Vice President for Financial Affairs

  • University of Portland
  • Portland, OR, USA
Full Time Academia Education Executive Finance

Job Description

Title: Vice President for Financial Affairs

Job Category: Staff

Division: Financial Affairs

Opened Date: 02/11/2021

Classification: EX

Hours: Full time

Benefits: Full time salaried


Consistent with and in support of the University of Portland’s mission, the Vice President for Financial Affairs serves as the University’s chief financial officer, sits on the President’s Leadership Cabinet, and oversees all areas, policies, and processes related to the University’s Financial Affairs Division.

This is a full-time, 12-month, exempt position with benefits. Benefits include: medical & dental insurance, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, sick & vacation time, tuition remission benefits starting after 90 days (employee) or 2 years (spouse and children) of employment, retirement contributions after 2 years of employment, and eligibility for the University’s home purchase assistance program consistent with program requirements. (Please note that eligibility for all University benefits is subject to applicable policies, practices, and requirements.)

The full job description is available at:

This posting was posted on February 11, 2020, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Application Instructions

Interested applicants should submit the following materials with their completed applications. A complete application includes the following documents:  

1) Cover Letter that articulates: your professional background and addresses your ability to meet the requirements of this position.  Your cover letter should also address your understanding and connection to the mission of the University of Portland, as well as your lived experience, knowledge, skills, and/or success in diversity, equity, and inclusion work within or transferable to higher education.

2) Resume

3) List of professional references. 

If any of these items are missing, the application is considered incomplete and will not be reviewed by the search committee. All materials should be submitted as attachments with your online application.


Engage in leadership and representational duties as an officer of the University. This includes participating as a member of the President’s Leadership Cabinet (PLC).

Lead the Financial Affairs Division, which is comprised of the Offices of Financial Affairs, Controller, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts. The Division presently consists of approximately thirty employees.

Directly and indirectly supervise all department staff.  Supervisory responsibilities include hiring processes, setting of expectations, training and professional development, performance management and evaluations, and disciplinary processes including termination of employment.

Assist and advise the President and other leaders within the University on financial matters.

Help to lead the University’s periodic strategic planning processes.

Lead the development of the University’s annual operating and capital budgets. Assist the President with budgetary decisions through the Budget Working Group. Serve as ex-officio member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Budgets.

Together with the Provost, serve on the Enrollment Management Working Group to optimize enrollment and net tuition revenue.

Together with the Provost, serve with designated faculty members on the Faculty Compensation Committee, which makes determinations about faculty compensation.

Manage the University’s liability and property insurance. Ensure that adequate and appropriate levels of coverage are maintained.

Lead the University’s Retirement Plan Committee and serve as the plan fiduciary. Ensure that the retirement plan offers quality investment options with low fees, and that the plan remains in compliance with applicable laws.

Staff the Board of Regents Financial Affairs Committee, Audit Subcommittee, and Executive Compensation Committee. Provide the Board of Regents with updates on financial policies and results as appropriate.

In consultation with other University leaders, determine the University’s rates for tuition, fees, and room and board. Approve all revenue arrangements.

Ensure compliance with laws relating to financial and financial aid matters.

Obtain needed external financing to fund capital and operating requirements via public bond offerings, private debt placement, and leasing contracts, as appropriate. Ensure that the University maintains adequate levels of liquidity.

Manage the University’s endowments and other investments in risk-appropriate arrangements.

Serve on the Gift Acceptance Committee and other committees as assigned by the President.

Oversee financial reporting, annual financial audits, and the filing of annual tax returns.

Regularly engage in external and internal communication to audiences of varying financial literacy regarding matters that relate to the Financial Affairs Division and the University.

Translate solid financial acumen into strategic investments that positively impact the mission, needs, and growth of the University.

Exhibit deep understanding of the University, its Catholic and Holy Cross mission, identities, and culture.

Possess deep knowledge of the U.S. higher education environment including enrollment trends, accreditation, academic freedom, and shared governance.

Exercise sound judgment and colleagueship as a member of the President’s Leadership Cabinet to creatively meet the coming challenges in higher education.

Other duties as relevant to the duties of the position or as assigned by supervisor or designee.

Please note that the above list of duties is not comprehensive but generally demonstrates the types of matters under this position’s purview and responsibility.


Education and Experience

Required: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, finance, or related field.

Required: Ten years of progressive experience in leadership positions within financial affairs.

Required: Demonstrated success in the development and management of multi-million-dollar budgets.

Required: Demonstrated success in working collaboratively with a variety of partners and constituents.

Required: Demonstrated financial acumen.

Preferred but not required: graduate degree in accounting, business, economics, finance, or related field; prior experience in higher education.

Or a combination of equivalent education and/or experience.

Certifications and Licenses

Preferred: CPA License.

Preferred: Active Driver’s License.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Significant leadership experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of accounting, business, economics, and/or finance.

Excellence in the areas of initiative and leadership. 

Excellent judgment, including during emergency, crisis, difficult, and confidential situations.

Strong supervisory and management skills. Ability to establish and sustain a positive work culture of respect for all employees.

Strong skills and oversight abilities in negotiations with contractors/vendors, review of contracts, and overseeing work by contractors/vendors.

Strong verbal and written communication skills. 

Ability to successfully manage multiple projects and balance multiple priorities while maintaining a positive outlook and working effectively in a team environment.

Thoroughness, accuracy, and timeliness in completing essential duties.

Strong orientation towards policy and process improvements.

Strong organizational, time, and project management skills; excellent attention to detail and accuracy.

Strong critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.

Ability to work effectively and independently as well as in a team setting; ability to effectively receive supervisory direction.

Excellent interpersonal skills and professional rapport that will lead to effective and respectful working relationships with University stakeholders.

Demonstrated competence with and commitment to diversity and inclusion; ability to be an effective partner with diverse students, faculty, and staff.

Ability to establish effective working relationships, professional rapport, and effectively accomplish work within a University setting that includes a wide array of individuals, groups, policies, and processes.

Effective ability to use and learn computers, technology, software, and applications at level of sophistication required for the duties of the position, including, without limitation, Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), the internet, and computerized maintenance management systems.*

*All University of Portland positions require the ability to use and/or learn to use in a timely manner current or new technologies, software, and applications at level of proficiency and sophistication required for duties of the position. In most situations, the necessity of learning, using, and/or supporting new technologies, software, and/or applications does not change a job description nor make the position one that involves higher level duties.

Please see full job description (link in most postings) for information about physical requirements, working conditions, work standards, and statement about reasonable accommodations.

Required Documents: Cover Letter, References, Resume