Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance

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Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance


Reporting to the President, the Senior Vice President (SVP) for Operations and Finance serves as a key member of the senior leadership team with the responsibility to develop financial and operational strategies that will support the University's academic mission.


The SVP is responsible for overseeing the divisional units through a focus on operational excellence and service. These units and areas of responsibility are:


Finance: institutional budget development & financial management, controller's office, treasurer’s office, finance delivery, accounts receivable, procurement, and payroll, benefits, and tax accounting.


Operations: facilities services, campus planning, design and construction, utilities enterprise and sustainability initiatives, specialty business services and cultural arts which includes, Reiman Gardens, Postal and Parcel Services, Logistics & Support Services, Transportation Services, Printing Services, ISU Bookstore, Veenker Golf Course, and University Museums


The SVP partners effectively with the senior leaders across the University and thinks creatively to identify opportunities that maximize financial and operational efficiencies, and manages the change required to realize these efficiencies. In addition, this position plays a key role in the continuing implementation of Workday – Finance and Planning and the development and implementation of Workday – Student and Receivables.


The SVP interacts with the Iowa Board of Regents and is responsible for providing transparent and timely information to ensure the Board can fulfill its duties.


The SVP participates in all aspects of institutional planning and program development in support of Iowa State's land-grant mission and strategic plan; works collaboratively with other divisions and across the University to identify and advance shared goals and interests; serves as the contract officer for Ames National Laboratory; participates on committees and in activities to promote the success of the institution, administration, faculty, staff, and students; and participates in professional organizations and community activities to promote the institution locally, statewide, and nationally.


The successful candidate must demonstrate a record of strong leadership skills in a complex organization; the ability to act in the best interest of Iowa State University by identifying opportunities for improvement and generating strategies and solutions to bring about change.




Bachelor’s degree and 15 years of progressively responsible financial and administrative experience in large complex organizations


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in finance or accounting or other relevant advanced degree from an accredited institution, MBA, MAcc and/or other financial related professional accreditation such as CPA.
  • Ten (10) or more years of experience in a fiscal leadership role.
  • Demonstrated expertise and success in managing complex facilities and infrastructure.
  • Demonstrated expertise in financial management and forecasting to evaluate industry-specific fiscal conditions (current and future) and guide policy and business decisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster a community with a culture of inclusiveness where community members create and support diversity.
  • Proven ability to lead and achieve change and improve processes and systems in a large, multi-area organization.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing innovative and creative ideas in an operational or financial setting.


Ideal Candidate Must Demonstrate

  • Business Strategy & Acumen: Thinks strategically and seeks to align divisional services and goals with institutional strategic goals. Asks critical questions to delve to root cause to identify solutions. Understands the importance of transparency and the interconnection of decisions, actions, outcomes, and measures. Considers higher education culture in strategy development.
  • Professional Knowledge and Application: Takes initiative to develop and apply professional knowledge and skills in order to enhance individual effectiveness and improve organizational performance. Creates opportunities to apply new learnings and best practices into innovative solutions that positively impact results. Seeks opportunities for development for both self and the team.
  • Business Execution: Leverages professional expertise to assess areas of opportunity, identify solutions and effectively execute the plan. Exhibits a high-level of integrity and business ethics. Demonstrates a high level of planning and organizational skills and the ability to move projects forward to completion with thoughtful consideration for change impacts. Self-motivated and accountable for results. Seeks advice and input from others and recognizes when to escalate issues or seek help.
  • Communication: Demonstrates the ability to deliver accurate, concise, and quality communication (verbal and written) in a timely manner. Demonstrates emotional intelligence and encourages an open exchange of ideas and differing perspectives. Adapts communication style to meet the needs of diverse audiences and situations. Listens to understand others.
  • Relationship Management: Works to build and manage productive relationships with peers, leaders, and customer groups. Effectively engages and interacts with others to collaborate and provide value-added support that enhances university results and team effectiveness. Affects outcomes and direction of customer’s decisions through effective relationships, trust, and credibility.
  • Leadership: Demonstrates an openness and flexibility towards new ideas and concepts and effectively influences or facilitates during times of change. Champions inclusivity and diversity. Helps others become more effective through development and coaching. Provides candid feedback, knowledge, resources, and opportunities to improve the performance of others and to increase their contributions. Sets clear expectations for performance, provides meaningful feedback, holds employees accountable, and recognizes successes.

Nomination and Application Process

The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to October 3, 2022. For additional information, please contact:


Laurie C. Wilder, President

Porsha Williams, Vice President

Erin Raines, Senior Principal

Parker Executive Search

Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328

770-804-1996 ext.: 117 ||