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Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Ottawa University
Kansas, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 14, 2021

View more

Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Chief Business Officers & Vice Presidents, Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Ottawa University invites applications from, and nominations of, dynamic and inspiring leaders for the position of Vice President & Chief Financial Officer.



Ottawa University (located in Ottawa, KS and Surprise, AZ) is an institution with a proud 157 year heritage of educating adults and students of traditional ages for lifetimes of faith, service, leadership and significance. From its founding in 1865 in Ottawa, Kansas, the university has grown to an institution today that serves nearly 5,000 students through its residential campuses, adult and graduate studies campuses, and online. Ottawa University offers exceptional breadth and depth in its curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels which is constantly being updated and enhanced to make the greatest possible impact on the lives of its students. 



Ottawa University invites applications from, and nominations of, dynamic and inspiring leaders for the position of Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. This leader is the senior business and finance officer of the University responsible for accounting, budget management, fiscal operations, financial aid administration and information technology.  This position is expected to facilitate business process improvement, oversee contract negotiations, develop strategic financial plans and advise the President & CEO regarding organization and investment opportunities.  The CFO is a member of the President’s Cabinet (reports to the President & CEO) and works collaboratively with the other senior officers. She or he will also work closely with, and act as a staff liaison to, the Board Budget and Finance, and Audit committees. The CFO manages finance, accounting, receivables, payables, payroll, tax, treasury, banking, financial aid, and IT departments on behalf of the entire university system. S/he interfaces heavily with compliance and HR as well as each of the operating and enrollment units.



  • Master’s Degree required. CPA/MBA preferred.
  • Five years or more of top line financial executive experience, preferably in the higher education arena.
  • Experience with executive level financial responsibilities in multiple operational areas.
  • Experience in strategic planning, new business markets, and financial analysis.
  • Proven planning, forecasting, cash management, and budgeting skills.
  • Experience and track record of success in dealing with auditors, regulators, and legal firms.
  • Proven experience in negotiating and securing financial facilities with banks, bond offerings, and others.
  • Interface with and understanding of human resources function desirable.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to IT systems, reporting, and compliance requirements in multiple states.
  • Experience in the management of significant business process improvement activities as well as compliance and controls.
  • Understanding of accounting standards and control/compliance cultures.
  • Ability to guide and work closely with CEO and Board of Trustees.
  • Ability to work with top line executives in a complex, multi-site system.
  • Collaborative and sensitive, yet firm, leadership and management skills. Someone who is able to elicit participation and support from individuals and groups.
  • A high level of oral and written communications skills.
  • A strategic and creative thinker with strong analytical skills.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and collegially with diverse groups of individuals.
  • While this position may be based primarily in either Ottawa, KS or Surprise, AZ travel and regular interaction with each residential and all adult campuses is expected.


For more information, please review the Position Profile.  If the direct link doesn’t work in this advertisement, please go to our website at and click on Open Positions and Higher Education. 



EFL Associates (, an executive search firm, is assisting Ottawa University with its search for this important leadership position.  All calls and inquiries should be made through the search firm. Nominations and applications will be held in strict confidence and candidates will remain confidential until the final stage of the search, at which time the express permission of finalists will be obtained before making their candidacy public. 





  • Application deadline is August 25, 2021
  • Semi-Finalist Interviews are tentatively scheduled for September 16-17, 2021
  • Campus Interviews are tentatively scheduled for late September 2021
  • The desired start date is November 2021, but is negotiable




Steve Waldron, JD

VP & Managing Director, Higher Education Practice

816-945-5423 (direct)





If you would like to provide a nomination, please email all pertinent information (including an email address and phone number of the nominee) to:


Ms. Angela Lilje

Practice & Project Manager, Higher Education Practice

816-945-5410 (direct)



Ottawa University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family and genetic information, in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the 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, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and other applicable statutes and University policies. Ottawa University prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault, and other forms of interpersonal violence.


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