University of St. Thomas

Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller

St. Paul
Jul 05, 2017
Jul 07, 2017
Job Type
Employment Status
Full Time

The University of St. Thomas seeks an accomplished and visionary financial leader for the position of Associate Vice President for Finance and Controller.

Reporting to the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, the AVP and Controller is a key member of the financial leadership team and will be responsible for providing university-wide leadership and strategic oversight of financial accounting and compliance to assist the university’s academic leadership, administrative management and board members in the efficient and effective monitoring, management, and control of the financial resources of the university.  The AVP and Controller is a key participant in managing risk exposure for the university.  The position will work closely and collaboratively with executive leadership and budget and financial managers across the institution to provide strong management reporting and controls with excellent customer service throughout the university.

The AVP and Controller will enhance systems and develop best practices to support the education and mission of the university, while ensuring high standards of compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.  The successful candidate will lead an office committed to improving processes and to providing outstanding service in an increasingly complex and demanding regulatory environment.  The AVP and Controller will strengthen collaborations and relationships across the university to better serve the mission and to communicate financial policies and procedures.  The position will look outside the university to anticipate regulatory challenges and to understand how best to meet them.

The University is implementing an incentive-based, decentralized financial planning and budget management model to better align academic priorities, unit accountability, and financial planning objectives.  The AVP and Controller will work closely with the AVP, Financial Planning and Budgeting and executive leadership to facilitate and ensure the successful implementation of this new system and participate in its continuous refinement ensuring that the model aligns financial decisions with strategic priorities as well as financial and compliance requirements. 

In the mid-future, the university will look at alternative ERP systems in a likely conversion from Banner to a different vendor.  The AVP and Controller will be a key person in the evaluation and transition to a new ERP system.

The key objectives and responsibilities of the AVP and Controller include:

  • External audit, Form 990/990-T and general accounting. Oversee the annual external audit, including single audit of federal funds and preparation of the audit report.  Lead the annual closing process, decisions as to the treatment of various financial issues and coordination with the CFO, staff accountants, and external auditors.  The audit report is used by donors, bondholders, banks, rating agencies (Moody's), government agencies, and others to judge the financial strength of the University.  This task includes following generally accepted accounting principles, and presenting information in a clear, concise, and fair manner.  Coordination of the preparation of the University’s annual IRS Form 990/990T information returns and establishing policies and procedures to ensure compliance with state and federal tax laws.
  • Financial reporting and analysis. Develop and oversee financial reports, dashboards, and key performance indicators to executive management, deans and vice presidents, financial managers, and others on a monthly and an ad hoc basis.  Monthly reports currently include departmental revenue and expense, endowment funds, restricted and capital (equipment) funds.  Special purpose reports include, capital project financing plans, projections for new programs, cash flow projections with present value discounting options, and buy vs. lease analyses. 
  • Project year-end results. Several times per year, in collaboration with schools, colleges, and divisions, the Controller will prepare a detailed projection of year-end operating results.  Using the projection analysis, the Controller will advise the CFO, AVP of Financial Planning and Budgeting, and others about any necessary corrective action required to ensure balanced year-end performance.
  • Financial systems. Improve and monitor financial related computer systems.  Oversee the processes by which external financial related software systems interface with the ERP Finance system.  Assess risks and direct procedures for how the internal system processes and stores information.  Maintain a system of controls over all financial transactions including cash receipts, payroll and disbursements.  Oversee the identification and resolution of any technical accounting issues.
  • Business risk and compliance issues. Monitor and improve business processes and procedures to ensure the safeguarding of university assets and to promote the efficient use of resources by providing timely and accurate information.  This includes monitoring business risk controls, and providing internal performance reports. Stays current on policies, practices, and procedures with FASB, local, state, and federal regulations as well as university policies.  Provides guidance to departments regarding financial policies and procedures, and enforces the university’s fiscal compliance with all regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Internal Financial Audits and Controls. Plan, oversee, and review all internal financial operating audits and assessments designed to define and identify internal control weaknesses.  Develop, document, and implement effective policies and procedures for improving internal controls.
  • Miscellaneous financial matters and special projects. Provide pro-active, strategic leadership to executive management and others on financial issues as they arise.  For example, estimate the long-term impact of a new capital campaign, present value analysis of a long-term donor pledge, collect information for a new bond issue, or provide external financial stakeholders with university financial information. 
  • Plan, direct, and monitor financial and accounting activities. Directs the operations and completion of key financial and accounting activities within the Controller’s Office, ensuring compliance with generally accepted accounting principles, federal and state regulations, and University policies.  Manages accounting and technical staff within the department.  There are seven full-time employees within the department.
  • Key areas of responsibility within the Controller’s Office include bank and investment account reconciliations, fixed asset capitalization and depreciation, debt accounting, endowment return allocation and spending draw calculation, contributions receivable, post award grants management, internal audit, external institutional financial surveys, maintenance of chart of accounts and approval queues, and management of security access to financial reports. The Controller’s Office also maintains the university’s fiscal agent relationships with external nonprofit organizations.

This is a full-time, benefits eligible position. The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, vision, life, long-term care, legal, and disability insurance coverages. Offerings also include retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, a health savings account, and an employee assistance program. The University provides tuition remission to its employees, spouses, and dependents. In addition, the University values a healthy work/life balance and has generous provisions for paid time off.



The University of St. Thomas is seeking a committed and experienced professional with proven leadership skills in a complex environment.  The successful candidate will have accounting and financial systems experience and creative ability to develop fiscal policies, procedures and program systems within the larger context of a strategic financial and business planning environment.  The successful candidate must be a strong communicator, effective project manager, collaborative team player and possess the ability to establish and maintain cooperative and collaborative working relationships within and across organizational units.  The position will be a consensus builder, comfortable facilitating change, proven ability to engage various constituencies in difficult and challenging decisions, and serve as an articulate spokesperson and representative of the university. 

The successful candidate will be well grounded in accounting rules and procedures, with a proven track record of working across the enterprise to solve problems and advance an institution’s goals.  This position is the Chief Accounting Officer of the university.

Candidates with higher education experience are preferred.  Specific qualifications include:

  • Intellectually inquisitive: Knowledgeable about and open to, leading edge changes in business practices that could support the university in a more cost effective and efficient manner.
  • Strategic ability: Able to see ahead clearly, anticipating future consequences and trends accurately.  Able to create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.
  • Change leader: Ensures that business changes are implemented and realized to their full potential through effective leadership and change sponsorship.
  • Strong manager: Able to recruit, develop, motivate, and manage a diverse professional staff and hold staff accountable for accurate, timely results, and excellent customer service.  Experience building high-performing teams, fostering open dialogue, setting a tone and expectation of excellence, continual improvement, and strong customer service to the university and to external parties who interact with the office.
  • Effective communicator: Able to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization including senior management and the Board.  A sophisticated understanding of how best to communicate policy and procedures across the university.
  • Customer focus: Dedication to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers.  Establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
  • Effective implementer: Experience advancing ideas from plan to results with processes that ensure input and feedback from campus constituents and superb listening and influencing skills.  Able to cultivate trust and credibility with colleagues.
  • Well-organized: Able to ensure all deliverables are met on time with excellent products and anticipates implementation or workload issues related to emerging developments.
  • Exceptional personal qualities: A reputation for integrity and the highest ethical standards; sound judgment and enthusiasm; creativity in solving problems; collegial style and keen desire to be an integral part of the university community.

Technical skills, experience and training:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in accounting or finance, a CPA certification, and seven (7) years of professional accounting experience, three (3) years of which were in a managerial/supervisory role. Higher education experience preferred.
  • Knowledge of: Principles and practices of nonprofit accounting, general fund accounting, including methods of financial auditing, reporting and financial statement preparation; contract negotiation; employee management including selection, work planning, organization, performance review and evaluation, training and discipline; developing teams, motivating employees and managing in a team environment; applicable laws, codes and regulations; computer applications related to the work; records management.

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.  The successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission statement.

In light of its commitment to create and maintain a safe learning and working environment, employment with the University of St. Thomas requires successful completion of a background screening.

The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota Human Resources Department advertises the official job listing on its website. If you are viewing this posting from a site other than “Jobs at St. Thomas”, the University assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information.

The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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