Rivier University seeks nominations for and expressions of interest for the position of Vice President for Finance and Administration. Rivier University is a Catholic, comprehensive University founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. The University is committed to liberal education and programs of professional practice at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Rivier is located in New Hampshire’s second largest city of Nashua. With a total student enrollment of 2,200, the core mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world is actualized in undergraduate, professional studies, graduate, and doctoral programs.
Rivier University seeks an experienced and entrepreneurial leader to provide direction to all aspects of the finance and business functions of the University including controller’s office, student financial services inclusive of financial aid and bursar offices, physical plant, human resources, auxiliary services of food service and bookstore and a growing real estate portfolio. Reporting to the President and working closely with other members of the President’s Cabinet, the VPFA serves as the chief financial officer and plays a key role in the implementation of the University’s strategic initiatives, partnerships, and the fulfillment of strategic priorities as outlined in Vision 2020.
The successful candidate must possess a master’s degree related to finance, administration or accounting (a CPA is preferred) from an accredited institution and progressively responsible leadership in finance or related field at the controller level or above. In addition, the candidate must possess broad experience in financial management, strategic and analytical capacity, and a working knowledge of each of the functional areas within the VPFA’s portfolio.
The candidate must value the Catholic mission and vision of the University as articulated in the mission statement and welcome diversity and inclusion as demonstrated through a record of collaborative leadership and hiring. The successful candidate will have a record of accomplishment at private institutions within a competitive demographic environment and an ability to optimize resources.
The next VPFA will have significant and progressive administrative experience in higher education at the controller level or above, excellent communication skills, and a record of success in financial management, capital projects, and the application of technology to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness of operating units.
There will be a rolling review of applications which will continue until the position is filled. For optimal consideration, applications should be received on or before August 17, 2020. The appointment begins on or before October 1. For guidance in applying, please see the application process at the conclusion of this document.
History, Mission, and Values
Rivier University is named in honor of Blessed Anne Marie Rivier, foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. The University, founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and incorporated under the laws of the State of New Hampshire in 1935, was granted university status by the State of New Hampshire on July 1, 2012.
Rivier University is a Catholic institution of higher education dedicated to transforming hearts and minds to serve the world.
The Rivier Mission Statement
Committed to the faith heritage, intellectual tradition, and social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the University educates the whole person in the context of an academic community that cultivates critical thought, sound judgment, and respect for all people. This community supports the intellectual growth of all its members while offering them opportunities for social, cultural, moral, and spiritual development. The challenge to the University community is to search for truth through the dialogue between faith and reason.
Rivier creates an environment in which integrated learning is the shared responsibility of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and is pursued in all the curricular and co-curricular programs of the University. To participate in the life of Rivier University is to strive for academic excellence, to take responsibility for ourselves and for others, and to engage in dialogue about basic human issues facing society, especially the plight of the poor and powerless. The University extends to all of its members, and also to the greater community, an invitation to join in intellectual inquiry and dialogue.
The University Profile
Strategic Plan – Vision 2020
Following collaborative engagement with the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff approved Vision 2020 committing the University to three core initiatives:
Innovation in the Sciences
Learning and Technology
Philanthropy and Partnerships
Serving as a foundation for growth, Rivier’s distinctive strengths include:
Journeys of Transformation, Core Curriculum
Scope of Nursing and Health Professions Programs
Learning-Centered Employment Promise Program
University-wide Model of Strengths-Based Wellbeing
The University will further enhance and sustain performance in the following fundamental elements of mission:
Financial Stewardship and Institutional Effectiveness
Global Engagement and Diversity
Teaching and Learning Effectiveness
Human Capital Development
Given the workforce needs of the region, Rivier extends a special commitment to recruitment and retention of students in the health sciences as well as behavioral health and information technology degree programs with a long-term emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
The University is located on a 68-acre campus one mile from downtown Nashua in a residential area. Easy access to Boston provides students with opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and social enrichment. Proximity to the seacoast and to the White Mountains of New Hampshire offers additional recreational advantages. Logan and Manchester Airports, Boston railway stations, and local bus lines allow convenient travel throughout the region and beyond. The University has made a concerted effort in the area of new property acquisition and will open a new 35,000 square foot Science and Innovation Center in fall 2020.
Rivier has enjoyed good, long-term fiscal stability with a low debt load and a strong cash position. The history of fiscal management has created strong banking, audit, and insurance broker relationships. Balance sheet growth is marked, in part, by a sustainable financial aid leveraging strategy. As of May 31, 2020, Rivier’s endowment was $53 million, and long-term debt was $31.1 million. The operating budget for 2020-21 is approximately $35 million. A 2% net revenue over expenses has been a consistent part of Rivier’s financial strategy.
Rivier has implemented a three-phase campus master plan which will culminate in the opening of the Science and Innovation Center. Depreciation is funded and deferred maintenance of buildings and campus landscaping is a priority. The campus consists of 40 campus buildings with more than 424,000 square feet. Newly acquired facilities include the Learning Commons, Linda Robinson Athletics Pavilion, and various adjacent real estate parcels.
The new VPFA will have extensive and strategic experience in developing and managing campus budgets, familiar with academic business models, and capable of adjusting the business plans to maintain and enhance financial stewardship.
With a total student enrollment of 2,200, the core mission of transforming hearts and minds to serve the world is actualized in undergraduate, professional studies, graduate, and doctoral programs. Rivier recruits for 70 academic programs and doctoral degrees in Leadership and Learning (Ed.D), Counseling and School Psychology (Psy.D), and a Nursing Practice (DNP). Academic programs are delivered both face to face and in a well-structured online environment.
Finance and Administration Management Structure
The VPFA will serve as a valued member of the President’s Cabinet consisting of the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and University Advancement, as well as the Chief Information Officer. The direct reports to the Vice President include the Controller, Director of Student Financial Services, Director of Facilities, and Director of Human Resources. The VPFA will serve as staff to the Finance/Investment, Building and Grounds, and Audit Committees of the Board of Trustees.
Strategy and Leadership
Serves as a member of the President's Cabinet, overseeing all aspects of finance and administration responsible for developing, articulating, and implementing strategic financial, human resources and capital plans along with modeling multi-year budget scenarios
Participates in developing financial aid leveraging strategies consistent with the University’s net revenue goals and modeling tuition revenue projects
Provides leadership in the development and assessment of financial, human resources, and facility annual plans and collaborates with campus-wide constituents
Supports accreditation efforts
Leads specific strategic initiatives identified by the President and actively contributes to the campus community
Serves as the staff liaison to the Finance and Investment, Audit and Building and Grounds Committees of the Board of Trustees
Financial Administration and Planning
Provides leadership in the development and continuous evaluation of short- and long-term strategic financial objectives and sound fiscal policy including internal controls and risk management
Oversees investment and endowment policies
Oversees the preparation of financial statements, quarterly reports, and cash budgeting. Applies best practices in key ratio and comparative analysis
Ensures compliance with debt covenants, federal and state regulatory requirements, and other agencies
Establishes financial policies, procedures, and internal controls inclusive of contract management
Serves as a primary contact with external service providers including bankers, auditors, insurance brokers, and legal resources
Planning and Budgeting
Develops and manages the University’s annual and capital budgets, forecasts, and financial results
Integrates budgeting into the University’s institutional planning cycle
Manages processes for multi-year financial forecasting related to enrollment and net tuition revenue calculations
Provides timely analysis of budgets, financial reports, trends and forecasts
Administration and Institutional Projects
Supports the implementation of the campus master plan, space utilization studies, environmental analysis, and deferred maintenance initiatives
Ensures institutional effectiveness in the leadership and formulation of strategic and operational goals in the following areas:
Student Financial Services (financial aid and bursar)
Oversees, negotiates, and manages contracts for auxiliary services, financial services, and plant operations including construction and renovation projects
Serves as the primary liaison to legal, real estate, and audit professional service providers
Evaluates and negotiates University’s insurance coverage and risk management services
Represents the University to all appropriate internal, governmental, and professional organizations
Staff Supervision and Development
Promotes a culture of high performance and develops staff using supportive, collaborative, and data-driven approaches
Provides leadership by overseeing annual department plans that are both measurable and goal oriented
Actively participates in the selection, hiring, training, and evaluation of staff in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources
Orients and guides direct reports by communicating departmental standards and workflows
Facilitates and directs the process of goal setting for all direct reports, conducts regular meetings to monitor workflow, and offers feedback and guidance to support the professional development of direct reports
Provides leadership and assessment of the University’s enrollment partners.
Performs other duties as assigned
Rivier University seeks a mission-driven, strategic, pragmatic, and focused leader. The successful candidate will demonstrate:
Commitment to the mission of Rivier University and the values of Catholic higher education within a high energy and aspirational community
A master’s degree in business administration, accounting or a closely related field with a CPA preferred; and at least 5-8 years of progressively responsible management experience preferably in higher education or a comparable setting
Demonstrated experience in the following areas:
application of technology to financial and administrative processes including data analysis and forecasting
operational and capital budgeting
leveraging areas of human capital management and talent acquisition
planning, funding, and implementing capital projects
expanding multi-year budget forecasts and net revenue analysis for programs and initiatives
leading operations listed in the scope of the position
Exceptional integrity, organizational skills, ability to exercise good judgment, effective written and oral communication skills, the ability to build and manage teams effectively, and demonstrable experience in the use of technology to evaluate and improve institutional effectiveness and operational efficiency
To apply formally, applicants should upload a detailed letter of application, curriculum vitae, and contact information for 3-4 professional references to email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For best consideration, materials should be received no later than August 17. All applications and nominations will be considered highly confidential. The anticipated start date is on or before October 1, 2020.
Rivier University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran or marital status, sex sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability in admission or access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities, and Title IX requires that the University not discriminate on the bases stated above.