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Executive Director of Finance and Administration

New York, NY, USA | Columbia University

  • Industry:
    Education (Higher)
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    7-10 years
Job Description:
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Position Summary

Reporting to the Chief of Staff for University Life, the Executive Director for Finance and Administration will lead the unit that is responsible for the finance and administrative infrastructure that supports the University Life division, which includes the departments of Student Life, Student Conduct, Religious Life, Community Impact, and Columbia Health.

The ED will manage the staff responsible for the operational support, planning, and development of finance, human resources, technology initiatives, data reporting, and facilities. The ED and staff are charged with developing policies and procedures to ensure that the day to day operational needs of all departments are met. The goal of the finance and administrative unit is to provide quality services and support so that all University Life departments can focus on their core work and meet the mission to enhance the student experience across the University.


Finance and Procurement

Manage financial operations for all University Life departments, including oversight of all financial reporting, variance analyses, and compliance reports. Responsible for the integrity of the financial data for University Life. Stay up-to-date on changes to financial systems and processes centrally and implement changes where required. Maintain close collaboration with colleagues within the Office of Management and Budget, Controller’s Office, and others.

Lead team in financial analytics, Organizationeling, and forecasting, and use data to inform short-term and long-term planning and decision-making.

Create ongoing compliance and quality control reviews.Design, implement and document a comprehensive set of financial controls ensuring rigorous fiscal management of University resources.

Identify opportunities for process improvement and create policies and procedures to streamline services across all departments using all finance information systems at the University.

Oversee the management of all vendor agreements, payment, and streamline billing/collections.

Human Resources

Work closely with the Chief of Staff to develop robust human resources support for the departments within University Life, including strategic planning and organizational design projects. Liaise with central HR services on issues of import.

Manages the Director of Human Resources to create strong recruitment, onboarding, and training experience for new employees.

Oversee the annual compensation process and partner with the Chief of Staff and Central HR to manage.

Assess and improve all human resources practices regularly, including performance management, recruitment, professional development opportunities. Ensure compliance with central HR policies and procedures.

Other duties

Supervise the Director of Operations and ensures that all facilities, information technology, and related requests are handled seamlessly.

Serve as primary contact with CUIT and other IT partners (including 3rd party vendors) to develop critical IT solutions when required. Collaborate with CUIT on the ongoing assessment of business processes, program applications, and data security. Develop Key Performance Indicators to assist the organization with setting and achieving goals.

Serves as representative for the division on relevant business, finance, and operation convenings and calls.

Other duties and projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a minimum of 8 years of related experience required. Must possess strong analytical skills, critical thinking, and practical problem-solving abilities. Demonstrated leadership and supervisory experience required. Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, including active listening, attention to detail, and the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse group of University administrators, is essential. Must be able to exercise significant independent judgment, have a passion for excellent customer service, and commitment to exceptional quality.

Preferred Qualifications

Advanced degree strongly preferred. Experience with change management and setting up new organizational structures highly preferred. Ability to react quickly and effectively with concise, accurate data and information. Must enjoy working in a team environment that values individual contributions along with strong collaboration and cooperation.

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