The Role of the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs
The Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, in collaboration with the president and members of the Board of Trustees, serves as guarantor of fiscal integrity for the University and as advocate for the fiscal and capital resources necessary for fulfilling Millikin’s mission and vision. The successful candidate will establish a personal leadership presence that instills confidence among faculty, staff, trustees and executive leadership. The president expects the vice president to be a trusted business advisor.
The vice president reports directly to the president, serves on the president’s cabinet and as the University’s chief financial and business affairs officer. The vice president is responsible for budget, financial management and analysis; long-range financial, information technology and capital planning; risk management and oversight of endowment managers; business functions; planning and implementing capital projects, physical plant operations and renewal; purchasing and contract negotiations and administration; human resources; outsourcing; and security.
The vice president serves as the primary staff liaison to trustee committees on finance, investments, buildings and grounds, the audit committee and occasionally the compensation committee. From the Board of Trustees’ perspective, it expects the vice president to be consistent, preparatory, anticipatory, nimble, pro-active, and progressive and continually have a pulse on trends in higher education. Further, the Board expects clear, consistent and forthright communication as well as recommendations with options – always attuned to financial discipline and the University’s mission.
The vice president oversees the offices of the Fiscal Operations Director, Director of Human Resources, Director of Physical Plant Planning/Projects and Operations, and the Director for Information Technology. The vice president also manages the University’s outsourcing operations with Aramark food service, Wackenhut security and Aramark physical plant operation, and its relationships with the Decatur Park District for the operation of the Decatur Indoor Sports Center at Millikin University and with the owner of the Woods at Millikin University, a 600-bed residential community for Millikin students in the campus neighborhood.
With the president, members of the Millikin senior administrative team, and appropriate University committees, the vice president provides dynamic and visionary budget planning leadership and establishes and maintains a vibrant environment of financial support and fiscal responsibility. In addition, the vice president plays an important role in promoting effectiveness and efficiency across the University, focusing on service and continuous improvement.
Millikin has enjoyed the leadership of a vice president who has served the University exceedingly well for some five years. The new vice president joins Millikin at an important time in its history – a time that warrants a leader/manager who possesses the experience and courage to be a part of the University’s senior leadership team.
Leadership Opportunities for the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs
The opportunities for leadership include:
· Work with faculty, deans and cabinet leadership to align academic programmatic structure with revenue capacity to promote the appropriate balance between mission-driven and market-smart decisions. Millikin is committed to competing on quality; it recognizes that new programs are necessary to align its academic offerings to serve new student populations.
· Be prepared for the opportunity to lead and implement a bond offering. Recently, representatives from Standard and Poors visited with members of the Millikin community. By all indicators, the visit went well. The Board, president and vice president anticipate a favorable outcome, and that debt financing will possibly accompany capital projects outlined in the campaign plan.
· Enhance communication and transparency with the faculty, administration, and staff on the budget process and the state of the finances of the University.
· Work as a community to build honest communication and trust as finances and demographics in higher education are volatile, and private colleges/universities especially need to anticipate change.
· Foster working relationships to:
o Accomplish seamless communication between enrollment management, net tuition revenue objectives and a balanced budget; strive to continuously improve students and family financial support services to maximize retention.
o Focus on the importance of information technology and its core mission in serving the educational and administrative competitiveness of the University.
o Partner with the Vice President for Development to support her work in complex gift packages, particularly in capital projects which may require combinations of gift and debt financing to come to fruition.
o Monitor capital funding plans including: preserving investment grade bond ratings; meeting debt covenants; and maintaining financial liquidity and flexibility.
o Propose strategic financial planning and budgeting models (both long-range and annual), policies and procedures to optimize the allocation of resources to reflect institutional priorities.
o Enhance operational performance of finance and administrative office functions, implementing best practices and improving efficiency and internal controls.
o Perform business risk-management analyses to advance the University’s efforts to meet strategic goals and identify alternatives, if any, to mitigate or eliminate vulnerabilities.