Student & Campus Life (SCL) inspires transformation in all Cornell students on their journey of individual, academic and personal evolution. Our division is comprised of leading student affairs experts who support our campus on pressing student life matters including public service, health, wellness, social justice, residential living, food services, sports, recreation, career services, and student activities and organizations including sorority and fraternity life. Our nearly 4,000 staff and student employees who make up SCL embrace the opportunity to represent the division and strive for excellence as we shape the Cornell student experience, one interaction at a time.
Campus Life Enterprise Services (CLES) is comprised of multiple student service units within SCL, including Cornell Dining, Cornell Catering, Housing Administration and Residential Life, Conference Services, The Cornell Store(s), and a dedicated Marketing and Communications team. CLES has an annual budget of approximately $150 million and employs over 800 regular (union and non-union) staff members and over 1,000 student employees to successfully operate its broad-ranging business operations. Organized under the leadership of the Assistant Vice President of SCL, the success of this team is centered on providing essential campus living services to our students and simultaneously serving as the primary revenue generating unit within SCL; providing income that supports critical student initiatives and support services across campus.
The Sr. Director of Finance and Administration is a key member of the AVP's leadership team, and serves as the chief business partner and financial administrator for all of the associated units. In an environment where each department/unit has its own set of unique complexities and requirements (operational/logistical/budgetary/compliance/risk/etc.), this position ensures financial oversight over the entire enterprise, oversight over all reporting and business analytics activity, provides strategic guidance and support to the unit business managers, and facilitates the coordination of central administrative support services (HR, IT, Business Services, Facilities, Alumni Affairs, Communications, etc.). The Sr. Director regularly partners with the AVP, Executive and Senior Directors, unit Directors, and other key department leaders to ensure effective management and financial stewardship within each department, and also coordinates key divisional and university initiatives and projects in close partnership with the Associate Vice President of SCL Finance and Administration.
A successful Sr. Director of Finance and Administration will regularly:
Analyze business trends, behaviors, data, processes, and policies and connect this information to financial impacts and business/service opportunities
Partner with department directors and business managers to create and evaluate forward-thinking business strategies that align with and support the unit and divisional mission
Lead and oversee (in close collaboration with the AVP, department directors, and managers) the development and implementation of short and long-term fiscal, operational, and personnel strategies that help leverage business and service-level opportunities
Direct all CLES financial activity by establishing, managing, and monitoring the performance of the CLES annual budget, as well as developing financial projections, guiding work related to rate-setting requirements, overseeing various gift and endowment accounts, ensuring compliance related to Sarbanes-Oxley reporting, guiding capital planning activity, stewarding the use of reserve funds, and mitigating/evaluating unit risk management compliance.
Develop strong working relationships with key SCL divisional service providers (HR, IT, Business Services, Facilities, Alumni Affairs, Communications, etc.) to ensure CLES units are effectively supported and that divisional and university processes, initiatives, and strategies are communicated and implemented at the departmental level.
Ensure that departmental staffing strategies, business plans, facilities projects, and forward-thinking initiatives are well-communicated, fiscally responsible, and in alignment with unit and divisional objectives and guidelines
Advocate for continued synergies between university and divisional systems, processes, and goals and CLES departmental needs, opportunities, and operational expectations
Master's degree and more than 5 years of professional experience in business administration, financial management, operations management, personnel management or related field; or equivalent combination of relevant experience and education required.
Experience in strategic financial planning and/or sales analysis in a fast-paced and high-volume enterprise, business, or university setting
Prior experience in navigating, implementing, and leveraging complex financial databases to review and report on company/unit performance
Customer service skills and demonstrated ability to communicate (both written and verbal) with a broad range of clients, constituents, and customers.
A high-level of organizational skills, time management skills, and attention to details.
Strong analytical, creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
Proven record of accomplishment related to leading inclusive and diverse teams with varied goals and objectives and large independent scopes of responsibility.
Ability to work quickly, effectively under pressure, and use sound ethical judgment in accomplishing tasks that are urgent or of a highly sensitive or confidential nature; balance conflicting priorities, and make decisions from a range of choices.
Experience implementing new systems, policies, procedures, and best practices, and ability to collaborate with others to assist in change management tactics
MBA, CPA, or additional educational certification or experience relevant to the field
Prior experience in a retail or food service industry or an equivalent high-volume enterprise business
Prior experience in the field of higher education or in a campus setting
Strong working knowledge of university budgeting and accounting policies and practices, personnel policies and procedures, and conflict management and contract negotiating practices
Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
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