Chief Financial Officer

New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 09, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


A growing university with an inspiring mission to transform the lives of its students, Adelphi University, New York has key elements for success in place: strong leadership, world-class faculty, a compelling strategic plan and an extraordinary commitment to diversity. Now we seek a Chief Financial Officer to lead the transformation of the University's financial operations.

Adelphi University in New York invites nominations and applications for the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The CFO reports directly to the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration (EVPFA) and is a crucial member of his leadership team. The CFO will work closely with the Executive Vice President and other executives to advance the institution's overall strategic objectives and strategic plan, Momentum.

Founded in 1896, Adelphi University is a nationally-ranked, research doctoral private university. With more than 8,200 students, the University offers more than 100 different degree programs at the bachelor, master's, doctoral, and professional levels.

Adelphi University's annual revenues from all sources were over $220 million in FY 19-20. Operating expenses average around $215 million per year, and the endowment for the University is approximately $200 million.

Adelphi University seeks a collaborative and persuasive CFO with a distinguished record of outstanding professional service and accomplishment. The ideal candidate will have extensive financial modeling and forecasting experience as well as high-level administrative leadership capacity, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to lead and implement change in a consensus-driven and proactive manner.

Applicants should possess significant experience as a senior executive in higher education, foundation, government or business organizations of relevant size and complexity with deep and broad experience in financial operations, including accounting and reporting; budget and planning; financial forecasting and modeling; investment and cash management; regulatory and tax compliance; purchasing; student accounts; and contract negotiations.


The CFO will join a University culture that values both a highly collaborative and consensus-driven approach and one in which the ability to forge strong working relationships and partnerships across divisions is particularly appreciated. The CFO will have oversight and responsibility for the following core areas:
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting - oversee the day to day financial accounting business processes including cash receipts, cash disbursements, payroll and grant accounting. Overseeing the annual external financial statement audit and leading the implementation of new accounting standards for financial statements, as applicable.
  • Operational Reporting and Data Analytics - developing operational reports in collaboration with various units to assist with assessing financial performance. Actively collaborating with the University's Data Analytics and Insight team and leading the development of executive performance dashboards in financial related areas.
  • Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting - lead the development of multi-year operating and capital budgets that reflect the strategic allocation of resources to achieve operational objectives using an all-funds model. An additional emphasis will be on developing reliable financial forecasts that leverage data and enable the University strategic decision making.
  • Cash and Investment Management - The University has recently implemented an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) model to oversee management of our endowment fund. The CFO will oversee treasury and investment management operations including cash flow analysis, investment allocation and performance analysis and will collaborate with the OCIO as well as the Finance and Investment Committee of the Board to administer the University's investment and cash flow strategy.
  • Student Accounts and Bursar - oversee the cashier and student account operations and collaborating closely with student services functions including admissions, student financial assistance, registrar, student housing, athletics, etc. to ensure accurate billing and collection of student accounts.
  • Contract Negotiation - assist the EVPA in negotiating and analyzing grants, contracts and agreements. Since the University is a party to a number of labor agreements, experience negotiating collective bargaining and employee benefit agreements is desirable.
  • Supporting strategic Initiatives - support the University's financial assessment of strategic initiatives such as campus development projects, academic programs, real estate management, business ventures and partnerships.
  • Regulatory Compliance - assessment and administration of compliance with federal, state and local regulatory requirements - including Internal Revenue Service and all tax matters.

The CFO is a core member of the EVPFA's team and will serve as the primary back-up in the EVPFA's absence. The following represent the key responsibilities and duties of the position.

  1. Oversee personally and through subordinate managers, the daily activities of the Office of Finance.
  2. The Finance area has operated with many business processes that are manual, labor intensive and inefficient. The CFO will need to assess the current state, leverage their knowledge of industry best practices, develop a process improvement strategy and work with University stakeholders to implement change. The following areas are viewed as the most critical business processes for the CFO to address in the current fiscal year: Budget Development and Variance Analysis; Financial Planning, Modeling and Forecasting; Financial Statement Preparation and Reporting; Data Analysis and Dashboards; Cash Disbursements; Payroll.
  3. Interact directly with auditors (internal and external), investment managers, vendors, attorneys and consultants regarding all areas of responsibility.
  4. Establish and monitor annual operating and capital budgets that align with University goals and initiatives.
  5. CFO will be expected to provide strategic input to executive leadership and proactively bring forward ideas and plans that help our community thrive.
  6. The CFO must also provide financial data and analysis to enhance decision making and actively participate on various initiatives, as appropriate.

  1. The CFO will need to assess the needs of the Finance area and work with the existing staff to develop new skills where necessary to support the service model developed.
  2. The CFO should be innovative in approaching structuring operations and leveraging the skill set of Finance team member as well as other staff within the University.
  3. The CFO will also need to be able to recruit new team members to fill any necessary positions that are required to support the Finance area in the future.

  1. Coordinate communication with University Communications Department so that there is a consistent look, tone, and feel for finance related data that is shared with the community.
  2. Develop strong communication tools such as monthly variance reports, the annual budget report for the Board of Trustees, a strong website for the Finance department, and communications to the community as merited.
  3. Foster transparent and open communication regarding processes, policies and the financial condition of the University.

  1. Assist units in negotiating vendor agreements and work collaboratively with the risk management team to ensure contracts terms are in the best interest of the University and comply with University policies.
  2. Collaborate with University units in developing partnerships and provide financial analysis and support to assess the cost and benefit relating to the relationships with vendors or partners.
  3. Evaluate the financial terms of all agreements.
  4. Serve as a signatory on University contracts and agreements.

  1. Assess related risk and ensure that the University is in full compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.

  1. Interact daily with managers, staff, and faculty personally on financial operations.

  1. Participate fully as a member of the President's Cabinet.
  2. Serve as co-liaison to the Finance and Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  3. Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


To be effective, the CFO must be a consummate professional who will embrace positive change and work well in a highly consultative environment within a culture of transparency and proactivity. He or she will be a confident, high-energy leader, a superb communicator, and an innovative thinker who focuses on both broad possibilities and opportunities as well as tangible results. He or she will also need to be a “hands-on” CFO adept at regularly using Word, Excel, PowerPoint to analyze and present information appropriate for the intended audience including faculty, staff, executive leaders, trustees, rating agencies, banks and other external parties. To best serve Adelphi University, the ideal candidate will have many of the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • Several years of progressively responsible leadership roles with evident experience in the major functional areas of finance as noted in this position description.
  • Genuine commitment to the mission and values of Adelphi University.
  • Leadership skills with the ability to set challenging and attainable goals, set priorities, and work with and inspire others to high levels of creative performance, and to leverage ideas into action; able to lead and navigate as the University grows.
  • Strong influence and relationship skills, able to command respect and earn the trust of individuals within and outside the University.
  • Collaborative and team‐oriented leadership style; good judgment in recognizing talent and assessing where improvements are needed; the ability to make appropriate connections and build synergies; an open and creative approach to problem-solving and a willingness to address issues without territoriality; the ability to understand and enable diverse viewpoints and plans to achieve University goals.
  • Ability to positively lead change.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills that are both respectful of different perspectives and can inspire stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated commitment to embracing and enhancing diversity, affirmative action, and equal opportunity.
  • Experience with and commitment to the education, research, and service mission of a major university.

  • Strong knowledge of financial business processes and industry best practices.
  • Knowledge of finance related federal, state and local regulatory requirements.
  • Experience with risk identification and mitigation in the finance area.
  • Strong ability to prioritize workload according to volume, urgency, etc.
  • Ability to be discrete and maintain high confidentiality on a wide range of issues.
  • Computer skills for using Administrative Systems, MV Query, Microsoft Word, Excel and Gmail.
  • Knowledge of appropriate financial policies and procedures.
  • Ability to engage the Board of Trustees; state representatives, legislators, corporate, and other external stakeholders in the goals of the institution.
  • Skill as a negotiator and experience reviewing and realigning systems, policies and personnel; and ability to lead in a unionized environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to provide management oversight, leadership, and strategic direction; evidence of excellent organizational skills and organizational development skills, financial management skills; a clear sense of goals and timelines.
  • Experience in creating a highly responsive organization; ability to leverage limited resources while achieving innovative results.
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, retain, and reward high-quality staff; a flexible, engaged, and open management style that delegates authority, empowers staff, sets high expectations, and holds departmental colleagues accountable.
  • A results‐oriented and evidence‐based leader who can introduce best practices and is unafraid to take measured risks and unconventional approaches in quest of excellence and reputational growth.
  • A fair, firm, and compassionate administrator who can confront and make difficult decisions, resolve conflict, and demonstrate and promote transparency, integrity and high ethical standards within the institution.
  • Demonstrated commitment to building community, embracing diversity and vigorously promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Collaborative skills in teaming with colleagues and working with an innovative, energetic faculty and a unionized non‐faculty workforce; able to work collegially across the institution, to build relationships and connections, and to motivate, mobilize and energize others to work together.
  • Dedication to faculty engagement and shared governance; willingness to engage in thoughtful discussion with faculty in envisioning and implementing institutional change and a commitment to support faculty efforts.
  • Able to work effectively with industry and corporate partners to find creative approaches to meet university and financial needs.

  • A Bachelor's degree is required, with a preference for an advanced degree or other relevant credential (e.g., Certified Public Accountant).
  • Evidence of ideas, imagination, creativity, passion, optimism and good judgment.
  • Evidence of sophistication around institutional communication; excellent listening skills; capacity to understand nuance.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, energy, sincerity, self‐confidence, a “can‐do” and enabling attitude, combined with patience, perseverance, the ability to deal constructively with conflict and criticism, and a good sense of humor.
  • The highest degree of personal integrity.

  • Executive Director of Accounting and Finance
  • Assistant Controller (2)
  • Director of Financial Operations and Associate Vice President
  • Director Student Account Services
  • Director of Bursar
  • Director of Payroll
  • Grant Accounting Manager


Salary is competitive, and the benefits package includes options for health/dental/life insurance, retirement, and a program of reduced tuition for dependents (some restrictions apply).
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