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Vanderbilt University Chief Business Officer (Office of the Provost, Graduate School, Office of Research) in Nashville, Tennessee

Chief Business Officer (Office of the Provost, Graduate School, Office of Research) (Job Number: 1900729)


The Chief Business Officer (CBO) provides overall leadership and support of financial and administrative operations of the assigned Provost and Vice Provost (VP) areas, directly assisting and supporting operational leads and serving as a member of the Financial Operations and Planning Team, reporting to the Finance Director under the leadership and guidance of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance. The Chief Business Officer is responsible for the finance function including daily operations, developing monthly financial projections, and preparing annual and long-range operating and capital budgets. The Chief Business Officer interfaces with a wide constituency of partners across the institution in the financial management of and planning for the strategic use of funds. This individual leads a team of professional and administrative support staff and is responsible for developing goals, objectives, policies and procedures; supervising, coordinating, and evaluating activities; and performing personnel administration functions. This role must be responsive to the needs of the Vice Provosts and other leaders overseeing the assigned areas. Vanderbilt University and the Department of Financial Operations and Planning are committed to excellence and diversity. Members of underrepresented groups invited to apply.

Financial Operations and Planning provides leadership and support of the financial and business operations for the Vice Chancellors, Academic Deans, and Vice Provosts. This team is also responsible for developing annual and long-range operating and capital plans, performing financial analysis and financial modeling, generating management reports, and general project management for ad hoc strategic financial projects, consistent with a broad understanding of institutional mission and vision.

Duties and responsibilities


  • Serve as the primary business advisor to the Dean, ViceProvost or other leaders and the financial liaison for the assigned areato the Financial Operations and Planning team.

  • Develop annual and long-range capital/operating budgets,which adhere to the University and area priorities based on balancedassumptions.

  • Develop financial and operational models that respond to newcircumstances and which allow for informed decision making and maximizesarea and university resources.

  • Proactively assess the ongoing area activities to determinerealistic financial projections compared to the annual budget and assessareas where additional resources could be invested or redirected towarduses more directly related to Vanderbilt’s strategic initiatives.

  • Prepare and review monthly financial reports to identifytrends and update expectations

  • Implement and facilitate strategic initiatives of theUniversity and area.

  • Produce, organize, and present information to succinctly andeffectively provide financial management information.

  • Interpret information provided by others and advise how theinformation or request aligns or differs with area and Universitystrategies and financial plans.

  • Focus on attaining and sustaining long-term financialequilibrium and evaluate all proposals against this objective.

  • Review area resource portfolio and suggest prudent viablealternatives to achieve planned or desired outcomes.

  • Actively partner and closely collaborate with keyconstituents to leverage opportunities and goals.

  • Coordinate, review and submit annual salary increases forfaculty and staff as assigned.

InternalControls and Control Environment

  • Understand, educate, and enforce Vanderbilt Universitypolicies and procedures.

  • Develop, implement, and maintain departmental procedures,protocols and internal controls.

  • Advocate for best practices in management policies andresponsible for implementing and maintaining effective internal controls(as guided by internal audit and leadership recommendations) for fiscalactivities throughout the area.

  • Assist in cultivating a culture where faculty and staffthroughout the university understand their individual fiduciary roles andresponsibilities.

  • Exercise delegated authority with prudent assessment ofindividual transactions (as guided by internal policies), considering theimpact financially and operationally, mindful of internal controls asdefined by the university and the assigned areas.

  • Review and approve further delegated authority andresponsibility throughout the area.

  • Design, establish and maintain an administrativeorganizational structure to effectively and efficiently accomplish areaand university goals and objectives while segregating duties andmitigating risk.


  • Develop a productive and effective working relationship withleaders across the university by actively seeking out communication andcollaboration opportunities. Promote a unified view of VanderbiltUniversity’s interests and align departments to work toward commonfinancial goals.

  • Continuously monitor and make recommendations to improveuniversity wide processes.

  • Function as a technical expert within the area on budgetary,financial, accounting, operational, human resource, regulatory, and policyissues.

  • Update job and industry knowledge by participating ineducational opportunities, reading professional journals and maintainingprofessional networks.

  • Advocate for change within assigned areas by assisting theuniversity with the successful implementation of new financial andadministrative procedures and systems. Serve as a major point of contactfor problem resolution.

  • Represent assigned areas and Finance on various Universitycommittees, provide insightful and diplomatic feedback to the committeeand communicate updates to the area and other constituents withinthe University, as appropriate.

  • Recruits, develops, and retains a talented and diverse team

  • Supervise, evaluate performance, and develop professionaldevelopment plans for direct reports.

Profile ofan Ideal Candidate

  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of highereducation and 5 years of experience or the equivalent is necessary.

  • CPA and/or Master’s degree in Business Administration orrelated discipline is preferred.

  • At least five years of financial operations is necessary.

  • Ability to effectively distill complex data to essentialelements is necessary.

  • Attentive to detail while never losing sight of thehigh-level, strategic direction and impact isnecessary.

  • Sensitivity to the complexities of a campus community is necessary.

  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills (e.g.honest, direct, and willing to discuss complex topics or provide difficultfeedback) is necessary.

  • Ability to balance amongst numerous, different constituentsand communicate with a wide range of audiences is necessary.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines is necessary.

  • Flexibility and able to deal with changes in approach and/ordeliverables is necessary.

  • Ability to work independently while providing appropriatework status updates is necessary.

  • Ability to accept feedback as an opportunity for development,not as a criticism is necessary.

  • Demonstrated capacity to develop the talents and expertise ofstaff so that they are able to assume expanded responsibilities is necessary

  • Ability to recruit and retain well-qualified, high-performingprofessionals is necessary.

  • Ability to move the organization forward even in the face ofambiguity and complexity isnecessary.

  • Ability to maintain a positive, problem-solving attitude inthe face of adversity is necessary.

  • Demonstrated financial expertise; strong technical knowledgeand skills; broad and thorough knowledge of GAAP,not-for-profit accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis;understanding of both federal and state statutes and regulations relatedto finances and accounting is preferred.

  • Skilled in Microsoft software and use of database is preferred.

  • Management/ supervisory experience is preferred.

  • Experience working in an academic setting is preferred.

  • Demonstrated reliability, creativity, and change-managementskills are preferred.

  • Experience using Oracle ERP and HCM systems is preferred.

About Vanderbilt Benefits

Vanderbilt University offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental, vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paid time off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offers tuition assistance to employees, spouses, and dependent children.

AboutVanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving more than 12,000 students and employing almost 7,000 faculty and staff. The university’s students, staff, and faculty frequently cite Nashville and the surrounding area as one of the many perks of being a part of the Vanderbilt community. Vanderbilt University is a place where your expertise will be valued, your knowledge expanded, and your abilities challenged. It is a place where your diversity is sought and celebrated. Vanderbilt was recently named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” and the top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area in 2018 (Forbes).

Commitmentto Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply

Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville

Organization: 44200 - Financial Operations and Planning

Job: Administrative Unit Heads / Professionals

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action