Governors State University (GSU), located 30 miles south of Chicago, is seeking an experienced and strategic leader to serve as its next vice president for administration and finance (VPAF), reporting directly to the president of the university. As a key member of the president’s cabinet, the VPAF will serve as the architect of the university’s strategic financial goals and will have broad, comprehensive responsibility for administration of the university’s budget and non-academic operations. In collaboration with the administration, faculty, and staff, the VPAF will lead the university’s efforts in fulfilling its mission of providing exceptional educational offerings to tomorrow’s global citizen.
Located in suburban University Park, Illinois, GSU is uniquely situated as the only public, four-year institution in the Chicago southland. Located on 750 acres of green space and prairie, including home to the renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, the campus is a short commute by train or car to downtown Chicago and all its cultural offerings. As one of Illinois’ smallest public institutions, GSU serves approximately 4,500 students. Originally founded in 1969 as an upper division college, GSU expanded its offerings within the last decade to serve students just beginning their undergraduate educational journey, including by offering on-campus student housing and intercollegiate athletics to meet the needs of traditional-aged college students.
The successful candidate will report directly to GSU’s sixth president, Dr. President Cheryl Green, Ph.D. who joined the university in July 2020 and is excited to re-evaluate the status quo. Passionate about educating the traditionally underserved with excellence, one of Dr. Green’s signature leadership pillars is to expound upon the university’s social justice initiatives to address racial and socioeconomic disparities. The new VPAF will partner directly with Dr. Green to shape the future of the university and will model the leadership principles of vision, accountability, integrity and ingenuity.
The VPAF will collaborate with the university community in the development and implementation of the university’s annual operating budget of approximately $60 million while also ensuring operational excellence and long-term visioning toward supporting the institution's strategic plan. The VPAF is responsible for the following administrative units; Financial Services, Information and Technology, Facilities Development and Management, Procurement and Business Services, Budget and Financial Planning, and the Department of Public Safety.
GSU is searching for a collaborative and experienced problem solver who will be a practiced and innovative leader with strong knowledge of strategic planning, operations, process improvement, change management, budget development, audit, and compliance. The new leader will also understand and respect shared governance and promote an environment that encourages teamwork, inclusive decision-making and a sense of community.
Candidates should have a track record of successful senior leadership in business management, operations, finance or a related area. Candidates should also be able to demonstrate accomplishments developing and attaining strategic goals and objectives, preferably in higher education or a similar complex organizational setting. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an established commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. While successful leadership experience in higher education is preferred, candidates with experience outside higher education in complex organizations will also be considered. A master's degree in Higher Education Leadership/Administration, Business Administration, Operations Management, Accounting, Finance or relevant discipline is required and a Ph.D. in a relevant field and a CPA are preferred.
WittKieffer is assisting Governors State University in this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For formal consideration, applicants should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest to GSUVPAF@wittkieffer.com or through the WittKieffer candidate portal. A complete copy of the leadership profile can be found here. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by August 13, 2021. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Sheila Murphy and Jeff Compher.