERP and HCM systems

Basic Qualifications
Job requires Bachelor’s and 8 years of experience or the equivalent.

Preferred Education
CPA and/or Master’s degree in Business Administration or related discipline

To apply: