Chief Financial Officer

Clarkson University


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Chief Financial Officer


Potsdam, New York


Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, seeks a visionary, collaborative, and forward-thinking leader to serve as its next Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Reporting to the President and serving as a key member of the University’s senior leadership team, the CFO plays a primary role in budget development and management, financial planning for the institution, and strategic planning and implementation as the senior fiscal steward of

resources for Clarkson.


The CFO oversees a broad portfolio in leading an operations team of seven direct reports, including the director of financial aid; director of budgets and planning; controller; director of project management; director of facilities & services; and director of legal affairs, compliance & risk management. In addition, the CFO will direct, coordinate, and administer the activities of the University Business and Financial Affairs Division, including endowment, enterprise risk management, legal affairs, compliance, purchasing, student accounts, student records, student financial aid, annual and long-term operating and capital budgets, general accounting, accounts payable, fixed assets, and information technology. Clarkson’s annual operating budget totaled $132 million, and the University has an endowment of approximately $198 million. The position can be located on the Potsdam campus or in the Capital Region Campus in Schenectady, New York.


Clarkson’s main campus is located on 640 wooded acres in Potsdam, New York, adjacent to the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, with other campuses in the Capital Region of New York (Schenectady) and Beacon, as well as partnerships in Saranac Lake (in partnership with the Trudeau Institute). Its 4,800 undergraduate and graduate students hail from 43 states and 50 countries, and the university employs 840+ faculty and staff. Clarkson produces remarkably effective and entrepreneurial engineers, scientists, educators, health professionals, businesspeople, and creative leaders by creating an exceptionally demanding, boundary-spanning educational experience. Clarkson graduates earn salaries that are among the top 2% in the nation; one in five alumni already leads as a CEO, senior executive, or owner of a company.


The successful candidate will be an innovative and resourceful leader who will collaborate with the senior leaders and communicate in an honest and direct manner. A proven track record of quality and integrity with an expertise in current financial methodology and regulations is essential. The CFO will have strong skills in communications, interpersonal relations, concise report writing and the ability to build a culture of trust and transparency. In essence, excellent oral, written and presentation skills, along with exceptional listening skills, are essential.


Minimal qualifications for the position are a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance or related discipline with a preference for an individual with a master’s degree and/or professional certifications. The CFO will have 10 or more years of progressive responsibilities in financial administration, as well as significant leadership and management experience in business and finance, including complex financial transactions, key performance indicators (KPIs), due diligence, contract negotiations and strategic planning. An understanding of the academic environment, governance, and values, along with a state-of-the-art knowledge of information systems, accounting, and investments, will be preferred. The CFO will address a set of key opportunities and challenges to help ensure Clarkson’s ongoing success, including leading the University Business and Financial Affairs Division with transparency, stability and open communication; supporting Clarkson’s mission and strategic plan; revising the University’s budgeting process to ensure participation and communication; implementing state-of-the-art systems and business solutions that promote proactive financial management; advancing diversity, equity and inclusion; and maintaining external relationships with important constituents and other potential partners. Clarkson University has retained the services of Isaacson, Miller — a national executive search firm — to assist in conducting this important search and to help identify outstanding candidates. 


All inquiries, nominations/referrals and resumes can be sent electronically and in confidence to:


Dan Rodas, Partner

Gregg Glover, Senior Associate

Isaacson, Miller


An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, Clarkson actively seeks and encourages applications from minorities, women, and people with disabilities. All offers of employment are subject to the applicant successfully passing a background check (including, but not limited to, employment verification, educational and other credential verification, and criminal records).