Vanderbilt University — Chief Business Officer (Office of the Provost, Graduate School, Office of Research)

Chief Business Officer (Office of the Provost, Graduate School, Office of Research) – (1900729)

The Chief Business Officer (CBO) provides overall leadership and support of financial and administrative operations of the assigned Provost and Vice Provost (VP) areas, directly assisting and supporting operational leads and serving as a member of the Financial Operations and Planning Team, reporting to the Finance Director under the leadership and guidance of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance. The Chief Business Officer 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 Vice Provosts 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.

Financial Operations and Planning provides leadership and support of the financial and business operations for the Vice Chancellors, Academic Deans, and Vice Provosts. This team is also responsible for developing annual and long-range operating and capital plans, performing financial analysis and financial modeling, generating management reports, and general project management for ad hoc strategic financial projects, consistent with a broad understanding of institutional mission and vision.

Duties and responsibilities

Fiscal Oversight

  • Serve as the primary business advisor to the Dean, Vice Provost 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 maximizes 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 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.
  • Actively partner and closely collaborate with key constituents to leverage opportunities and goals.
  • 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 responsible for implementing and maintaining effective internal controls (as guided by internal audit and leadership recommendations) for fiscal activities throughout the 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. Serve as 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.
  • Recruits, develops, and retains a talented and diverse team
  • Supervise, evaluate performance, and develop professional development plans for direct reports.

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education and 5 years of experience or the equivalent is necessary.
  • CPA and/or Master’s degree in Business Administration or related discipline is preferred.
  • At least five years of financial operations is necessary.
  • Ability to effectively distill complex data to essential elements is necessary.
  • Attentive to detail while never losing sight of the high-level, strategic direction and impact is necessary.
  • Sensitivity to the complexities of a campus community is necessary.
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills (e.g. honest, direct, and willing to discuss complex topics or provide difficult feedback) is necessary.
  • Ability to balance amongst numerous, different constituents and communicate with a wide range of audiences is necessary.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines is necessary.
  • Flexibility and able to deal with changes in approach and/or deliverables is necessary.
  • Ability to work independently while providing appropriate work status updates is necessary.
  • Ability to accept feedback as an opportunity for development, not as a criticism is necessary.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop the talents and expertise of staff so that they are able to assume expanded responsibilities is necessary
  • Ability to recruit and retain well-qualified, high-performing professionals is necessary.
  • Ability to move the organization forward even in the face of ambiguity and complexity is necessary.
  • Ability to maintain a positive, problem-solving attitude in the face of adversity is necessary.
  • 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 is preferred.
  • Skilled in Microsoft software and use of database is preferred.
  • Management/ supervisory experience is preferred.
  • Experience working in an academic setting is preferred.
  • Demonstrated reliability, creativity, and change-management skills are preferred.
  • Experience using Oracle ERP and HCM systems is preferred.

About Vanderbilt Benefits
Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses, and dependent children.

About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University 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. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2018 (Forbes).

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

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Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply