ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
The University of California (UC) is a premier institution of
higher education and is recognized nationally and internationally
for excellence in teaching, research, and public service. The UC
system serves more than 280,000 students, employs about 227,000
faculty and staff, and includes 2 million alumni living and working
around the world. The University of California system
"The distinctive mission of the University is to serve
society as a center of higher learning, providing long-term
societal benefits through transmitting advanced knowledge,
discovering new knowledge, and functioning as an active working
repository of organized knowledge. That obligation, more
specifically, includes undergraduate education, graduate and
professional education, research, and other kinds of public
service, which are shaped and bounded by the central pervasive
mission of discovering and advancing knowledge."
- Mission statement from the University of California Academic
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, MERCED
UC Merced opened in 2005, as the newest campus in the University
of California system and the first American research university of
the 21st century. Situated near Yosemite National Park, the campus
significantly expands access to the UC system for students
throughout the state, with a special mission to increase
college-going rates among students in the San Joaquin Valley. It
also serves as a major base of advanced research, a model of
sustainable design and construction, and a stimulus to economic
growth and diversification throughout the region.
UC Merced offers a growing list of majors and minors, and
graduate programs taught by more than 250 tenure-track faculty
members, visiting professors and lecturers, who have come to us
from some of the world's top-ranked universities.
As of the 2020-21 academic year, UC Merced has more than 9,000
undergraduate and graduate students making up the Bobcat community.
They are some of the best and brightest students from around the
country, and they are integral to the university’s mission of
education, research and public service.
In addition, UC Merced’s graduate and undergraduate students are
conducting some of the most cutting-edge research of our time,
including stem cells, artificial intelligence and renewable
The Assistant Vice Chancellor and Controller (“Controller”) is
expected to provide joint oversight and leadership to the campus
community for the functional areas under their management.
The Controller will manage a team of over 120 employees
responsible for the following functional areas: General Accounting,
Treasury, Banking and Cashiering Services, Travel and Expense
Management, Student Business Services, Tax Services, Payroll
Services, Financial System Support, Project Portfolio Financial
Management, Supply Chain and Shared Services.
The position provides leadership and operational support to
these key campus business operations. The Controller is
responsible for making final decisions on administrative or
operational matters and ensuring operational effectiveness achieves
the objectives of the division. The Controller is also
responsible for reviewing and approving recommendations for
operational planning and control through subordinate
managers. This is a critical role that advises the Chief
Financial Officer and UC Merced senior management regarding the
applicability and implementation of changes in accounting and
financial practices, policies and procedures as required.
The Controller represents the campus as the system owner of the
Campus Financial System, which includes the General Ledger, Travel
Reimbursement System, CashNet and, to the extent used by Student
Business Services, the Banner system for student billing.
The Controller is also expected to provide technical knowledge
and skills to the campus in the areas of financial management and
controls, compliance with policies, procedures and regulatory
requirements, anti-fraud programs, financial reporting, tax
regulations, maintaining cost accounting standards and related cost
policies, generally accepted accounting principles.
Overall, the Controller position guides financial decisions by
establishing, monitoring, enforcing policies and procedures, and
developing organizational policies and authorizes their
implementation. Provides advice, guidance and assistance to
the senior leadership of the organization. Represents the
organization. Represents the organization in
organization-wide and system-wide meetings and discussions.
Protects assets by establishing, monitoring and enforcing internal
controls. Monitors and confirms financial condition by collecting,
interpreting, and reporting financial data; providing information
to external auditors. The Controller is also expected to
maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending
education workshops, reviewing professional publications,
establishing personal networks, and participating in professional
Specifically, the Controller will have the following
- 50%: Management/Supervision – Direct and manage through
subordinate manager level direct reports and extended team,
multiple and complex programs impacting broad constituencies and
diverse stakeholders across the campus. Leads a significant
proportion of organization staff with a wide range of specialized
responsibilities including accounting, treasury, cashiering, tax
reporting, student business services, project portfolio financial
management, financial system support, fraud monitoring, cost
accounting standards, and financial reporting in accordance with
generally accepted accounting rules, regulations and compliance
- 10%: Develop and maintain an effective organizational structure
for units under management and foster productive working
relationship with campus leadership for functional responsibilities
carried out by campus personnel under the decentralized campus
support services operating model. Represent campus to system-wide
forums and committees.
- 10%: Training – Establish, maintain, and enhance a staff and
faculty training program regarding financial (and related areas)
policies and procedures. Through subordinate directors and manager
level direct reports, lead the development and delivery of campus
training programs and other staff development initiatives by close
collaboration with other business and finance managers, campus
leadership and human resources/staff development unit.
- 10%: Recruit and develop direct and indirect staff within the
wide range of organization-wide programs with the assistance from
and direction to subordinate directors and manager level direct
reports. Responsibilities include maintaining financial and
business services staff by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and
training employees. Also responsible for maintaining staff
job results by coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees;
planning, monitoring, and appraising job results of the team.
- 10%: Special Projects and Duties as assigned such as the annual
financial audit of the campus, annual financial audit of the
Foundation, special organization wide studies such as moving our
campus to a supply chain model, developing organization wide
Centers of Excellence for specialized functions, etc.
- 5%: Complies with federal, state, and local legal requirements
by studying existing and new legislation; anticipating future
legislation; enforcing adherence to requirements; filing financial
reports; advising management on needed actions.
- 5%: Directly manage or manage through subordinate managers, all
personnel, budgetary and operational matters in areas of
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE and QUALIFICATIONS
UC Merced seeks a committed and experienced professional with
proven leadership skills, a deep understanding of the academic
mission of the University and demonstrated success and relevant
experience in financial reporting, technical accounting, and broad
Qualified candidates must have an open and collaborative style
of leadership that encourages teamwork and cooperation, be a strong
role model, manager and coach, with the ability to provide a
positive working and learning environment for staff, as well as to
develop a first-class service organization that responds
effectively to inquiries and engenders trust from the University
A strong systems orientation with the demonstrated ability to
apply technology in improving organizational effectiveness and
enhancing productivity, including the technical competency to
design, select, implement, and manage technology solutions is also
Additional qualifications include:
- A minimum of 10 years of progressive accounting leadership
experience, ideally with a combination of public accounting and
- Experience within higher education is an asset. Candidates with
experience in other organizations of similar size and complexity
will also be considered.
- In-depth knowledge of matters related to university budgeting,
accounting and finance including governmental regulations, and
accepted internal financial control practices.
- Demonstrated knowledge of how to apply accounting and fiscal
management leadership in a complex decentralized organization.
- Ability to foster a control environment that encourages the
highest level of integrity and professional standards. Demonstrated
working knowledge of internal control concepts and techniques.
Working knowledge of external and internal audit practices and
- Technical experience will cover the range of financial
reporting, accounting policy, controls, financial systems, audit,
- A proven track record of instilling core finance processes and
controls and leading process improvements to accounting and close
- Demonstrated ability to stay current with emerging trends and
relevant accounting pronouncements that impact accounting and
- Demonstrated leadership and expert interpersonal and people
management skills necessary to work effectively across the campus
both horizontally and vertically.
- Ability to lead workgroups and cross-functional teams and to
motivate stakeholders, focus on results and construct action plans
with achievable goals, results and deadlines.
- Ability and competence in implementing and managing automated
financial systems including those involving electronic
- Ability to monitor budgetary activities and work proactively
and effectively with internal constituencies and external
- Able to work with great autonomy and exercise independent
judgement in the discharge of duties.
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written that are
effective, professional, and appropriate for the audience. Ability
to convey complex and technical material to varying audiences,
develop and deliver presentations and training, and produce clear
and concise correspondence, reports and procedural manuals.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively interface, negotiate and
exchange ideas, information and opinions with a variety of campus
units and stakeholders in order to gather information, assess
situations, build consensus, reduce resistance to change and
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and communicate
effectively with peers, subordinates and management at all levels
so that short-term and long-term goals are achieved for operational
results, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction.
- Strong sense of service orientation with a proven ability to
balance customer service, controls and compliance. Ability to
develop creative solutions in situations where many variables are
constrained, while continuously improving the department.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze complex information and
formulate logical and objective conclusions and action plans.
Ability to articulate analysis, options and conclusions orally and
in writing. Demonstrated ability to be innovative, applying
experience, knowledge and judgment to situations.
- Demonstrated strong personnel leadership, creating and
maintaining teams and harmonious working relationships among staff
and subordinates. Ability to maintain good morale, motivate
employees and stimulate productivity. Coach and provide timely
feedback, including progressive discipline when necessary, to
- Excellent project management skills demonstrated by the
successful implementation of a project at a large and complex
- Excellent relationship management abilities; the ability to
manage through influence and persuasion at all levels of an
organization. Ability to lead a team and to influence and effect
- High level of professionalism and integrity with a demonstrated
ability to work proactively with and gain the confidence of all
levels of an organization. Ability to maintain focus and
successfully execute against plans and bring closure to activities,
tasks and projects. Strong organizational skills with the ability
to manage a range of projects simultaneously. Proven track record
of getting things done.