Director, Budget & Financial Planning

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design is looking for a Director of Budget and Financial Planning to join its Finance and Administration division. Through a wide variety of financial, facilities, and technological services, the Finance and Administration division provides the RISD community with timely and innovative operational solutions and support. Within this division, the Budget Office is responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the RISD annual operating and capital budget and for long-term financial planning.

Reporting to the Senior Vice-President of Finance and Administration, the Director of Budget and Financial Planning is responsible for directing the development and administration of the institution’s budget including budget planning, policy development, systems, policies, forecasts, and analysis. This position oversees, prepares, monitors, assesses, and communicates operating and capital budget matters to RISD constituencies. It provides integration and coordination for RISD’s entire budget planning initiatives, linking past financial and current budget results to long-range budget forecasts, and explaining implications of assumptions. The Director recommends and implements approved policies, procedures, tools, models, and systems to capture and drive efficiencies, align with the strategic plan, and posture RISD to quickly and nimbly coordinate, plan, and report on the financial activities of the College. This position manages, leads, and develops budget and financial planning staff to maximize and reach optimal individual and institutional goals. It also supports the SVP, Finance & Administration, and the Board of Trustee’s Financial and Audit Committees by providing executive-level analysis, assessments, and budget-related services.

As an employer, RISD offers a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.

Essential Functions

  • Oversee, prepare, manage, and monitor the College’s annual budget and budgeting process including but not limited to payroll, operating, and capital expenditures on an all funds basis.
  • Develop creative strategies and make recommendations for revenue enhancements, cost reduction,s and operating efficiencies to balance the budget. Create and maintain budget-related models, schedules, reports, forecasts, and analysis of divisions and departments as required. Oversee and approve budget transfer entries. Detect and communicate problem areas and assist in resolving problems. Working in concert with the Controller, jointly review chart of accounts, programs, new departments, and or other organizational units.
  • Provide leadership and direction to budget and financial planning staff. Hire, train, and develop, supervise, and evaluate staff to attain short-and long-term objectives.
  • Proactively outreach to RISD operating units to identify, guide, and present analysis of proposed and existing operations; prepare and analyze “business plans”.
  • Develop and provide budget-training programs to the RISD Community.
  • Working closely with the SVP and other senior management, develop and maintain a multi-year financial model on an all funds basis along with model assumptions.
  • Working closely with the SVP and VP for Facilities and CIO, develop and maintain a multi-year capital and technology investment financial plan with sources and uses of funds.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the divisional budget and financial managers to understand financial planning needs and priorities.
  • Develop and recommend budgetary policies and practices and define levels of financial authority and responsibility that will improve service delivery, increase operational efficiency and effectiveness, and ensure that budget best practices are in place.
  • Working closely with the SVP and other senior management, develop, analyze, present, and contribute to determining priorities for use of operating, capital, cash, and endowment resources.
  • Develop, analyze, present, and contribute to determining priorities for use of operating, capital, cash, and endowment resources based on input and feedback from SVP Finance & Administration and senior leadership.
  • Evaluate, recommend, and implement approved budget systems, innovative technology tools, and updates, as appropriate, in order to support planning, reporting, and analysis and to maximize efficiency and accuracy. Proactively liaise with and serve as a key point of contact for other areas, such as IT, Controller, HR, etc. to optimize and leverage cross-functional system integrations, data relationships, and reporting. Identify informational needs and develop complex budget models, reports, tools, and/or charts to facilitate and support long-range planning and decision-making.
  • Incorporate salary and open position information into the budget based on input and feedback from Human Resources. Develop, refine, and manage position control for budgeting purposes. Reconcile faculty and staff headcount with Human Resource and Academic Affairs reports and generate management reports on position control.
  • Support implementation of strategic planning initiatives through proper resource allocation. Partner with the VP of Campus Services, VP of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, and Academic Affairs to integrate institutional planning activities including strategic enrollment, facilities, and budget planning.
  • Support the preparation and presentation of materials for the Budget Priorities Committee.
  • Collect, evaluate, and present financial information and/or materials to the Finance Committee and/or Board of Trustees. Provide accurate, thorough, and timely analyses as required for senior management and the President.
  • Assist in annual audits by providing timely reports, analysis, and responding to auditor inquiries.
  • Maintain the Budget Office website providing current information to the community on the annual budget, budget to actual results, capital budget, multi-year planning, budget calendar, and process and other helpful information.


  • Master’s degree in business management, accounting, or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Seven years of financial planning, budget management, or accounting related experience, preferably in higher education or non-profit environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of budget and models that link resource allocation to performance and strategic planning.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated success in planning, process re-engineering, and utilizing systems and technologies to increase efficiencies and effectiveness.
  • Ability to partner with senior managers to allocate resources in support of mission and objectives.
  • Ability to analyze complex information and provide summaries and recommendations to RISD budget managers and administrators.
  • Prior management experience and the ability to lead and develop staff in the delivery and implementation of budget and financial plans, which support strategic initiatives.
  • Ability to communicate with, relate to, and interact with diverse populations and to help foster a community environment.



Work Schedule

35 hours/week; 12 months/year

Employment Status

Full-Time Regular



Documents Needed to Apply

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

For internal use only - Job Family:

Finance & Accounting

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