Hobart and William Smith Colleges — Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance

Associate Vice President for Budget & Finance
Office of Finance and Administration

As part of an emerging succession planning program, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (“the Colleges” or “HWS”) invite applications for a newly created Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance position. The Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance (“AVPBF”) is a key member of the Finance and Administration team who will assume a critical strategic partnership role in the overall management of the Colleges’ finances. The AVPBF will have direct responsibility for the budgeting, financial analysis, investment operations, and risk management programs.  The AVPBF will be expected to provide consultative analysis and advice and to prepare reports on various budget, treasury and financial activities. The AVPBF must be knowledgeable of and employ applicable industry specific best practices and internal controls in conducting his/her work.  The AVPBF will assist the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) in identifying, developing, and implementing strategic goals and objectives as well as establishing campus-wide process improvements to maximize operational efficiencies and effectiveness while maintaining a focus on improving the student experience. 

Reporting to the VPFA, the AVPBF is responsible for providing effective stewardship of the budget and financial affairs of HWS. The AVPBF will prepare and monitor all capital, operating and salary budgets, oversee the investments and treasury functions providing strategic planning for the Colleges’ cash management, investments and debt, and will work collaboratively to establish, build, and manage organizational processes that will meet operational goals and objectives. The AVPBF will also play a key role in developing and overseeing the Colleges’ strategic and master planning processes. 

The AVPBF is expected to maintain a high level of expertise in all applicable financial functions in order to support the VPFA in carrying out his/her responsibilities. The AVPBF serves in an advisory and support role to the VPFA, President, and other members of the senior staff on all budgetary matters and will serve along with the VPFA as the staff to the Financial Affairs, Building & Grounds, and Investment Committees of the Board of Trustees. In the absence of the VPFA, the AVPBF will assume temporary responsibility for the roles and duties of the VPFA.

Ability to maintain strict confidentiality. Extensive knowledge of and expertise in fiscal management as well as financial and accounting principles, policies, and procedures pertaining to all areas of responsibility. A broad understanding of the regulatory environment and current issues impacting institutions of higher education. Ability to advocate, manage and lead change related to business processes to ensure that operations are efficient, effective, contemporary, financially sound, and compliant. Ability to negotiate effectively, fairly and openly and make difficult, timely and financially responsible decisions.  Excellent management, analytic, organizational, interpersonal, planning, and coordinating skills.  Strong verbal and written communication and presentation skills, including the ability to effectively listen to, train and convey financial information to non-financial constituencies.  Ability to be proactive, transparent and think creatively in order to meet the needs of all campus constituents. Demonstrated ability to successfully collaborate and interact professionally with members of a diverse community that includes a wide variety of internal and external constituencies. Experience with risk management and insurance programs is preferred. Ability to use standardized computer software such as spreadsheets, databases, and word processors.  Strong analytical skills and technical abilities, including expertise using enterprise-wide financial systems.  

Master’s degree in a relevant field (business, finance, accounting) or CPA certificate. At least ten years of progressively responsible financial leadership roles and experience managing one or more of the following areas within a complex organization: budgets, financial operations, investments, or treasury (debt and cash) management. Experience establishing short and long-term priorities, goals and objectives and the ability to convert innovative vision and ideas into realistic outcomes using industry standards and best practices. Experience developing and sustaining relationships with senior leadership, administrators, faculty, staff and students. Experience leading and managing teams including hiring, managing performance, training, and professional development. Demonstrated commitment to working within a diverse environment and interacting openly with individuals of different backgrounds.

Previous financial leadership experience in higher education and/or a nonprofit organization. Experience at a liberal arts college or university. Knowledge of and experience using PeopleSoft.  

The successful candidate will be expected to perform the following duties and responsibilities at all times in a manner that supports the Colleges’ commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where people from different backgrounds can succeed and varying perspectives are welcome:

  • Develop and monitor annual salary and operating budgets totaling approximately $100 million
  • Train faculty and staff on any budgeting and forecasting systems used in their daily work
  • Provide regular budget reports, in collaboration with the Controller, to ensure effective financial control and timely identification of emerging financial issues, problems, and opportunities; advise VPFA of emerging issues and develop timely recommendations for corrective action as needed
  • Develop financial strategies to support strategic initiatives and major projects
  • Design, develop and monitor capital planning process including coordination with the Facilities Management team
  • Manage operational aspects of the endowment portfolio including custody, performance reporting, daily transactions, and valuations
  • Direct treasury operations including evaluating institutional liquidity and borrowing capacity, issuance of tax exempt or taxable bonds, forecasting and monitoring cash balances, and initiating transfers or trade order transactions 
  • Evaluate optimal structure for borrowings and opportunities for minimizing the cost of capital
  • Oversee and manage relationships with credit rating agencies, providing pertinent data and all other information for periodic ratings and disclosures
  • Serve as staff to the Financial Affairs, Buildings & Grounds, and Investment Committees of the Board of Trustees
  • Serve as primary liaison with Institutional Advancement; assist with drafting, negotiating, and finalizing gift agreements, trust documents, and endowment deeds
  • Ensure restricted gifts and endowment support are fully utilized on an annual basis in accordance with donor restrictions 
  • Manage the campus-wide risk management and insurance program which includes updating and monitoring Board-level key performance indicators and an enterprise risk management tool as well as managing relationships with the Colleges’ insurance brokers
  • Perform other duties as assigned