VP Finance, Higher Education
The QTI Group has been exclusively retained by Ripon College to recruit for its Vice President for Finance.
Bucking the trends of many other small liberal arts colleges in the Midwest, Ripon College has enjoyed increased first year enrollment, record-breaking fundraising and annual salary increases for all faculty and staff in recent years. The College completed a successful fundraising campaign in 2015 by raising $67 million. With an endowment approaching $100 million, a new athletic, health and wellness center supported by private donations and a long-term, low interest rate loan from the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, and an innovative new curriculum (Catalyst) that received an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ripon is well-positioned for the coming decade.
The Vice President for Finance is a member of the College’s administrative council and one of six executives who directly report to the President, Dr. Zach Messitte, who is in his seventh year at Ripon College. With very little turnover, the Administrative Council is a mix of seasoned professionals who are committed to the College.
The ideal candidate will be an experienced financial executive with a successful record of managing diverse operations and broad intellectual interests. While experience within higher education is not mandatory, a demonstrated commitment to the importance of a liberal arts education is essential. He or she will be a collaborative team member and skilled communicator and will maintain the highest level of integrity. The candidate will have expertise in accounting, strategic planning, budget, tax and regulatory compliance, as well as a thorough understanding of investment principles and risk management. Strong negotiation skills and a demonstrated working relationship with banks and financial institutions are considered a plus. Preferences will be given to candidates with a Master of Business Administration and/or comparable professional degrees in accounting or corporate finance.
The core responsibilities of the Vice President for Finance include the following:
- Serving as the primary administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees on matters related to finance, investment, construction contracts and approval, risk management and audit
- Working closely with the Administrative Council to advance the mission of the College
- Developing and overseeing the implementation of annual budgets and long term financial plans
- Developing the College’s financial models and forecasts that anticipate risks and opportunities
- Managing accounting, tax, audit and compliance obligations
- Providing an independent perspective on investment strategies
- Working with the Vice President for Advancement to ensure accurate estate management and special gifts
- Communicating financial and budget data clearly to faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni and external constituents
- Supervising business functions including, but not limited to, contracts, insurance, banking and lenders, legal affairs, personnel management, payroll and benefits administration
- Leading a professional financial staff by providing mentorship to foster success