Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is redefining engineering education and research through its pioneering “Whole-Brain Engineering” philosophy, integrating the elements of left-brain thinking — analysis, logic, synthesis, and math — with the kind of high-level right-brain thinking that fosters intuition, metaphorical thought, and creative problem solving. Augmenting the analytical core of engineering with substantial initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development, and unusual collaborations that span disciplines, Northwestern Engineering students and faculty are prepared to take the world in a whole new direction.
Northwestern Engineering comprises more than 1,800 undergraduate students, 2,000 graduate students, 190 faculty members across nine academic departments and varied programs, centers, and institutes. Northwestern Engineering staff members support innovative academic programs, an intellectual footprint that deepens the frontiers of knowledge, partnerships that catalyze education and research, and a diverse culture that embraces different viewpoints and ideas.
The Senior Director Finance is a senior leadership position responsible for all financial planning & analysis, accounting and control functions at the McCormick School of Engineering (McC). Management and fiduciary responsibilities include: the annual and multi-year McC budget strategy, planning, and process for the school, departments and programs; forecasting for the NU Office of Budget & Planning; year-end financial close process; compliance with all appropriate control, accounting and reconciliation policies and processes; and oversight of McC business services which provide operational guidance and financial transparency to McC faculty and McC unit administrators and staff. The Senior Director provides value- added financial metrics, dashboards, analysis and management presentations; participates in McC operational strategy and decision making to optimize the school’s financial performance and resource utilization. Builds networks and collaboration within the School and across other NU Schools, Central Offices and NU Development; represents McC on internal and external committees. The annual sponsored and non-sponsored operating budget of the McC school is ~$180M administered via 3400 chart strings across 9 academic departments, 9 professional masters programs, 3 institutes, deans offices and research centers. The position reports to the Associate Dean of the McC Office of Administration, Finance, Facilities & Planning (AFF&P); and supervises a staff of 7 (and indirectly 23 staff managing McC financial operations across school units).
STEWARDSHIP AND COMPLIANCE: Lead financial accounting and control as well as non-sponsored operations ensuring that all activity is compliant with NU and external requirements, policies and procedures and monitored/reconciled routinely. Advises McC leadership and all McC units on financial and operations policy and procedures.
BUDGET STRATEGY, PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT: Responsible for developing and leading Annual/Multi-year Budget Planning including modeling revenue and expense targets, funding methodologies and resource optimization. Provide sensitivities and scenarios to assess the overall risk of the plans. Present analysis, business insight and recommendations to McC senior management. Continually improve the level of financial analysis for decision support and strategy alignment. Monitor performance throughout the year, prepare forecasts and prepare action/adjustment plans to ensure achievement of annual operating goals.
BUSINESS SERVICES: Oversee a portfolio of business services (PCard, contracts, FFRA Access, exceptions, etc.) to all McC units; provide direction, training, understanding and clarity as it applies to financial administration, compliance, systems and policy. Manage the financial performance of Cohen Commons faculty foodservice offering.
TEAM MANAGEMENT: Recruit, develop, and retain a high functioning, highly collaborative Finance and Business Services team. Ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and annual objectives are developed and reviewed throughout the year. Achieve stable team structure and balanced workloads.
DATA ANALYTICS: Leverage data across the school to build dashboard reporting which aligns with NU Central dashboards and portals; is inclusive of all McC resources including money, people and space; and creates a factual mechanism to aid financial performance management, strategy development/adjustment and senior management decision making.
COLLABORATIVE NETWORK: Develop collaborative relationship with all McC Deans Offices, Department Chairs, Faculty, Staff, NU Central and partner schools to ensure alignment and cross-management on all financial activities and related business operations. Present metrics, trends, strategy to all McC units to ensure clarity and collaboration so that individual unit operations align with overall school plan and strategy. Represent McC on internal and external committees and initiatives.
Performs other duties as assigned.Contributes to various ad hoc and special initiatives of McC Administration.
Bachelor’s degree, masters preferred, or the equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired;
A minimum of ten of progressively responsible financial management and financial analysis experience in large, complex organizational environments such as research universities or large research institutes.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Proactive mindset and drive for continual improvement in financial operations
Ability to direct the finance and planning functions to advance McCormick’s mission and strategic position.
Ability to be a results-oriented leader and effective manager with an outstanding record of accomplishments.
Excellent analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
Demonstrated ability to develop highly collaborative working relationships with a broad range of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and vendors.
Experience with effectively managing staff, including hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating to enhance performance.
Exceptional communication, consulting and presentation skills are required.
Demonstrated success in financial planning, forecasting, budgeting, accounting and analysis
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Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.