Vice President of Finance and Administration
Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, seeks an enthusiastic and accomplished leader for the position of Vice President of Finance and Administration (VPFA). This senior leadership position focuses on strategic oversight and management of the college’s financial services, human resources, facilities, information technology, contracted food service, campus store, and the campus pub. While the new VPFA will fulfill the role of Treasurer and direct the college’s finances, the new VPFA will also serve as the institution’s main leader for strategic thinking around all finance and administrative issues within the scope of the college’s mission.
Colby-Sawyer College’s historic Georgian campus, located 90 miles from Boston, MA, and 45 miles from Manchester, NH, is home to 1,100 students. It is a private, independent, undergraduate college accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) consisting of eight academic departments that offer 42 majors, minors, and concentrations. The college is dedicated to providing educational programs based in the liberal arts and sciences that prepare students to thrive in, as well as making a positive impact upon a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world. Located on maple-lined Main Street, the sophisticated New England town is surrounded by the mountains of the Lake Sunapee region. The college sits on 200 acres of land, with 30 buildings that support the needs of the students and faculty. New London is located in a region known for beautiful lakes, outdoor recreation, winter sports, and a lively cultural community.
Perhaps the most remarkable asset of the college is its faculty and staff. The college has a total workforce of 431 dedicated employees, including 137 faculty members. Highly regarded in their respective fields, faculty bring significant expertise to their work. All faculty embrace a student-centered philosophy of teaching and mentoring which caters to the needs of individual students and fosters student success.
Leadership at Colby Sawyer College
Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D. assumed office on July 1, 2016, and is the ninth president of Colby-Sawyer College.
With more than twenty years of experience in higher education, President Stuebner brings considerable knowledge about strategic planning, collaborative decision-making, and institutional effectiveness to lead a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Most recently, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., where she supervised financial services, human resources, development and alumni affairs, student affairs, college relations, admissions, financial aid, retention and enrollment planning. She chaired the President’s senior staff, strategic planning, and finance and facilities committees.
Prior to her role at Allegheny, President Stuebner spent a decade at Lycoming College in a variety of senior level administrative positions including Executive Assistant to the President and Institutional Planning Officer, Vice President for Planning, and Vice President for Administration and Planning. She has also served as an academic counselor at Dartmouth College, a freshman proctor and director of freshman intramurals at Harvard College, and special assistant to the president at Wheelock College. President Stuebner also held the position of teaching fellow for several courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her career at Albright College, where she held concurrent roles as head women’s basketball coach, admissions counselor and special assistant to the academic dean.
President Stuebner earned her A.B. in psychology from Dartmouth College. She also holds an Ed.M. and an Ed.D. from Harvard University in administration, planning and social policy with a concentration in higher education.
Her passion for liberal education, sustainability, and creating an engaged community of students, faculty, staff and community members matches Colby-Sawyer’s own mission to offer educational programs grounded in the liberal arts and designed to prepare students to thrive in, and make positive impact upon, a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world.
President Stuebner has been involved professionally at the national, regional, and local levels. She completed three-year terms on the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Small Institutions Council, and the Dartmouth College Alumni Council. She has served as a member of eight visiting teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. President Stuebner’s professional interests center on the sustainability of private colleges with endowments under $200 million.
The Position – Vice President of Finance and Administration
Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President of Finance and Administration will be an innovative and visionary leader in fiscal management who can develop a comprehensive and forward-thinking strategic vision for meeting the financial and operational challenges of a small, comprehensive college based in the liberal arts. The VPFA, in close collaboration with the President and the Senior Leadership Team, will help the institution pursue its broad institutional vision by developing strategic and sustainable priorities and goals and designing and overseeing plans for their fulfillment. This critical hire will be an accomplished and collaborative partner and provide expert consultation to the President, senior staff, members of the faculty and staff, and to the Board of Trustees through the Board’s committees, as the institution strives to fulfill its academic mission.
Key Primary responsibilities and Opportunities for the Vice President of Finance and Administration will include:
- Responsible for the long-term strategic financial oversight, for financial forecasting, and for the evaluation and implementation of best practices in higher education finance;
- In collaboration with the Controller, oversee the creation and monitoring of the annual budget, and hold overall responsibility for the college’s systems of accounting, financial reporting, and financial controls, and for all audit, and tax compliance;
- Oversee administrative and financial aspects of the college’s information technology;
- Supervise human resources, and in collaboration with the Director of Human Resources, identify best practices in hiring, employee retention and training, compensation and benefits, and performance evaluation;
- Serve as the key liaison to the Finance and Enrollment Committee and the Audit Committee of the college’s Board of Trustees;
- In collaboration with the Senior Director of Facilities and Capital Projects, prioritize the physical plant and capital needs of the institution. Establish and implement a master plan that supports the educational and co-curricular mission of the college;
- Lead the college effort to improve its overall operations and work processes;
- Work with college units to drive the effort to model, project, and enhance business processes and achieve cost savings;
- Seek out opportunities for increased system and process efficiencies and operational improvement and recommend improvements through implementation of more efficient processes, modifications of current systems and implementation of new systems and technologies;
- Manage college contracts and serve as point person for college’s insurance and risk management policies;
- Plan, implement, administer/oversee, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate all designated administrative functions, programs and services, vendor contracts (food service), campus store and campus pub, and construction projects;
The Vice President of Finance and Administration will have the following experiences, capabilities, and attributes:
- A proven leader and financial executive with at least ten years of progressive management experience related to fiscal and administrative affairs within a complex and vibrant organization and a proven record of sound administrative and responsible financial judgment within such organizations;
- In-depth knowledge of best practices in accounting principles, budget development, and management; investment management; financial risk management; technology, contract/procurement; financial aid, institutional practices, and operational efficiencies, and promotion of diversity within a service orientation;
- Experience with securing and managing institutional bond financing;
- Experience with managing an institution’s information technology services and infrastructure, which ensure services are met within budget constraints;
- Substantial relevant experience in the application of computerized information management systems;
- Extensive knowledge of best practices in both human resources and facilities;
- Experience with auxiliary resources and an ability to recommend well-developed business development ideas for summer programs or auxiliary revenue;
- Proven ability in leading an institution to new and profitable business ventures by developing business plans within sound financial management;
- A visionary executive with sound technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment, and a strong operations and systems focus;
- Well-organized and self-directed individual who exhibits a high level of integrity and the skills to navigate the political and legislative process as it relates to higher education in the context of a shared governance model at a liberal arts college;
- An intelligent and articulate individual who can relate to people at all levels of an organization; be a team player who possesses superior communication skills and the ability to operate with transparency to foster collaboration within the organization;
- Demonstrated understanding of the need for continual financial assessment of operating a private liberal arts college in today’s challenging higher education environment and the ability to accurately forecast the college’s financial position; analyze, interpret, and effectively communicate statistical information to internal and external customers of the college, including members and committees of the Board of Trustees;
- Demonstrated high level of leadership and the ability to build and lead a cohesive team; willingness to serve as a mentor;
- Demonstrated commitment to deliberate institutional sustainability (fiscal, environmental, etc.);
- Demonstrated value for, and ability to work and communicate effectively with, students, faculty, and staff of varying racial, ethnic, religious, gender, cultural, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds; and
- Bachelor’s degree required and MBA or related graduate degree preferred.
Nominations and applications, including letters of interest, may be submitted to:
Andy Evans, Principal
Mo Lashendock, Vice President
Neumann Executive Search Partners, Boston, MA
Colby-Sawyer College is committed to being an inclusive and diverse campus community, which celebrates multiple perspectives. Under institutional policy, as well as under state and federal law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Age Discrimination Act), Colby-Sawyer College does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices or its admission practices on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, mental or physical disability, family or marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, genetic information, or gender identity.