Since its founding in 1891 as Highland College, Lenoir-Rhyne University has focused on providing young people with a sound education based on religious principles and Christian values. The college became Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1923 in honor of Daniel E. Rhyne, a local industrialist who boosted the endowment and other assets of the institution. In 1928, the college was admitted into the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (SACSCOC) and in 2008, Lenoir-Rhyne University (LRU) was officially created. In 2012, LRU merged with Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC and opened The Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. The Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, SC opened in the spring of 2014. LRU received full 10-year reaffirmation for accreditation from the SACSCOC in 2018. The University is on the move and has embarked on the implementation of a new strategic plan, Pivoting to a New Level of Excellence.
LRU enrolls nearly 2,800 students at its three campuses; the average class size is 16 students; the student/faculty ratio is 13:1; and 80 percent of the faculty hold doctoral degrees. The University has a vibrant core curriculum representing its liberal arts tradition. In addition, there are more than 50 undergraduate majors, 30 master’s degree programs, and the first doctoral program began in fall 2018. LRU offers two undergraduate degrees: B.A. and B.S.; four graduate degrees: M.A., M.S., M.B.A., and M.P.H; and three Seminary degrees: M.A.C.M., M.Div, and M.T.S. Students may choose among 70 student clubs and organizations. The University competes in the NCAA Division II as a member of the South Atlantic Conference and sponsors 12 men’s and 12 women’s intercollegiate teams.
The Vice President of Finance and Administration role is located on the University’s Hickory campus, which is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state. Hickory, located in Catawba County, is a city known for craftsmanship and community, and the area offers the amenities of a large city, but the charm of a small town. Money magazine has called Hickory “One of the Best Places to Live” in the United States, and the surrounding area boasts “a natural playground for outdoor activities,” including hiking, canoeing, and fishing. Hickory is an easy drive to Asheville, Charlotte, or Greensboro, North Carolina.
In pursuit of the development of the whole person, Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to liberate mind and spirit, clarify personal faith, foster physical wholeness, build a sense of community, and promote responsible leadership for service in the world. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), LRU promotes a diverse campus open to people from all religious backgrounds.
For additional information and to learn more about its storied history, visit the Lenoir-Rhyne University website at www.lr.edu.
The Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA) reports to the President and serves on the President’s Cabinet and Senior Leadership Team. Other positions reporting to the President include: Provost; Vice President, Institutional Advancement; Vice President, Intercollegiate Athletics; Vice President, Enrollment Management; Dean of Campus Ministry; Rector and Dean of Lutheran Theological Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University; and Director of Multi-Cultural Affairs.
Positions currently reporting to the Vice President of Finance and Administration include: Director, Human Resources; Director, Compliance/Title 9 Coordinator; Controller; Director, Campus Security; Director, Event Services; Chief Operating Director, Columbia Campus; Chief Information Officer; Director, Facilities Management; Director, Dining Services; and Director, University Book Store.
The VPFA is accountable for the key administrative and financial functions of the University, as listed above, which are encompassed in an annual budget of approximately $60 million. The VPFA’s division supports and advances the mission of the University by providing excellent stewardship of human, physical, and fiscal resources. All efforts are centered on providing the three campuses with sound guidance and services in these areas. Duties will be executed with the core goal of furthering the University’s mission of developing educated, ethical, and productive global citizens. Given the broad scope of accountability and functional area responsibility, the VPFA will develop strong partnerships with all departments.
More specifically, the VPFA’s responsibilities and duties include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Work collaboratively to enhance LRU’s financial strength through strategic planning, data analysis, innovation, partnerships, and reporting to support sound decision-making and sound business practices.
- Provide leadership for funds accounting, timely and accurate financial reporting, budgeting, human resources, endowment management (in conjunction with the Finance and Investment Committee of the Board), debt management, receipt and disbursement of funds, legal affairs, risk management, payroll, and cashiering.
- Provide leadership for physical plant facilities including planning, design, construction, renovation and repair, energy conservation, grounds maintenance, operation and maintenance of buildings.
- Lead efforts to improve institutional effectiveness by employing good business practices such as process improvement, continuous quality improvement, benchmarking, and balanced scorecard methods.
- Meet regularly with the President, Cabinet, and other appropriate university leadership to report and/or advise on all matters financial and/or related to the functional areas of responsibility.
- Work as the University Liaison with standing committees of the Board of Trustees, which currently include Finance and Investment, Audit, and Building and Grounds.
- Collaborate with external vendors (outsource partners, auditors, legal counsel, etc.) to ensure timely, accurate, and independent reports related to the financial condition of the University and to manage any risk associated with the University’s endeavors.
- Extensive record of successful and progressively more responsible positions and/or experience in a financial leadership role, ideally including both external audit and in-house financial management; experience with, and knowledge of, higher education finance is strongly preferred.
- Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; able to work effectively with a diverse staff.
- Demonstrated confidence and comfort working in a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture committed to the principles of shared governance.
- Understanding of current trends in higher education, particularly related to independent, liberal arts comprehensive universities.
- Exceptional communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
- Experience in planning and overseeing capital projects.
- Significant experience with long-range strategic financial and facilities planning.
- Expertise with professional program-level accreditation processes and with institutional-level regional accreditation requirements [e.g., Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) or other regional accrediting bodies].
- Excellent interpersonal skills; experience building, developing, and leading teams.
- Business, finance, or accounting degree; master’s or graduate degree in related field highly desirable; CPA designation preferred.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience, including a competitive salary and benefits.
Lenoir-Rhyne University is an EOE/AA employer under all applicable civil rights laws. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.