Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs

Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs


Seattle University seeks outstanding candidates for their next Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs. Reporting to the President, the Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs (CFO) is responsible for leading key business functions for the university, including finance, accounting, facilities, and auxiliaries, in support of the achievement of Seattle University's mission, vision and values, its Jesuit Catholic tradition and the strategic goals of the University. The campus is located in the heart of Seattle, a city with thousands of acres of parkland surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreens.


Dedicated to educating the whole person to professional formation and empowering leaders for a just and humane world, Seattle University encourages its students to grow academically, personally and spiritually, test their values, develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community, and learn about making ethical choices in their lives. Seattle University students learn to balance self-reliance with interdependence, knowledge with spirituality, and mind with heart. Seattle University’s highly dedicated faculty and staff guide students in these pursuits. Its faculty members engage in teaching, research, and service with a clear focus on academic excellence, justice, leadership, and diversity. The next CFO will help to ensure that our students continue to receive an unparalleled education.


The CFO serves as the strategic financial partner of the President and University leadership. The CFO is responsible for the finance and treasury functions, endowment and investment management, financial and management reporting, financial and capital management and budgeting, facilities management and services, and management of the University auxiliaries. The CFO works closely with leadership throughout the University to develop strategies to strengthen its business, financial and administrative plans, and policies to achieve its strategic goals. The position is a key strategic, leadership, and managerial role at Seattle University.


The CFO advises the President and Cabinet on financial and business matters relating to the University and the campus. The CFO directs all financial operations including budgeting, accounting, procurement, cash, risk and asset management. The CFO develops financial planning processes to ensure that financial plans are aligned with University goals, which includes preparing financial models and annual and long term operating and capital budgets that provide for the realization of the University’s growth. The CFO also has responsibility for all reporting and compliance related to fiscal activity, for investment and debt management, and for promoting the development and growth of the University.


In addition to the financial team, the CFO provides leadership for Facilities and Auxiliary Services of the University. Facilities is responsible for planning and real estate management, design and construction, and operations and maintenance for more than two million square feet of offices, classrooms and residential space on a fifty acre campus in the heart of the city. The CFO provides guidance in developing and maintaining a long term facilities plan to support the University’s strategies and goals, and ensures that financial resources are available to support the capital plan. The CFO works collaboratively with the AVP of Facilities and University Counsel to develop and manage strategic relationships with third parties in support of the University’s capital plan and facilities operations.


The CFO manages Auxiliary Services, including Conference & Event Services, the campus store, food services, reprographics/mail and the 1111 Madison storage operations. Auxiliary Services ensures the needs of the students, faculty and staff are met with a high level of customer service in a cost effective manner. The CFO works to oversee SU employees and manage relationships with third party providers for Auxiliary Services.


The CFO is a member of the President's Cabinet, and staffs the Finance Committee, Investment Committee, Audit Committee and the Facilities and Technology Committee of the University's Board of Trustees.


Specific Responsibilities

University Leadership:

  • Serve as a member of the President's Cabinet;
  • Provide financial and business guidance to support the University’s mission and goals;
  • Participate in the development and implementation of University strategy;
  • Oversee key administrative functions for the University, including Finance, Facilities, and Auxiliary Services;
  • In collaboration with Human Resources, ensure effective leadership and a talent management program is in place to manage each of the areas reporting to the CFO; and
  • Support the development of financial expertise and leadership throughout the university.


Financial Planning and Oversight:

  • Oversee all financial operations including budgeting, accounting, procurement, cash management, and risk and asset management;
  • Ensure the provision of adequate, accurate and timely data for strategic decision-making and operational leadership;
  • Develop financial planning processes to prioritize and ensure that the short and long term financial plans are aligned with the goals of the University. This includes a multi-year financial plan, preparing financial models and annual and long term operating and capital budgets that provide for the realization of the University’s goals;
  • Lead the development of policies, planning guidelines, and procedures for the University's capital planning including development of the 10-Year Facilities Plan;
  • Oversee investment strategy, endowment management and treasury functions;
  • Provide analysis and recommendations regarding the University’s debt policy and access to financing. Oversee and monitor major financing and financial agreements related to real estate development and other activities of the institution; and
  • Manage and coordinate the University’s relationship with financial rating agencies ensuring sustained competitive financial ratings for the University.


Engagement and Communications:

  • Promote effective communications across the campus on financial and administrative matters;
  • Offer opportunities for faculty, staff and students to provide input to the CFO on the University’s finances; and
  • Provide financial and budget transparency for faculty, staff and student constituents.


Board and External Relations:

  • Staff and provide information and analysis to the Board of Trustees and the Board’s Finance, Investment, Audit, and Facilities and Technology Committees;
  • Ensure that the Board of Trustees is informed about and confident in the financial management of the University and support board members in fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities; and
  • Represent the University as a member of professional associations and with other partner organizations.


The desired candidates will have these experiences and qualifications:


Required Qualifications and Qualities:

  • A Bachelor's degree;
  • At least ten to fifteen years of progressively responsible financial leadership experience;
  • Demonstrated technical competence in financial functional areas including financial reporting, internal controls development and implementation, financial planning and budgeting, financial systems implementation and management, and treasury and debt management;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and work proactively in the creation and management of financial and administrative solutions resulting in organizational growth and success;
  • Experience working effectively with a Board of Trustees as a whole, the Finance Committee and other applicable Board Committees;
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with peers and subordinates and effectively with other internal and external constituents;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Must demonstrate a strong understanding of and commitment to Seattle University's Jesuit, Catholic tradition, mission, vision and values; and
  • Proven commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in accounting, finance, business or a related field; Certified Public Accountant;
  • Experience working in or managing facilities;
  • Experience as a member of an organization’s senior leadership team;
  • Demonstrated leadership in developing relationships with the business community; and
  • Professional experience in higher education.


Personal / Professional Characteristics:

  • Impeccable commitment to operating with high standards of ethics and integrity, professionally and personally;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to deal effectively with faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as the Board of Trustees and other members of the university community;
  • Demonstrated ability to establish credibility and trust with broad and diverse constituencies;
  • Commitment to excellence in achieving the division’s goals and supporting the university’s strategic initiatives;
  • Effective problem solving skills and the ability to engage others to address complex issues collaboratively;
  • Strong leadership skills to establish vision and inspire and motivate others to achieve extraordinary results;
  • Poised under pressure and able to maintain a sense of humor in stressful situations; and
  • Ability to balance competing demands and multiple responsibilities, making progress on long-term projects and addressing urgent needs.


For a full position profile, please click here.


Seattle University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest and nominations to Liz Neumann, Beth Schaefer, and Josyanne Roche here.


The University provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, political ideology, or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfers, leaves of absence, compensation, benefits, and training.


The University administers all policies, practices, and procedures in ways that are consistent with the University’s Catholic and Jesuit character.