Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer

School of Education

University of Wisconsin−Madison


The University of Wisconsin−Madison (UW–Madison) seeks an inaugural Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for its School of Education. This is a new, senior-level role that will provide financial, operational, and administrative leadership for UW–Madison’s top-ranked School of Education.

Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. A major contributor to Wisconsin's economy, the university is the largest employer in the state, with over 21,600 faculty and staff.

The UW-Madison School of Education, like its peers, prepares a variety of professional educators through degree and certification programs in such areas as elementary and secondary education, educational leadership, special education, and counseling. But the school houses a much broader and more diverse array of undergraduate and graduate programs than traditional education schools — from studio art, modern dance and theatre to kinesiology and occupational therapy. In all, the School of Education is home to 10 academic departments.

The school's excellence flows from this diversity of offerings that are made possible by dedicated, top-caliber faculty and staff — many of whom are nationally and internationally prominent in a range of fields. Many of the school’s programs are ranked as being among the very best in the nation. The school is consistently achieving at the highest levels across the entire school — in the arts, education and health-related fields. The school is also home to the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER), one of the largest, oldest and most respected education research centers in the world.

Reporting to the dean, the CFO oversees financial planning, budget/resource management, business services, facilities management, and human resources. The CFO will join the school at a transformational time, with a dynamic new vision enunciated at the senior leadership levels of the school and university. This is a unique opportunity for an astute, entrepreneurial and energetic individual to support a culture of professionalism, financial sustainability, and strategic thinking within the administration of the school. The selected individual will assess the financial and administrative functions of the school and lead the continuous improvement of its financial and operational management.

The CFO will be a forward-thinking, strategic and flexible leader who can deal with today’s rapidly evolving educational, research, and financial environments. The ideal candidate will be able to formulate long range financial projections and plans, and be able to modify them thoughtfully to address changes in a fluid environment. Active participation in the school’s efforts to diversify and generate new revenue streams will be an area of emphasis. The CFO will develop a comprehensive understanding of all major internal and external programs of the school and work together with stakeholders and other members of the administration to manage the budget. Strong interpersonal skills, including verbal and written communication skills and a collegial personality, are a must.

Prospective candidates for this position could come from several career backgrounds, such as: a business, budget, or finance officer in a university or college central administration; a chief financial or business officer of a school, college, or large research center in a research university; a financial officer for a major non-academic administrative unit; or a financial officer in a contract research organization.

UW has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national search firm based in Boston, to conduct the search.


All inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover should be directed to

Daniel Rodas, Partner

Liz Vago, Managing Associate

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability, you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

Employment will require a criminal background check. It will also require you and your references to answer questions regarding sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).

The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinary policies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, and on-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statistics for the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a paper copy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin Police Department.