The University of Virginia seeks a highly collaborative and innovative financial executive to serve in the role of Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer. As one of the nation’s leading public institutions, UVA pushes the boundaries of what’s possible – always in the name of the greater good. One of the things that makes this possible is an unswerving commitment to initiatives that grow, strengthen, and shape the institution for the future. As UVA continues to leverage its existing strengths while building strong forward momentum, the university needs an astute fiscal leader to effective steward its resources, collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders, and foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture. The next Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer will be joining the institution at a pivotal period marked by an ambitious strategic plan that positions the institution to be the best public university by 2030.
Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer is expected to bring exceptional leadership and strategic fiscal oversight to the University of Virginia’s strong financial portfolio (FY 2021 net assets $12.8 billion; $2.1 billion Academic Division operating budget; $13.6 billion endowment) and will collaborate with the financial leadership in the Medical Center that has oversight for an additional $2.7 billion operating budget. Working in close partnership with the Executive Vice President, President, Board of Visitors, and other key internal and external stakeholders, the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for University’s consolidated financial statements, as well as providing financial strategy and effective resource allocation to enable the key strategic initiatives and priorities of the University during a period of transformation. The Chief Financial Officer must be an excellent communicator committed to the highest ethical and professional standards with demonstrated ability to effectively engage with a diverse set of stakeholders by fostering transparency, collaboration, and innovation.
The University of Virginia seeks a Chief Financial Officer who will provide strategic financial oversight, effectively steward its assets, and provide effective financial counsel to aid the University in realizing its ambitious goals. The successful candidate will possess strong technical expertise, broad leadership experience, and a collaborative style that engenders trust. In addition to overseeing all facets of the University’s financial operation and fiscal strategy, the Chief Financial Officer will work with members of the Board of Visitors as well as engage with a variety of external stakeholders including suppliers, financial advisors, commercial and investment bankers, and the Commonwealth of Virginia administration. With the support of a talented staff of 125, the Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for the consolidated audit and financial statements of the University and manage the Academic Division’s budget of $2.1B.
The University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 to advance human knowledge, educate leaders and cultivate an informed citizenry. Today, UVA is a diverse global community of over 45,800 students, faculty and staff. University students represent virtually every state in the U.S., and 124 countries, and our 224,000 alumni are active in support of our mission to serve the greater good.
For 2022-23, the University was tied at No. 3 as top public schools by U.S. News & World Report. In the 19 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, UVA has ranked in the top three and continues to rank in the Top 30 among the best of all national universities, public and private. UVAHealth is a renowned academic medical center committed to providing outstanding patient care, educating tomorrow's health care leaders and discovering new and better ways to treat disease.
A World Treasure
In 1987, UNESCO named the University (in conjunction with Monticello) a World Heritage Site. This rare distinction has been bestowed upon only the world's most culturally significant landmarks. As a proud recipient of this honor, UVA is one of only two such sites still being used for its original purpose. Today, the original Academical Village continues to bring Jefferson's vision to life every day. The Rotunda—originally the University's library—still serves as the heart of the University. The eastern and western sides of the Lawn retain the unique pavilions and student living quarters originally sketched by Jefferson. These buildings continue to play a major role in the University's community, housing our most honored faculty and student leaders, living and learning together. The University has begun to explore the critical and previously unrecognized role of the enslaved laborer more deeply in the construction of this historic landscape. The Memorial to the Enslaved Laborers, 2020 winner of The Architect’s Newspaper’s Project of the Year, sits within the borders of the World Heritage Site and seeks to formally acknowledge the work and the individual lives of the enslaved African Americans who built and sustained the every-day life of the University.
The University has developed an exceptionally strong financial foundation as exhibited by a $12.8 billion net position on June 30, 2021 and a consensus triple-A bond rating. The three major rating agencies have noted the University’s excellent reputation; student demand, highly selective admissions, and broad geographic reach; sponsored research prowess; superior wealth and liquidity management; exceptional strategic positioning supported by strong planning, risk management, and ongoing prospects to support programmatic investments; the Medical Center’s prominent clinical reputation and ability to compete for patient care revenue; and remarkable donor support, among other factors.
The $4.8 billion FY23 annual budget encompasses the Medical Center ($2.7 billion), the Academic Division ($2.1 billion), and the College at Wise ($71 million). Significant revenue sources for the Academic Division include tuition and fees (36%), externally sponsored research (22%), endowment distribution (13%), state appropriations (11%), expendable gifts (9%), and sales and services (9%).
The University and its associated organizations have approximately $13.6 billion invested in the University of Virginia Investment Management Company’s (UVIMCO) long-term pool as of June 30, 2022, boosted by the long-term performance of UVIMCO, which has achieved an 11.0% return over the past ten years, compared to a benchmark of 7.3%.
The University has transformed significant parts of its operations (HR and Finance) and implemented new cloud-based systems that will enable UVA to provide best-in-class analysis, services, and support in a rapidly changing environment. UVAFinance celebrated a successful go-live of Workday Financials in July 2022. Leveraging this state-of-the-art technology, the Chief Financial Officer will be responsible for fostering a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence for all financial and business processes.
UVA was founded to question convention, to expand understanding and to harness the "useful sciences" to advance society. Two centuries later, as a major research institution, we continue to uphold the ideals that made us unique among universities: our pursuit of discovery through collaboration and cross-disciplinary exploration. With core investments in strengthening our research capabilities, UVA is focusing research on intellectual and societal challenges where it can have the most impact. As part of this effort, the University invests in several cross-disciplinary initiatives that address complex challenges – including Data Science, Environmental Resilience, Global Infectious Disease, and the Brain – that provide valuable educational and research opportunities and generate scholarship and research with a measurable impact. These initiatives align with societal needs and create new knowledge that produces unanticipated technologies and innovative ideas. UVA was awarded $449 million in sponsored research awards in FY22.
2030 Good and Great Strategic Plan
The 2030 Strategic Plan sets out the ambitious goal for the University to be the best public university in 2030, and to be both great and good. The plan is built around four overarching goals: to strengthen our foundation, to cultivate the most vibrant community in higher education, to enable discoveries that enrich and improve lives, and to make UVA synonymous with service. To learn about the strategic plan, please visit: The2030Plan.201908.pdf (virginia.edu)
Located in Central Virginia just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville offers stunning beauty, extraordinary culture and an inexhaustible list of things to do. From world-class restaurants to cultural events like the Virginia Film Festival and Festival of the Book, to hiking and kayaking along the scenic Rivanna River, to a variety of music venues including John Paul Jones Arena and the Charlottesville Pavilion, Charlottesville offers a quality of life, community feel and natural beauty. The town boasts an incredible sports scene provided by the University. In recent years, UVA has won national or ACC titles in men's basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, rowing and track and field. It also boasts a vibrant and rapidly growing entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. A wonderful place to raise a family, Charlottesville and Albemarle County have schools that are consistently ranked top in Virginia and the nation.
Just outside the city limits, Albemarle County offers a 726 square-mile area of land that is home to an unusually rich variety of cultural, natural and historic attractions. Most notable among these is Monticello, the famous home designed by Thomas Jefferson, where he spent many years of his life living, working and writing.
Charlottesville is easily accessible with multiple daily Amtrak service to Washington DC and enjoys its own convenient airport. The Richmond International Airport and Washington DC Dulles International Airport are about 60 and 90 miles away, respectively. This juxtaposition of a bustling city and rural life creates a rich diversity in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The Charlottesville MSA has a population of about 225,000 people.
Diverse and Inclusive Teams is a core value of UVAFinance: We value diversity, equity, inclusivity, and respect. We strive to create a culture where every team member feels included and valued, and where different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas are celebrated. UVAFinance is committed to the belief that diversity in all its forms is not merely a desirable complement to excellence; it is an essential component of it. The diversity of our team itself, and our team's commitment to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, strengthens our ability to effectively serve staff, faculty, students, suppliers, and the University community. Within UVAFinance, we are taking these efforts seriously, both in terms of our service to the University, the community, and our commitment to our employees.
Reporting to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring the highest standards of fiscal integrity, stewardship of financial resources, and protection of assets. To this end, the Chief Financial Officer will be a fully engaged and active partner to senior leadership, Board of Visitors members, UVA community, and key external stakeholders. The Chief Financial Officer will liaise with the Chairs of the Finance and Audit, Compliance, and Risk Committees. In addition, the Chief Financial Officer will play an active role on a number of university-wide committees.
The Chief Financial Officer has oversight of the University’s consolidated audit and financial statements, tax filings, debt management and other treasury activities, and payroll. Within the Academic Division, the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for procurement and supplier diversity, accounts payable, financial planning and analysis, financial systems, financial reporting and analytics, enterprise risk management, and financial compliance. The CFO oversees a diverse and talented staff committed to supporting the University to achieve its mission and critical goals. With 125 financial staff, the Chief Financial Officer has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the University of Virginia’s financial operations effectively serve its faculty, staff, and students.
In the context of the Chief Financial Officer role, the next leader will be expected to:
• Lead UVA’s finances during a period of transformation. Oversee a comprehensive financial strategy aimed at supporting the University’s strategic priorities and vision;
• Partner with leaders and stakeholders on strategic financial visioning aimed at understanding short- and long-term business plans and developing effective strategies to align resources to achieve business objectives;
• Serve as the face of finance advancing relationships with the university community, partners, and external constituents;
• Develop and champion UVAFinance’s vision, mission, and guiding principles in support of the University's core mission and strategic initiatives;
• Effectively engage with the Board of Visitors and its committees presenting key financial and operational data including but not limited to the annual budget, financial reports, audit results, enterprise risk management, debt actions, and other important matters;
• Champion UVA’s Inclusive Excellence framework to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts;
• Fully leverage the new, cloud based state-of-the-art financial system to support decision making and organizational effectiveness as well as mitigate risk;
• Foster collaborative relationships by maintaining transparency and regular communication with the University community on financial matters;
• Develop and implement metrics and key performance indicators to determine ongoing progress against University goals as well as benchmarking efforts with peer institutions;
• Lead a highly effective and proactive team who serve as collaborative partners working towards strategic continuous improvement and service excellence in support of enterprise-wide endeavors;
• Provide strong leadership and expertise across a broad range of financial areas in a highly decentralized environment;
• Be responsible for the University’s audited financial statements, including the consolidation of all entities (Academic Division, Medical Center, and College at Wise) and the inclusion of component units.
• Partner with the leadership of the Medical Center finance operations;
• Manage relationships with suppliers, external financial advisors and various commercial and investment bankers, Commonwealth of Virginia administrators, and others key stakeholders.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced financial professional with proven leadership skills in a large, complex environment with the ability to develop effective policies, procedures, and programs within a large university setting. Given UVA's strong collegial environment, it is essential that the Chief Financial Officer lead with trust and transparency providing forward-thinking strategic counsel to the university community. The Chief Financial Officer must be a strong communicator and collaborative team member with the ability to establish strong working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders. It is critical that the next leader work collaboratively with a diverse set of university stakeholder groups with an emphasis on customer service in support of the University's strategic direction as well as balance the strategic needs and compliance requirements in a supportive manner.
The ideal candidate will have a successful track record that includes:
• A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in a large, diverse, and decentralized organization is required;
• An effective, balanced, and collaborative leadership style that combines a capacity for strategic vision with technical expertise in effective fiscal management;
• Demonstrated understanding of accounting, financial planning and analysis, procurement, financial systems, and treasury policies and best practices;
• Knowledge of best practices and trends in higher education financial operations along with active participation in financial issues at the national level;
• Strong technical ability including experience in accounting and financial reporting, financial planning, tax, procurement, and financial systems;
• Familiarity with and current knowledge of federal, state, local, and university rules, regulations, directives, policies, and procedures concerning financial activities;
• Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a comprehensive and strategic vision, including planning, resource allocation, creative problem-solving, and commitment to continuous improvement;
• Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundational value central to the University’s mission;
• Demonstrated capacity to communicate broadly across an institution coupled with the ability to distill complex financial information and concepts to a broad array of stakeholders;
• Excellent interpersonal, communications, negotiation, conflict resolution, and team-building skills coupled with the ability to manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced deadline driven environment;
• Strong commitment to maintaining the highest levels of integrity and adhering to strong ethical principles of financial management; high level of professionalism with a demonstrated ability to gain confidence at all levels.
A graduate degree is required.
Compensation and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
Candidate nominations and interested and qualified candidates are welcome to submit a resume and cover letter to: UVACFO@KornFerry.com
The University of Virginia ("UVA") does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status (which includes active duty service members, reserve service members, and dependents), national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information, in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Governor's Executive Order Number One (2018), and other applicable statutes and University policies. UVA prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, and other forms of interpersonal violence.