Vice President for Administration and Finance / Chief Financial Officer
Warren Wilson College is an independent residential college with a liberal arts foundation and is one of only nine federally recognized work colleges in the United States. Founded in 1894 as the Asheville Farm School, the college is located on 1,135 acres of working farm and forest on a beautiful core campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains close to Asheville, North Carolina. Warren Wilson’s distinctive educational program features an innovative focus on applied learning in a curriculum that intentionally integrates academic excellence, community engagement, and career preparation through on-campus work experiences, experiential academics, and meaningful internships. The college is also home to the nationally ranked low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing and has recently launched a new low-residency MA in Critical and Historical Craft Studies.
WWC’s campus boasts a geographically diverse student population, with students from approximately 38 states and various countries. North Carolina residents constitute about 20 percent of undergraduate students, women 62 percent and students of color 18 percent. The College’s approximately 660 students can choose from 44 programs of study. The College prides itself on the strength and rigors of both its traditional liberal arts programs, which include natural and environmental sciences, social sciences, writing and literature, art and music, and its more diverse academic offerings, such as applied geospatial technology and pre-Peace Corps, international, and non-governmental service. In addition, students, with guidance from faculty, often create their own interdisciplinary majors and experiences. WWC also offers the #1 nationally ranked low-residency Master of Fine Arts program in the country with a creative writing program that is highly ranked among all creative writing programs in the country.
All students have the opportunity to complete independent capstone research projects and present their work to faculty and fellow students. Over the past decade, WWC students have received more awards and grants from the North Carolina Academy of Science for their original research than students from any other college or university. WWC also offers multiple study-abroad opportunities.
Complementing the rigorous academic offerings at WWC are integrated work and community engagement programs. The College owns and operates a 300-acre farm and a mixed-crop and livestock operation managed and worked by student work crews. Similarly, a student worked forestry crew maintains the college’s 600-acre forest and implements modern best practice forestry management. In total, there are more than 100 campus work crews offering students a remarkable range of work experiences, including recycling, graphic design, blacksmithing, emerging technologies, carpentry, scholarly research, and landscaping. Opportunities also abound within the community engagement program as students explore issues such as race and immigration, food security, education, housing and homelessness, and the environment, often as part of their coursework. Through the developmentally based community engagement program, all students explore, critically analyze, and collaborate to problem-solve issues of public interest.
WWC also offers students the opportunity to participate in athletics to integrate physical activity and wellness as a vital component of the student experience. Students have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of programs at the individual, intramural, club, and varsity level. The College offers 12 intercollegiate sports (six each for men and women) and competes in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
For additional information about WWC, please visit the Warren Wilson College website at www.warren-wilson.edu.
The Vice President for Administration and Finance / Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will report directly to the President and is a key partner with the President and a member of the President’s Cabinet. Other positions reporting to the President include: VP for Academic Affairs; VP for Enrollment; VP for Advancement; VP for Applied Learning; VP for Student Life; Director of Human Resources; Director of Athletics; and an Executive Assistant.
Positions reporting to the CFO include: Director of Facilities; Director of Auxiliary Services; Director of Information Technology; Controller; and an Administrative Assistant. Total full-time employees in the department is approximately 25.
In addition to those listed above, the CFO will work closely with, and/or communicate regularly with, a variety of stakeholders (internal and external) and vendors including, but not limited to: Board of Trustees, banks and other lenders, legal counsel, outsource partners, government officials, and community representatives.
The CFO will be expected to be supportive of the mission of the College and must be comfortable working transparently in partnership with the President, other administrative leaders, staff, and faculty in an environment that utilizes, respects, and values shared governance and collaboration. This position is responsible for the fiscal integrity, and the strategic and operational financial efficiency, of the College. The CFO is also responsible for overseeing the offices of accounting and finance, information technology, facilities, and auxiliary services.
Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:
- Advise the President and other members of the leadership team on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, and policy matters.
- Serve as the main financial liaison to the Board of Trustees and the appropriate Administration and Finance, Investment, and Audit committees; effectively communicate and present critical financial matters as directed to do so by the President.
- Maintain open lines of communication and gain the trust of administration, staff, and faculty by keeping the President informed of all critical issues and effectively communicating with the campus about financial issues.
- Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet in planning, discussing, and deciding issues related to the overall planning and management (strategic and operational) of the College.
- Develop and execute on long-range financial planning for the institution that works to maintain the fiscal health of the College while simultaneously allowing for strategic growth.
- Oversee endowment investments as prescribed by the Investment Committee of the Board. Advise the President and the Board on the strategic use of endowment funds. Guide the process of annual budgeting and provide relevant information and assistance to the operating divisions and senior leadership including the President.
- Develop a business plan that leads to long-term financial stability, where resources are appropriately aligned with the needs of the College. Direct and manage the assets of the College, and develop and maintain a system of internal controls, to maximize utilization of, and safeguard, WWC’s financial assets.
- In collaboration with the President and administration, develop new revenue sources to support the mission of WWC.
- Partner with the President and the VP for Enrollment in developing strategies that work to increase undergraduate net tuition revenue.
- Review the operations of the College to ensure that they are efficient and effective; determine if there are areas that can be reengineered in ways that will allow for greater economies of operation. As needed, upgrade and implement appropriate systems of policies, internal controls, and standard operating procedures.
- Oversee the management of Information Technology supporting mainframe computing, other administrative computing, and faculty and teaching equipment and technology.
- Oversee the management of facilities including new construction, renovation, and non-routine maintenance.
- Produce financial, expense, and budgeting reports; arrange for the preparation of the audited financial reports by external auditors; report appropriately to the administration of the College and to the Board.
- Maintain oversight of risk management and property insurance and collaborate with Human Resources on the financial oversight of other insurance (including health, life, and dental).
- Partner with the VP for Advancement to promote giving to the college; represent WWC externally as needed and appropriate.
- Lead a department that can attract, develop, and retain quality professionals; promote a culture of high performance and develop staff using a supportive, collaborative, and data-driven approach. Facilitate and direct the process of goal setting for all direct reports, conduct regular meetings to monitor workflow, and offer feedback and guidance to direct reports.
- Ensure all managed functional areas are customer focused in their interactions with students, faculty, staff, and others.
- Commitment to the mission of the college.
- Strong preference for 10 years of experience in a financial leadership role, preferably with both external audit and in-house financial management experience; experience with, and knowledge of, higher education finance is preferred.
- Exceptional financial and administrative leader with superior analytical and management skills.
- Flexible, courageous, and honest leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives.
- Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; ability to work effectively with a diverse staff.
- Exceptional communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
- Experience in planning and overseeing capital projects preferred.
- Significant experience with long-range strategic financial and facilities planning is preferred.
- Excellent interpersonal skills; experience building, developing, and leading teams.
- Business, finance, or accounting degree strongly preferred; master’s or graduate degree in related field highly desirable; CPA designation preferred.
Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, relocation assistance, and a competitive benefits package.
Warren Wilson College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In accordance with federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, Warren Wilson does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, sex, familial status, sexual orientation, and reprisal. Warren Wilson College is committed to developing a campus community that reflects the full diversity of the human experience and, as such, welcomes all applicants.