Merrimack College — Vice President, Financial Planning and Chief Business Officer

Merrimack College invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Financial Planning and Chief Business Officer (VPFP&CBO). This is an opportunity for a highly strategic and results driven leader who can be the strategic business officer for the College and a strong partner to the President and College leadership on financial modeling, process improvement, forecasting as well as act as point person on major financial negotiations for the College.

The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, and coeducational college nestled in the Boston suburbs of Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts and is an institution with great upward momentum. In the 2022 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Merrimack ranked 3 for Most Innovative Schools making improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities. U.S. News also ranked the College at 34 in the Regional Universities North category and 41 for Best Value Schools. Founded in 1947 by the Archbishop of Boston and the Order of St. Augustine, Merrimack strives to cultivate global citizens who are prepared to lead in today’s diverse and changing environment. Merrimack offers graduate programs and nearly 100 undergraduate programs in liberal arts, science and engineering, business, health sciences, and education and social policy.  The College has over 4,100 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students from 40 states and 38 countries who form an engaged community of thinkers, learners, and achievers integrated into an academic culture of excellence. Merrimack College has been recognized as one of the top 30 fastest growing institutions in the country.

This position is responsible for overseeing a broad array of financial and organizational matters of the College. The VPFP&CBO will report directly to the Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer (EVP/CFO/COO), advise the President, and work closely with the Vice President of Finance and Controller. The VPFP&CBO will oversee two direct reports in the budget office.  With the ongoing growth that is occurring at Merrimack College, this position is a great opportunity to play an essential role in being part of an emerging new structure at Merrimack as the college continues its unprecedented growth and transition to a research focused institution. Merrimack will look to continue implementing a new budget model with an RCM mindset, and the VPFP&CBO will work well with academic leadership to implement this initiative.  This role will be expected to lead internal analysis of current processes and procedures, helping to identify and propose plans for efficiencies and innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities to invest in future growth, as well as being responsible for oversight of major vendor contract negotiations and financial arrangements. Working with the EVP and President, this position will also work with the Board of Trustees on long range financial analysis and strategic initiatives for the College.

Merrimack seeks an experienced and accomplished leader with a demonstrated record of innovation and success in financial management who is familiar with the business operations of a non-profit, academic institution. Successful candidates will provide evidence of effective leadership of a diverse range of constituents, the ability to recruit and manage outstanding personnel, excellent communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively with other leaders, and a commitment to programmatic excellence. They must be familiar with current accounting and finance tools and principles. The ability to work effectively across boundaries with other College personnel to support and advance the College’s mission is critical. The next Vice President should be a mission driven leader committed to supporting a transformative educational experience for Merrimack’s students. The Vice President for Financial Planning and Chief Business Officer will be required to have a bachelor’s degree, while an advanced degree is highly preferred.

Specifically, the VPFP&CBO will need:

  • Competence in aspects of strategic planning, financial analysis, budgeting processes, and accountability;
  • Experience as an executive leader in a highly complex and fast-paced environment;
  • Experience with financial modeling and forecasting;
  • The capability to be decisive, make difficult decisions, and execute them effectively;
  • Experience in negotiating contracts, vendor agreements and major financial arrangements
  • Experience with reviewing existing major vendor contracts; recommending and renegotiating said contracts
  • Comfort in successfully operating in a matrix organizational structure;
  • Outstanding communication skills with a focus on transparency, coupled with the ability to translate technical and financial information with clarity and care to multiple constituencies;
  • A forward-thinking nature with an entrepreneurial and strategic mindset;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop trust and to operate with fairness, integrity, and diplomacy;
  • Experience in supporting governing boards and in staffing committees or subgroups on matters of financial analysis and budget management;
  • An ability to build relationships internally and externally and negotiate effectively;
  • A capacity to manage a diverse portfolio and represent and balance the needs of multiple constituencies;
  • Technological savvy with an ability to synthesize and use data to make informed decisions;
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and fostering a multi-cultural environment;
  • Leadership qualities that demonstrate high emotional intelligence and active listening skills coupled with a personable and approachable manner;
  • Core values that align with the mission and values of Merrimack College.

Additional information on the opportunity and the College can be found at  


The review of materials will begin immediately. Application materials shall include a resume and a cover letter outlining interest; administrative experience; academic experience; and experience with, and commitment to, our Catholic Augustinian mission, our values, and our desire to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution of higher learning. All applications and nominations will be treated confidentially. For best consideration, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Steve Leo, Managing Director
Jeffrey Alston, ED.D., Senior Associate
Brian Bustin, Senior Associate
Storbeck Search

For more information on Merrimack College and its programs, please consult its website:
Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer

This position is subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.
Required Vaccinations & Remote Work: Unless otherwise stated above, this is an on-campus position. This is not a remote or hybrid position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community. Merrimack College currently has a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students, faculty, and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.