Senior Vice President for Strategic Finance and Operations

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Barnard College, one of the most selective academic institutions in the United States with a unique partnership with Columbia University and a commitment to empowering exceptional women to change the world and the way we think about it, invites applications and nominations for the newly created position of Senior Vice President for Strategic Finance and Operations (SVP).

Reporting to the President, the SVP provides leadership in finance, facilities development and management, information technology, and other administrative areas. The SVP serves as a key member of the President’s cabinet and partners with the President and the senior leadership of the College in defining institutional priorities and goals, developing and deploying institutional resources, and addressing a wide range of issues from long-range planning to daily management. Barnard’s new SVP will have a broad and profound impact.

The SVP supports the College and increases its capacity and resiliency by leading well-conceived initiatives in strategic finance and operations and by ensuring that data-informed decisions about resources and operations occur within a comprehensive understanding of risks, rewards, and priorities.

While the SVP will have many opportunities to affect how Barnard operationalizes its mission, there are two signal areas in which, collaborating with colleagues and the board, they will make a measurable and lasting impact: in maximizing the financial resources – tuition, endowment, debt, philanthropy, fees, and other potential revenue sources – that Barnard can sustainably dedicate to advance its mission, and in developing the physical environment of the College so that it befits the level of academic work taking place on campus and advances the ambitions and accomplishments of students, faculty, and staff.

The SVP is centrally involved in Barnard’s strategic long-term planning and in efforts to achieve its most important goals, including those related to its four institutional areas of focus: STEM as a critical component of the liberal arts; health and wellness; social mobility and access; and lifelong success. Working with the President, senior leadership, and the Board of Trustees, the SVP helps to establish and assess priorities involving the College’s operations, budgetary resources, financial levers, and physical assets and ensures that planning, action, and measures of success are properly aligned to advance the College’s distinctive mission.

Qualifications

The President and the College seek an experienced, strategic leader with a proven track record of success in executive positions in complex, multi-constituent, mission-driven organizations. The SVP must bring the capacity to balance a broad view of the enterprise with attention to detail and consequence; the experience and acumen to develop financial plans and analyses that enable bold, confident, data-driven decision-making; and values that are consistent with the College. These values include transparency, collaboration, innovation, and integrity. While the SVP’s greatest impact will be felt in financial and operational strategy, innovation, and overall resource development and management, they must be able to execute and to be hands-on as necessary.

They will bring experience or familiarity with capital planning, facilities development, and facilities management. And they will be able to work collaboratively with a diverse group of staff, faculty, and students. The SVP will demonstrate a sustained commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their leadership and management activities, decisions, and recommendations.

The SVP will be an effective developer of people who can manage a large and complex portfolio of projects and issues and rapidly assess situations with multiple outcomes and consequences. They will be nimble and creative problem-solver with the ability to create or influence win-win outcomes. The SVP will be a team-builder, a consensus-builder, a counselor, a mediator, and a facilitator, and they will foster innovation.

The following specific qualifications are required (or preferred):

  • At least 10 years of experience, including several years in a senior-level finance or operating position at an institution of higher education or another complex, mission-driven organization
  • A high level of experience with strategic planning as well as with the expression of institutional priorities in long-range investment plans and financial risk management strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively communicate complex budget and financial and operational matters to a variety of constituents
  • Direct experience working with Boards
  • Intelligence, judgment, and analytical capacity to inform thoughtful, bold decision-making
  • Demonstrated results in promoting and supporting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively working in a collaborative/team environment with an array of stakeholders, including executive leadership and governance boards, direct reports, faculty, staff, students, and alumnae
  • Ability to effect change while respecting and working within institutional history and norms
  • Integrity, empathy, resilience, flexibility, boldness, creativity, good judgment, and capacity for vision
  • A bachelor’s degree with a track record of continuing education and professional development in the contemporary issues faced by a chief business officer in an educational or another relevant nonprofit setting (master’s or other advanced degree preferred)
  • Demonstrated experience with short- and long-term investing of operating, capital, and endowment funds, including policy development, investment management models, and investment monitoring, benchmarking, and reporting (preferred)

 

Barnard College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Barnard does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

Barnard College has retained Opus Partners (www.opuspartners.net) to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner, and Abigail Maynard, Associate are leading the search. Please send confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations to Abigail Maynard (abigail.maynard@opuspartners.net). Barnard College and Opus Partners will make every effort to sustain the confidentiality of the search process.