Vanderbilt University — Chief Business Officer, Divinity and Library

Chief Business Officer – Divinity and Library  (1800156)

The Chief Business Officer (CBO) provides overall leadership and support of financial and administrative operations of the assigned school/areas, directly assisting and supporting operational leads and servings a member of the Financial Operations and Planning Team, reporting to the Senior Finance Director under the leadership and guidance of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance. The CBO is responsible for the finance function including daily operations, developing monthly financial projections, and preparing annual and long-range operating and capital budgets.   The Chief Business Officer interfaces with a wide constituency of partners across the institution in the financial management of and planning for the strategic use of funds. This individual leads a team of professional and administrative support staff and is responsible for developing goals, objectives, policies and procedures; supervising, coordinating, and evaluating activities; and performing personnel administration functions.  This role must be responsive to the needs of the Dean, University Librarian and other leaders overseeing the assigned areas.

Vanderbilt University and the Department of Financial Operations and Planning are committed to excellence and diversity.  Members of underrepresented groups invited to apply.

About Vanderbilt:
Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution founded in 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. The university’s students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville as one of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employees know they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptional pride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday. Vanderbilt was recently ranked #1 in the Princeton Review among 382 top colleges and universities for “happiest students” – as well as #2 for “best quality of life” and “great financial aid,” #5 for “best run colleges” and “beautiful campus,” and #6 for both being in a “college city that students love” and having “great campus/city relations.”

Key Areas of Responsibility:

Fiscal Oversight

  • Serve as the primary business advisor to the Dean, University Librarian or other leaders and the financial liaison for the assigned area to the Financial Operations and Planning team.
  • Develop annual and long-range capital/operating budgets, which adhere to the University and area priorities based on balanced assumptions.
  • Develop financial and operational models that respond to new circumstances and which allow for informed decision-making and maximize area and university resources.
  • Proactively assess the ongoing area activities to determine realistic financial projections compared to the annual budget and assess areas where additional resources could be invested or redirected toward uses more directly related to Vanderbilt’s strategic initiatives.
  • Prepare and review monthly financial reports to identify trends and update expectations.
  • Implement and facilitate strategic initiatives of the University and school/area.
  • Produce, organize, and present information to succinctly and effectively provide financial management information.
  • Interpret information provided by others and advise how the information or request aligns or differs with area and University strategies and financial plans.
  • Focus on attaining and sustaining long-term financial equilibrium and evaluate all proposals against this objective.
  • Review area resource portfolio and suggest prudent viable alternatives to achieve planned or desired outcomes.
  • Coordinate, review and submit annual salary increases for faculty and staff as assigned.

Internal Controls and Control Environment

  • Understand, educate, and enforce Vanderbilt University policies and procedures.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain departmental procedures, protocols and internal controls.
  • Advocate for best practices in management policies and retain responsibility for implementing and maintaining effective internal controls (as guided by internal audit and leadership recommendations) for fiscal activities throughout the school/area.
  • Assist in cultivating a culture where faculty and staff throughout the university understand their individual fiduciary roles and responsibilities.
  • Exercise delegated authority with prudent assessment of individual transactions (as guided by internal policies), considering the impact financially and operationally, mindful of internal controls as defined by the university and the assigned areas.
  • Review and approve further delegated authority and responsibility throughout the area.
  • Design, establish and maintain an administrative organizational structure to effectively and efficiently accomplish area and university goals and objectives while segregating duties and mitigating risk.


  • 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 to work toward common financial goals.
  • Continuously monitor and make recommendations to improve university wide processes.
  • Function as a technical expert within the area on budgetary, financial, accounting, operational, human resource, regulatory, and policy issues.
  • Update job and industry knowledge by participating in educational opportunities, reading professional journals and maintaining professional networks.
  • Advocate for change within assigned areas by assisting the university with the successful implementation of new financial and administrative procedures and systems. Serves a major point of contact for problem resolution.
  • Represent assigned areas and Finance on various University committees, provide insightful and diplomatic feedback to the committee and communicate updates to the area and other constituents within the University, as appropriate.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain a talented and diverse team.
  • Supervise, evaluate performance, and create professional development plans for direct reports.


  • Ability to effectively distill complex data to essential elements.
  • Attentive to detail while never losing sight of the high-level, strategic direction and impact.  Considers the sensitivity and complexity of the campus community.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop the talents and expertise of staff so that they are able to assume expanded responsibilities; proven ability to recruit and retain well-qualified, high-performing professionals.
  • 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 Education, Skills, and Experiences:

  • CPA and/or Master’s degree in Business Administration or related discipline preferred.
  • Demonstrated financial expertise; strong technical knowledge and skills; broad and thorough knowledge of GAAP, not-for-profit accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis; understanding of both federal and state statutes and regulations related to finances and accounting.
  • Skilled in Microsoft software and use of databases.
  • Management/ supervisory experience preferred.
  • Experience working in an academic setting preferred.
  • Demonstrated reliability, creativity, and change-management skills.
  • Experience using Oracle ERP and HCM systems.


Job requires Bachelors and 8 Years of experience or the equivalent.

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