Colby College invites applications and nominations for the role of Associate Vice President, Financial Planning and Budget (AVP). Reporting to the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the AVP will supervise a team of finance professionals in developing, monitoring, and analyzing institutional budgets and cash management. The AVP will develop imaginative and flexible financial models for a wide range of college programs and activities and maintain and enhance the College’s long-range financial planning model. They will bring analytical rigor, creativity, and transparency to setting priorities and making investments to maximize the College's financial, intellectual, cultural, and physical assets.
With a bold growth agenda for 2030, a strong balance sheet, and a decade of setting and achieving major strategic initiatives, now is an opportune time to join Colby College. Colby is planning significant financial investments in its effort to be the preeminent leader in liberal arts education and the level of investment requires rigorous and imaginative financial planning. The Associate Vice President, Financial Planning and Budget will be of paramount importance in these efforts and be charged with developing and implementing financial frameworks that are achievable, balanced, and preserve the ability to adjust as circumstances warrant. The AVP should be a big picture, forward thinking planner capable of leveraging the strong financial position of the College against the key risks for higher education, including decreased market demand, increased price resistance, increased wage pressures, inflation, and an expected economic recession.
The AVP will administer the College’s $260M annual budget with multiple fund sources and will prepare and set guidelines for department budgets. The AVP will work closely with university leaders on compensation budgets and strategies. They will partner with university leaders on capital project funding. They will coordinate cash management and debt issuance and compliance activities. They will supply operational liquidity to support ongoing college operations in addition to developing and managing financial policies for capital structure, external financing, working capital, treasury operations, foreign exchange exposure, and interest rate risk management. The AVP will have significant interaction with other members of the President’s staff, department and program directors, and consultants. The AVP will provide support for the Board of Trustees Financial Strategy and Business Affairs Committee, and serve on campus committees, working groups and task forces as assigned.
Key Responsibilities, Opportunities, and Challenges
- Assist the College in Achieving its Ambitious Enrollment, Endowment, and Fundraising goals
Colby has articulated ambitious multi-year growth goals to sustain and enhance its position as a top ranked liberal arts college that is accessible to students of all backgrounds and includes a robust financial aid program. These goals depend upon the growth and careful management of the endowment, successful fundraising, and strategic enrollment growth with associated resources and facilities to support this growth.
- Manage Risk & Regulatory Compliance
The AVP will identify and regularly analyze financial risk exposure as well as the impact of internal and external trends and government and/or regulatory changes to college assets, in partnership with other leaders within Finance. In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate excellent judgment, critical thinking and strategic thinking skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and to revise strategies when necessary.
- Lead and Mentor a Highly Skilled Diverse Team
The AVP will prioritize competing demands and delegate to, and foster collaboration among, team members. The AVP will also mentor, guide, professionally develop, and empower to lead in their respective areas, a diverse team of finance and operational leaders; setting high standards and modeling a culture of service, integrity, and demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Effectively Present and Communicate Regarding Complex Financial Matters
The AVP will produce high-quality written reports and presentations for senior leadership and trustee audiences and will possess highly developed skills in communicating detailed information to a broad range of stakeholders at all levels.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
- Exceptional financial management and financial modeling and forecasting experience.
- Competence in all aspects of financial literacy including accounting, financial analysis, budgeting processes, cash flow, and debt structuring.
- The capability to be decisive, make difficult decisions, and execute them effectively.
- Outstanding communication skills with a focus on transparency, coupled with the ability to translate technical and financial information with clarity and care to multiple constituencies.
- A forward-thinking nature with an entrepreneurial and strategic mindset.
- Experience recruiting, managing, leading, developing, retaining, and empowering a talented and diverse staff.
- An ability to build relationships internally and externally and the ability to work effectively and collaboratively as a member of a diverse community.
- A capacity to manage a diverse portfolio and represent and balance the needs of multiple constituencies.
- Technological savvy with an ability to synthesize and use data to make informed decisions.
- Experience with integrated information management systems.
Required and Preferred Experience
- Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree in business administration or related field is strongly preferred.
- Prior educational institution or related non-profit experience is preferred.
- A minimum of five years of increasingly responsible financial management experience.
Founded in 1813, Colby is one of America’s most selective colleges. For the Class of 2027, the College received nearly 18,000 applications for its class of approximately 600 students. With a seven percent admit rate and a median SAT score of 1500 for admitted students in the previous class, the demand for a Colby education by the most talented students has never been higher. The College’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial justice is evident in its admissions practices and financial aid policies. Last year the Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Colby fourth in the nation among all private colleges and universities (between Stanford and Harvard) for the generosity of its financial aid programs for students with the highest need. Through the Colby Commitment, the expected contribution from parents/guardians with less than a $65,000 annual household income is $0; and, through the Fair Shot Fund, parents/guardians with up to a $150,000 annual household income can expect an annual contribution of no more than $15,000. Colby’s financial aid packages meet 100 percent of demonstrated need using grants instead of loans. The number of students of color at Colby has increased by more than 50 percent in recent years and the number of low-income students has more than doubled.
Tom Phillips and Laurie Casteen of Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search have been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest in this role please submit a résumé and letter of interest by filling out our Talent Profile. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request accommodation for the interview process.