About Vanderbilt University Vanderbilt University is a world-renowned private university located in Nashville, Tennessee. With a student enrollment of nearly 13,000 students across 10 schools and colleges, Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The combination of cutting edge research, strength in the liberal arts, nationally recognized schools of medicine, law, business and divinity creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their education to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to solve complex questions affecting our health, culture and society.
Cornelius Vanderbilt had a vision of a place that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country” when he gave $1 million to create a university in Nashville in 1873. Vanderbilt provides a gateway to greatness, drawing the best and brightest students from across the nation and around the world. Vanderbilt alumni can be found in Congress, on the judicial bench, in the pulpit, heading corporations, conducting innovative medical research, writing for and appearing on the stage and screen, and playing in the NFL, NBA, and major league baseball.
The Role The Finance Director, Information Technology has responsibility for supporting and stewarding a unified financial vision for information technology across all Vanderbilt academic and administrative groups. Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and working in close collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (“CIO”) this role is a member of the leadership team for both organizations and will assume a key partnership role with the rest of the finance and IT teams. This individual will effectively steward technology expenditures to ensure current performance while providing for future investments. The Finance Director, Information Technology will create a cohesive, forward-thinking and progressive technology financial framework and support environment in support of the CIO and the technology needs across the Vanderbilt community.
The Finance Director, Information Technology will support all of the financial needs associated with the creation of a new delivery model for technology services across the university's research and education units, ensuring that students and faculty have the reliability and flexibility they need in their technology tools. As part of the Finance leadership team, this position will be a strategic partner with the departmental and school business officers, working with them to insure their technology needs are met while minimizing costs. VUIT provides IT infrastructure, products, and services supporting education and research programs across the university and includes approximately 300 staff and an operating budget of nearly $55 million.
Overall, the Finance Director must:
Provide strategic leadership and vision in the development of financial and business models supporting information resource management strategies that balance service and quality with costs and risks;
Lead the VUIT finance team in their efforts to streamline and simplify their processes, including financial reporting, tracking departmental technology spend and collections from schools and departments.
Develop an in-depth understanding of the university's priorities and advise clear, sustainable financial frameworks supporting information technology priorities that are responsive to the university's plans and goals;
Collaborate closely with the finance and IT teams to ensure joint decision-making and planning, to assist individual units to achieve their special information technology objectives, and to ensure the most effective use of available resources;
Conceptualize, launch, and deliver multiple projects on-time and within budget;
Define criteria for measuring and assessing the financial performance of the IT organization, and monitoring and reporting results in order to take corrective action where necessary;
Help carry out the collective business goals of the CFO and CIO; and
Support the CFO and CIO by carrying out special projects and by providing tactical and strategic advice. The Finance Director will be a leader within the finance and IT teams who will provide rigorous analysis to inform a range of executive decisions.
Candidate Profile Vanderbilt is seeking candidates with a strong customer service philosophy and who possess a record of professional experience that demonstrates progressive responsibilities and senior-level financial management experience in a complex IT environment. Candidates must be proven leaders demonstrating at least five years of experience managing within complex financial organizations.
Although the Finance Director may not come directly from a higher education environment, qualified candidates must possess an understanding of and appreciation for a university academic environment, the roles and relationships of faculty, staff, and students, and the diverse needs for technical support. Candidates must have demonstrated success at managing and leading change in a complex, collaborative organization.
Equally significant qualifications include strong integrity, a high level of energy, excellent oral and written communication skills, and exceptional interpersonal relationship and team-building skills. Candidates will also have significant financial competence, intellectual depth and business acumen, having progressed through roles of increasing responsibility during their career. Providing transparent and cost-efficient operational leadership is critical for this person to be successful, as is the ability to balance and prioritize the highest and best use of financial resources in fulfilling the technical service needs of the institution.
A bachelor's degree is required and an advanced degree, or equivalent experience, is strongly preferred. Vanderbilt seeks a technology finance leader of the highest caliber, which should be reflected in the appropriate combination of education, experience and attitude.
In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, the following attributes are most important:
Understands all parts of the organization, and their financial interdependencies and uses that knowledge to influence strategy and make asset allocation recommendations.
Ensures the IT organization is aligned financially with the goals and objectives of the university. Considers cross-functional, cross-divisional, and/or university-wide factors when managing the group / function. Sponsors the use of common university-wide processes and practices (i.e., best practices).
Has an insatiable desire to learn, understand and improve the organization in support of our mission.
Able to develop and implement leading-edge changes in business practices that will support the university in a more cost effective and efficient manner with clear and measurable results.
Executing for Results
Develops and implements continuous improvement programs, recognizing opportunities to simplify financial/operational processes and create efficiencies. Anticipates and ensures appropriate resources and structures are in place to support short- and long-term university goals. Creates and/or uses effective metrics to support fact-based opinions and drive results.
Develops and advances ideas from plan to results with processes that ensure input and feedback from campus constituents. Cultivates trust and credibility with colleagues.
Builds effective relationships inside and outside of the organization. Effectively relates to others by collaborating and cooperating even with those holding divergent and/or opposing views and goals. Models respect to people from all backgrounds and organization levels, by seeking and including different thinking styles, cultures, and backgrounds.
Communicates effectively at all levels of the organization.
Conveys a natural, collegial style and keen desire to be an integral part of the Vanderbilt community.
Duties and Responsibilities As a member of the finance and VUIT leadership teams, the Finance Director provides direction and support for IT financial needs across the institution. The Finance Director directly supports all IT financial needs of the CFO and CIO. The Finance Director will assist with the identification of financial opportunities to optimize the use of resources across all IT areas. Critical year-one success factors are summarized below:
Develop and manage project plans, budgets, and timelines; identify and supervise participants; define and oversee deliverables.
Build and maintain effective, collaborative, and consultative relationships with stakeholders and clients throughout the university.
Define business objectives, manage requirements, and manage tasks to completion.
Business and Analytical Acumen
Develop a logical, sustainable and equitable IT funding model
Build a business case framework to review and prioritize IT investments
Analyze current and past trends across various institutional business enterprises.
Identify and establish metrics to measure and monitor IT business performance, highlighting trends and analyzing causes of unexpected variance.
Create sophisticated analytical models to project future outcomes and support strategic objectives.
Comfort with business intelligence tool to perform ad-hoc data analysis and develop dashboards
Prepare presentations supporting analysis and recommendations.
Maintain and enhance knowledge of business practices, emerging accounting guidelines, financial trends, and resulting information technology needs and impacts.
Help reduce complexity of IT infrastructure
Design, maintain, and monitor a system of internal controls to mitigate risks within the IT organization.
Regularly monitor and assess risks, and participate in institutional risk management exercises.